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Mayoral race set for Spallumcheen

Township councillor Christine Fraser to challenge incumbent Janice Brown
After nearly three full terms as councillor, Christine Fraser (left) will challenge incumbent two-term Mayor Janice Brown in Spallumcheen in October’s municipal election. (Morning Star file photos)

Spallumcheen residents will have a choice for mayor in October.

Coun. Christine Fraser is going to take a crack at the township’s top chair, running against incumbent Janice Brown.

“I have been encouraged by many residents over the past four years to run for mayor,” said Fraser, a three-term councillor. “I believe that I would be a great leader for Spallumcheen. I am hopeful that many of the council members will run again so we can keep moving our community forward and continue all of the important projects we are working on.

Fraser has spent nine years on township council. She finished off a term of two-years after winning a byelection to take the seat vacated by the death of Coun. Lorna Bissell in 2009, then successfully ran again for a full three-year term in 2011, and the current four-year term in 2014.

Fraser has lived in the township for 44 years, including moving home, after spending six years working in northern B.C. and Alberta, to buy real estate and do home renovations. She operates a part-time consulting business and volunteers to go along with her council duties.

Over her nine years on council, Fraser said she has developed very good relationships with local politicians, staff and provincial ministers.

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“As mayor, I feel you need to have good communication skills and to be able to effectively represent the township’s interests and issues,” she said. “In my time on council, I have proven that I have these skills and that I ask the hard questions and fight for our community.”

Fraser said there are many projects the dedicated current council is working on to make sure things are getting done as cost-effectively as possible for the township.

“We are a rural community and people like it this way. I always have time for our residents and listen to their concerns,” she said. “I believe we need to keep lobbying for an effective solution to the Hullcar aquifer contamination and to ensure there is proper public consultation regarding recreational cannabis production in the ALR (Agricultural Land Reserve), a process that has been lacking so far.”

Brown will be seeking a third consecutive term as mayor. She has spent 17 years serving the township as mayor and councillor.

“I am absolutely running again,” said Brown. “Gotta keep the momentum going. We’ve got lots of things on the go and I’d like to see them through to the end.”

This past term was the first mayors and councils throughout B.C. served four years. Brown said she still has the energy for the longer term, stating these past four years have gone by quickly.

“I’ve got the energy and I’ve got the time,” she said. “I thought four years ago that in this next term I’d get the southeast sector out of the ALR, and I’d get the wastewater (recovery centre) done, and the Steele Springs water done (Steele Springs Water District has been under a water quality advisory for four years), and I thought, ‘Oh good I have four years.’

“Now, here we are, we’re just getting to the end of that.”

With Fraser running for mayor, there will be at least one council seat to be won in Spallumcheen. None of the five incumbent councillors – Andrew Casson, Ed Hanoski, Christine LeMaire, Joe Van Tienhoven and Todd York – have yet to publicly declare their intentions for the Oct. 20 vote.

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