Northern B.C. regional district elects 2024 chair and vice chair

Electoral Area B director Brad Sperling was elected chair for the Peace River Regional District for 2023/2024, during its November 16 board meeting. Electoral Area D director Leonard Hiebert will serve as vice chair, after serving as the chair for 2022.

Sperling has six years’ previous experience as the board’s chair and said he wants to continue bringing a neighbourly attitude to the regional district, stressing the importance of community to community outreach meetings, especially with local First Nations.

“I’m a firm believer that there needs to be constant and more interaction from the chair to the directors, but even more important, there needs to be more direction from those directors to the chair, so that we can realize our visions and our goals,” said Sperling.

Sperling said he’s also proud of the regional district’s work in the creation of the Northern Baccalaureate Nursing Program in Fort St. John, which has helped the region bolster its healthcare.

“This board gave me direction to go after a nursing program and in 18 months, we had it,” he noted. “That is the kind of work this board can do and I think that the directors that sit here today are just as strong and dedicated to it.”

While Hiebert was also nominated for the role of chair, he graciously accepted the role of vice chair, after both candidates were decided through ballots from their fellow directors. Hiebert reflected on the year past as chair and the opportunities for learning.

“A lot of firsts happened this year, a lot of learning experiences all the way through,” said Hiebert, noting that community meetings with First Nations were also important to him.

“The leadership table that was established this year, having that connection with the movement going forward, the continuation of that leadership is going to be crucial in this area and this region, moving forward,” he added.

Tom Summer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Alaska Highway News