The new Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako director for the rural Houston/Granisle area says he’s going to continue the work started by his father.
Chris Newell was named to the position by acclamation two weeks ago and will serve the remainder of the term of his father, Rob Newell, who passed away last year.
“My father served as a director for Area G in the Bulkley-Nechako Regional District for the last three terms. My father was passionate about helping other rural people and leaving a legacy for the children that live in Area G,” said Newell.
“He served as a vice chair on the North West Regional Hospital District board. He was instrumental in getting the Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance agreement off the ground. He worked tirelessly in an effort to get internet broad band into our rural areas. Unfortunately we lost my Dad on Nov. 21, 2019.”
“My goal is to continue what my father started and to continue to help the people who live in Area G. I want to grow the relationships that my father forged with the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako board, industry and most importantly with the people who live in Area G,” Newell continued.
Newell has lived on Buck Flats Road for the past 22 years with a work background ranging from being forestry consultant to working for forest harvesting companies to working for the provincial forest service to his current occupation as a provincial mineral titles and mines inspector.
“My wife and I have raised our family here. We live on a small farm that comes with all the blessings, joy, challenges and headaches that many other rural people would be familiar with,” he said.
“When I first moved out on the Buckflats we were on party lines. I remember having to wait for the neighbor to finish a call in order to use the phone. Many things have changed since then. I want to be part of ensuring that we continue to experience positive change.”
Village of Granisle mayor Linda McGuire extended a warm welcome to Newell.
“We look forward to working closely with him and building a long and productive relationship to ensure the rural residents continue to be well represented,” she said.
Houston mayor Shane Brienen also welcomed Newell.
“The rural area which he will now represent shares strong ties with our municipality along with a shared history, challenges, and set of community values. Council and I look forward to working with him at the regional district board and through the work we do at the council table to collectively represent our community on matters of shared interest,” Brienen said.
While Electoral Area G surrounds the District of Houston and the Village of Granisle, it includes the unincorporated communities of Fort Babine, Kuldo, Smithers Landing, Topley, and Topley Landing.