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Busy four years ahead for PRRD

Communication, health care, oil and gas, agriculture, top the list
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Photo of the 2022 inaugural meeting of the Peace River Regional District's board of directors. Nov. 10, 2022

The new incoming chair for the Peace River Regional District sees a busy four years ahead for the board of directors.

Area D director, Leonard Hiebert, chosen Thursday in an election by his peers, says communication tops that list.

“We seem to be lacking in a few areas,” said Hiebert.

“I really want to strengthen that, especially with our local MLAs. They're our connection to the ministries, our connection to the governments that we have.”

“Just making sure that we, as a board, connect really well. No matter which ministry we meet. Whether it's First Nations, the provincial government...it's going to give us that much stronger voice with them.”

Health care, for Hiebert, is another priority.

“Last week, director [Dan] Rose and myself went to a meet and greet regarding health care and nurses and the stresses are very evident and they're very real.”

He said they were able to have a conversation with Northern Health northeast CEO Angela De Smit.

“The message was loud and clear. We need help. I'm hoping that message was taken back,” said Hiebert, who believes oil and gas sector and agriculture are also on the list of priorities.

“The two work hand-in-hand. Working with the agriculture minister, Lana Popham, to have that communication, especially for this region. Having them starting to come up and see what we're dealing with and see how we're dealing with, so we can get that support when we're down there is going to make a big difference.”

Area E director Dan Rose was elected to the role of vice-chair at Thursday's meeting ahead of the regional district's bi-monthly meeting.