MCFC Elections postponed; new cutting permit expected soon

by LAURA KEIL

Much-anticipated elections to vote in new members of the McBride Community Forest Corp. (MCFC) have been scrapped due to a lack of candidates.

The two candidates that put forward their names to sit on the board – Dutch Molendyk and Kevin Taphorn – will sit on the board until the next MCFC AGM, according to Joseph Rich, an existing member of the board.

At that point, they will hold an election for 2-year terms.

In other news, Rich says they expect their new cutting permit from the Province to arrive this week.

Due to an oversight, the MCFC cutting permit lapsed in the fall. The corporation is still being managed by a consulting firm B.A. Blackwell, who took responsibility for the mistake.

Since the fall, the corporation has not been able to harvest any trees – only haul ones that were already felled.

At a public meeting January 11th, some 20 members of the public had an opportunity to ask questions of the board and meet the new board members.

As a corporation wholly owned by the Village of McBride, the MCFC board has Council representation as well as members of the public at large.

Members of the public have long demanded that positions on the board be elected not appointed, but due to the MCFC’s articles of incorporation, the board felt that was impossible.

Last month, the board decided to hold an election and then appoint the winners – a process that wouldn’t require changing the MCFC’s articles of incorporation.

That said, Rich says they are looking into changing the articles of incorporation so they can hold elections without the added step of appointing the winners.

“The community has spoken,” Rich says of converting to an election-based system.

The existing members of the board are Joseph Rich, Mayor Loranne Martin, Bryan Monroe, Dutch Molendyk and Kevin Taphorn.

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