New Council

As soon as the new regional council gets sworn-in this evening during a special ceremony at MacDonald Island, I will end my time as "Councillor".  For all intents and purposes, that time ended when the final votes were counted one week ago, but the term officially ends today.

I will be attending the swearing-in ceremony this evening at the invitation of one of my former colleagues to witness the leadership torch being passed to a group that includes five incumbents and six fresh faces, though two of those have served previously.  Words of thanks will get spoken, platform points will get punctuated, and an oath will be taken that reflects the weight of responsibility that they are taking on.

Acceptance speech at 2010 Swearing-In Ceremony
The swearing in ceremony from 2010 seems like it happened just yesterday.  I remember the feelings that coursed through my body as I stood there with my new colleagues facing an audience of family, friends, supporters and community leaders.  I remember being given a time frame for my speech and doing my damnedest to stick to it, despite getting a little emotional when talking about my family.  I suspect a different set of feelings will course through my body this year.

I think it was Dave who wrote on one of my Facebook posts that "you don't need to have a title to be a leader."  That sentiment was repeated often and in various ways over the last seven days as supporters and non-supporters alike reached out with words of comfort and encouragement.  I actually went through the process of copying each of those messages and pasting them into a Word document as they will provide a great reminder of what really matters when it comes to being a community leader.

I'd like to congratulate the incumbents, my former team members, for your victories: Mayor Blake and Councillors Germain, Meagher, Stroud and Vinni.  I'd equally like to congratulate the successful newcomers, Councillors Boutilier, Bussieres, Ault, McGrath, Chadi and Cardinal.  You are about to begin a marvellous adventure as a regional council and as champions for our region.

In closing, my appreciation and respect also goes out to my colleagues who, like me, are sitting this one out.  To Christine, Colleen, David, Dave and Sonny: it was a honour to serve with you.  Though our time of serving together on council is done, I'm sure we will continue to serve this region together in other ways.

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