Mike Fennell signs in as the first Mayor of Barriere on Dec. 4, 2007, during the Inaugural Meeting of the Municipal Council at the Barriere Ridge with His Honour Judge S. Harrison officiating.

Barriere became B.C.’s 159th municipality on Dec. 4, 2007

A step back in time

Thee inaugural meeting of Municipal Council for the District of Barriere was held Dec. 4, 2007, at the Barriere Ridge School with over 160 people attending.

A First Nation’s blessing in the Secwepemctsin language was given by Bill Pete from Simpcw First Nation, and Barriere Improvement Secretary Leslie Stirling said the prayer.

Community Services Minister Ida Chong welcomed Barriere as the newest member of British Columbia’s local government family saying, “This is a very historic moment for Barriere. I want to thank everyone who worked so hard on this issue over the past few years, including the Barriere Incorporation Study Committee and the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD). We look forward to working with the new Barriere Council and the regional district to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible.”

The Minister thanked the late Jack Lapin, past TNRD director Bill Kershaw, Interim Administrator Wayne Vollrath, and recognized the service that the Barriere Improvement District had performed since 1943.

“The oath of office reflects responsibility – it is an exciting time for the new council on election,” said the Minister, “You can shape the kind of community you want. We see people stepping up to the plate – wanting to take on that important responsibility. My sincere congratulations as you begin your journey down this path.”

His Honour Judge S. Harrison performed the Council Oaths of Office swearing in Mayor Mike Fennell, and Councillors Cathy Cooper, Ron Glanville, Pat Paula, Virginia Smith, Ward Stamer, and Glen Stanley.

Community Services Minister Chong then presented Mayor Fennell with the Letters Patent for the District of Barriere, and also presented $179,500 in assistance funding to the new municipality.

The Minister also presented the Mayor with the official gavel for the new District. A standing ovation was then given by the audience to Barriere’s first mayor and council.