Courtenay’s new council is now in session following incumbent mayor Bob Wells’ victory, with the first addresses given.
Council members took an oath of office to begin their service within the community. Mayor Bob Wells made his first address to council members, thanking others for running and adding more needs to be done.
“Although the election sends a message that our community was happy with our progress over the last four years, expectations will be even higher for the next four,” said Wells.
“To that end, our council’s committed to the implementation of our new OCP, with a focus on First Nations reconciliation, climate change, diversity, equity and community well-being.”
Wells added they will need to reach out to those who did not vote for them or did not vote at all, and be available to the community.
New priorities have also come “front and centre” for the city like housing and the toxic drug crisis, according to Wells.
City council says more opportunities to help those in need must be explored and they want to create non-profit employee housing partnerships and opportunities.
Other items on the agenda include economic recovery and creating a new entrepreneurial task force to improve the business ecosystem in the area.
Wells adds he is excited about what the future holds and is confident in the new council.
“Although we have several challenges ahead of us, I want to stress how optimistic I am as we work collaboratively as a council, a city and a community as we look for opportunities to work together,” said Wells.
A closing poem from Lawrence JW Cooper brought emotion to the council as its inaugural meeting came to a close.