Craig elected for RDN; Langereis and Colbourne for Islands Trust

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Saturday, October 20 2018

Vanessa Craig, Scott Colbourne, and Kees Langereis have been voted in for Gabriola, Mudge, and Decourcy Islands, with the local government elections taking place this past Saturday, October 20.

Craig won against incumbent Howard Houle to become the Director for Electoral Area B (Gabriola, Mudge, Decourcy) on the Regional District of Nanaimo. She earned over 67% of the vote with 1,156 compared to Houle who earned 565 votes.

Colbourne and Langereis will represent the Gabriola Local Trust Area with the Islands Trust. Colbourne earned 1,185 votes and Langereis earned 1,045. Erik Johnson and Dave Neads, who had also run to become Gabriola Trustees earned 238 votes and 547 votes respectively.


Gabriola’s elected leaders for the next four years. (L-R) Vanessa Craig, Director-Elect for Electoral Area B (Gabriola, Mudge, Decourcy) of the Regional District of Nanaimo; Scott Colbourne and Kees Langereis, Trustees-Elect for the Gabriola Local Trust Area in the Islands Trust. Derek Kilbourn photo


Langereis said he is excited to be working with Colbourne and Craig for the Gabriola area.

“We’ve all brought different strengths. There will be an organic whole here I think.”

Craig said, “I’m excited, humbled, grateful, amazed by the people I met through the campaign. I’m excited to work with Kees and Scott....part of my favourite parts of the campaign was meeting so many people, so passionate and involved community members. It is amazing, the wealth of knowledge and expertise on this island.”

Colbourne said, “This community has so much expertise and lived experience and kind of has a sense of where it wants to go, it’s our job to work together and help the community do that.

“I’m really excited about the next four years.”

He added that they will need to recognize there were people who didn’t get involved that have opinions, “we need to tap into that.”

Langereis thanked the outgoing Trustees Heather O’Sullivan and Melanie Mamoser for the work they did in the last four years, saying he looks forward to continuing that work.

Craig said, “Howard has left a strong base, I want to build on that.”

1,721 votes were cast on Gabriola, putting turnout at 44.7%, higher than the 2014 turnout of 42.7% in 2014 and 43.1% in 2011.

As with both 2014 and 2011 elections, the Gabriola area had the highest voter turnout in the Regional District of Nanaimo.

There will be some major change at the RDN Board this term - only two incumbents will be returning from the Electoral Areas, Maureen Young (EA C) and Bob Rogers (EA E). Both were acclaimed.

Only two of the City of Nanaimo incumbents for Council were re-elected - Ian Thorpe (who served as Vice-Chair of the RDN this past term) and Sheryl  Armstrong, who also served on the RDN Board as a City representative this past term.

With shifts also happening in Parksville, Qualicum Beach, and Lantzville, the RDN Board will look very different than it has for the last two terms.

Craig said, “I’ve been making contacts through the campaign, planning meetings, and I’m looking forward to working with all these fresh people. There is a huge change at the RDN Board.”

Langereis said there will be twelve incumbents returning to the Islands Trust Council, and fourteen new Trustees.

“So that will be a big change.”

Colbourne said there are members of the Executive Council who are looking at stepping back from that leadership role.

The implications of that being that the Gabriola Local Trust Committee could see a new person from Executive coming in to take the LTC chair position.

The inaugural RDN Board meeting will be on November 13 at 7pm.

The Gabriola LTC’s first meeting of the new term is scheduled for November 22.

Craig’s win percentage of 67% is one of the largest for Gabriola, for either RDN or Islands Trust. She pointed out that it’s hard to compare, as she was running against a single opponent. The only wider margin in recent history would be when Gail Lund won as RDN Director in the 2002 election with 74% of the vote. As with Craig, Lund was running against a single opponent.

In 2011, Houle (running as a first time RDN candidate) earned 57% of the vote running against three opponents. Sheila Malcolmson, running for Islands Trust, earned 50.6% against two opponents.

Unofficial results for the School Board election for Nanaimo-Ladysmith  School District show a mix of new and incumbent candidates forming the new board.

Earning seats on the board were:

Jessica Stanley: 11,941

Lisa Marie Barron: 11, 143

Tania Brzovi: 10,052

Greg Keller: 9,874

Stephanie Higginson: 9,227

Charlene McKay: 9,180

Chantel O’Neill

Bill Robinson: 8,665

Elaine Wilkinson: 8,333