The new term of West Lincoln council begun this week at a ceremony in the West Lincoln Arena and Community Centre.
Piper Peter MacKenzie led the mayor and councillors into the gymnasium on Nov. 21 to start the ceremonies.
Nicole Joy-Fraser from the bear clan performed a welcome song before a land acknowledgment by resident Linda Sivyer, a proclamation by town crier Allan Freeman, a rendition of O Canada by the Smithville Christian High School Choir and an invocation by Pastor Peter Tuininga.
The councillors and mayor were then all sworn in. Councillors Jason Trombetta, Shelley Bradaric, Joann Chechalk, Terry Bell and William Reilly all took the oath of allegiance and the declaration. Councillor Mike Rehner was not present at the ceremony, but was previously sworn in at a special council meeting on Nov. 15.
After mayor Cheryl Ganann was sworn in, she gave a speech thanking township staff, her family and friends and everyone who devoted time to her campaign.
Now that the election is over and the council is sworn in, Ganann said the real work begins.
“The election is over, the community has spoken, the job begins,” she said. “What an incredible honour to have been elected as a council. We can now look forward with a huge sense of optimism and positive energy to the future of our country.”
She encouraged council to use the experience that comes from the fact that all councillors have previously served, to listen to residents, and to come up with new solutions to age-old problems.
As for specific areas of focus, she advocated for the protection of green spaces and natural heritage systems, attracting new businesses, the respect and protection of the farming communities, an improved police presence in the township and road safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
She encouraged the council to unify the community and act in the best interests of everyone.
“We will aim to unify rather than divide our community as we make the best decisions possible for all,” she said.
“My commitment (is) to ensure that spotlights cast upon West Lincoln will be such as to demonstrate to others that West Lincoln is the healthy, generous, inclusive and progressive community that we know it to be. A community in which we are all proud to live, a community that both longtime and newer residents will be happy to call home.”
Chris Pickles, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News