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Leblanc eager to get started

Fourth Pemberton councillor chosen by lot



The municipal election came down to his name on a piece of paper in a wastepaper basket for Pemberton incumbent Alan Leblanc, following a judge's ruling that the election was officially tied. The tie-breaker was held last Wednesday following the judicial recount, in which the judge picked LeBlanc's name out of the basket.

LeBlanc said it proved that every vote really does count, and he hopes that voter turnout will increase as a result.

"I think that this tie has done exactly that, it's shown people how important it is to get out and vote," he said.

He also pledged to ensure that Niki Vankerk, the candidate who tied LeBlanc, has a voice on council.

"I really do thank my supporters and Niki's supporters, too — that was as close as it gets, and Niki will have my ear if there are some issues she wants to talk about. I'll support the people that did vote for her."

LeBlanc said he plans to use this term to work on Pemberton's economy, bringing new businesses to town and supporting existing businesses. He also favours more economic activity through the corridor, and specifically between Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton.

One of the economic opportunities LeBlanc wants to pursue is to use the Village of Pemberton's water licence for Pemberton Creek for a community power project. The power would off-set Pemberton's consumption and create jobs and tax revenues for the community. He's also interested in pursing the community forest in a way that benefits the town, keeping jobs in the community to turn the wood into homes and products. He'd like to help local farmers sell more of their goods in the corridor.

"I think Pemberton has some great things to offer, some great opportunities," said LeBlanc.

Some of those opportunities include bringing back the Pemberton Festival and building an independent school in the area.

"I think a lot of these things are achievable," he said.

The Village of Pemberton council was sworn in on Tuesday, Dec. 6.

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