Laura Keil & Goat Staff

Valemount’s new council (L to R) Sheri Gee, Hollie Blanchette, Owen Torgerson, Donnie MacLean and Pete Pearson. / PHOTOS LAURA KEIL

A new Mayor and Council were sworn in at the Village of Valemount Nov 6th and there’s a link to Valemount’s very first Council.

Newly elected Donnie MacLean’s late father Sandy MacLean was Valemount’s first mayor. He became mayor in 1962 when the Village first incorporated. Donnie MacLean’s mother Louise was present at the inauguration to see her daughter sworn in as Councillor.

Council Chambers were packed for the swearing-in. Newly-elected Councillor Donnie MacLean stands with her mom Louise MacLean and a photo of her dad Sandy MacLean, Valemount’s first mayor.

Before the new Council was sworn in, however, Mayor Jeannette Townsend and councillors Hollie Blanchette, Peter Reimer, Sandy Salt and Owen Torgerson gave closing comments before the new council was inaugurated. The Mayor thanks her four councillors for acting in the best interests of Valemount and looking out for taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars. Other councillors thanked their fellow councillors and staff. Councillor Reimer thanked the Mayor for her contributions and commented on her good reputation in many circles. He advised the incoming council: “Keep Valemount open for business. Think globally, plan globally.”

Oath of Office

Carleena Shepherd administered the oath of office to the new council – Mayor Owen Torgerson, councillors Hollie Blanchette, Sheri Gee, Donnie MacLean and Pete Pearson.


Mayor Torgerson presented gifts to outgoing council members Townsend, Salt and Reimer.

Opening Remarks

Councillor Pearson thanked his fellow candidates and said he was committed to four years on council and to listen to residents.

Councillor MacLean thanked other candidates and felt honoured for the trust the public placed in electing her and invited residents to collaborate with the village in moving the community forward.

Councillor Gee said she is new to the position and committed to learn, listen and work hard.

Councillor Blanchette asked for patience and understanding as they move forward.

Mayor Torgerson read a letter from MLA Shirley Bond congratulating the new council. He thanked all candidates and outgoing council and expressed his wish to see the new council work as a team.


Council approved the following appointments:

Regional District: Mayor Owen Torgerson with Councillor Donnie MacLean as the alternate.

Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) Prince George Regional Advisory Committee: Mayor Owen Torgerson with Councillor Donnie MacLean as the alternate.

Community Initiatives: Councillor Sheri Gee to the Community Initiatives Program and Affected Areas Program (CBT/CIP AAP) Adjudication Committee.

Signing Officers

Mayor Owen Torgerson and Councillor Hollie Blanchette were appointed as Signing Officers for the Village of Valemount.

Appointment of Deputy Mayor

Council approved an alphabetic rotating monthly schedule for Deputy Mayor until October 2019 to fill in when the mayor is not available.

Council Meetings

Council approved a schedule of meetings for the next year. The next council meeting will be on November 27 and only one in December.

Consulting Engineer

Council approved to appoint Urban Systems as the consulting Engineer for the Village of Valemount.

Municipal Auditor

Council approved to appoint KPMG as the Municipal Auditor for a three-year term with the option to renew for a further two years.

Municipal Leadership Training

All five members of council confirmed they will attend the 2019 LGLA Elected Officials Seminar in Prince George from January 30 to February 1, 2019.

Election Report

Council received the general and advanced ballot count report from Chief Election Officer Carleena Shepherd.

Public Comments

Outgoing mayor Townsend congratulated the new council and gave her blessings.  Area H Director Dannielle Alan said she had learnt a lot from outgoing mayor Townsend from attending regional district meetings with her. Alan also congratulated the new council and said she looked forward to having four years of working together.

Outgoing mayor Jeannette Townsend holds a photo she received as a gift for her 22 years of service at the Village.