Those elected to Prince Rupert City Council in November attended their inaugural meeting on Monday night.
Prince Rupert’s new mayor, Lee Brain, led the meeting, with new councillors Blair Mirau, Wade Neish and Gurvinder Randhawa taking their seats in council chambers. Re-elected councillors Barry Cunningham and Joy Thorkelson were also in attendance, with Coun. Nelson Kinney not being present.
“This is the beginning of a four-year journey. We are going to work very hard as a new council and mayor and we’re going to do our absolute best for this community. We’re going to take Prince Rupert to new heights and that’s something I absolutely believe in my heart,” Mayor Brain said.
Mayor Brain started his inaugural address off by commending the former mayor and councillors for all of their work before moving on to business.
“We have some major infrastructure issues for the community. We need to start looking at how we’re going to expand our tax base to bring in revenue to start fixing and upgrading the infrastructure. We have some housing issues we’re really going to have to start looking at, much more diligently, while new developments are coming to town,” he said.
“We’re going to see an increased transparency and communication with the public. We’re going to have a social media presence where people are going to be regularly updated and informed on public hearings, meetings, what’s happening in the town, how to be involved. These are the types of initial change you’re going to see. But over time, we’re going to hopefully start seeing some bigger changes.”
Additionally, Lax Kw’alaams elders Alex Campbell and Murray Smith were invited to speak at the inaugural meeting, with Mayor Brain stating he hopes the city can form a collaborative relationship with surrounding aboriginal communities.
“Hopefully we can all work together for the betterment of the city,” Campbell said.
“I hope we can continue along this theme of working in unity and respect for one another,” Murray said.
Brain and Kinney were appointed as Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District municipal directors, with councillors Barry Cunningham and Blair Mirau being appointed as alternatives.