Moher elected Fire Trustee in by-election

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Wednesday, July 3 2019

Diana Moher was elected to the position of Fire Trustee for the Gabriola Fire Protection Improvement District (GFPID) for the next ten months, at the by-election held on Wednesday, June 26 at the Albert Reed Memorial Fire Hall. The Fire Board held the by-election after John Hudson resigned from the Board on May 6.

Moher was nominated by Chris Bowers; and ran against Peter Phillips, who was nominated by Drew Staniland. While Nigel Denholm had been nominated ahead of the meeting, he withdrew his nomination prior to June 26.

Of 104 votes cast, Moher received 74 votes; Phillips received 30. This by-election was the first time the Fire Board used some of the changes they had put forward after the April 24, 2019 Election was held.

Gabriolan Al Tanner was hired  as an independent Returning Officer - he has been the returning officer on Gabriola for federal and provincial elections.

Ballots were given in a manner more resembling a federal election, with voters lining up; having their ID checked against a list of property owners, and affidavits signed stating they are Canadian citizens.

Two voting booths were set up for people to use once they had received their ballots, and Tanner kept watch at the ballot box as people deposited their votes.

Chairing the meeting was fire Trustee Sandra Rudischer. Also present from the Fire Board were Trustees Paul Giffin, John Moeller, Sean Lewis, and Paul Champion. Trustee Mark Noyon was not present. Fire Chief Rick Jackson and Corporate Officer Paula Mallinson were also in attendance.

In describing herself to the voters, Moher said she has been living on Gabriola for 33 years; 30 of those years she has been working within the school system, raising her three sons.

She has a background in emergency preparedness, having volunteered with numerous Gabriola organizations over the years.

“I also know I”m facing a retirement soon - I’m looking for how I can contribute to the island. I had always been interested in looking at the Fire Department trusteeship, and I see this as a place I can put my energy and keep myself involved.

“I bring a lot of skills that may not be apparent to people that work within the Fire Department themselves. I believe I bring other skills from being on other agencies and boards to help the board interface with our Fire Department.”

Phillips said he became a professional firefighter in the UK in 1963; also serving as a paramedic; and working with hazardous materials. 

Years of working in the UK were followed by a move to Gabriola after visiting a friend on the island.

Phillips served as the training officer for the Gabriola department for ten years and retired from the department five years ago.

The next meeting of the Gabriola Fire Board is scheduled for July 10 at 4:45 at the Albert Reed Memorial Fire Hall #1.