Jane Mitchell elected GRCA chair
Waterloo - Jane Mitchell, a member of Waterloo Regional Council from the City of Waterloo, has been elected chair of the Grand River Conservation Authority.
She was elected by the GRCA board of directors at a meeting on Thursday, defeating Vic Prendergast of Brantford and Lorne Boyko of Haldimand County. The 26-member GRCA board is composed of representatives appointed by the municipalities within the Grand River watershed.
Mitchell has been on the board since 2003 and has been first vice-chair since 2007. Mitchell, a partner in a web design firm, has a master’s degree in library and information science and worked as a university librarian. Prior to her election to regional council she was a member of the Waterloo Region District School Board.
Prendergast was acclaimed first vice-chair of the board. Jan D’Ailly of Waterloo was acclaimed second vice-chair. Elections are held for all three positions at the first board meeting of the year.
In her acceptance speech, Mitchell told the board that “the health and safety of our river system, both in water quantity and quality, is a pressing issue as we prepare for the effects of climate change and population growth.”
She noted that the GRCA is working with municipalities, First Nations and federal and provincial agencies to develop a Water Management Plan that will outline actions to be taken over the next 25 years to address water quality, water supply and flooding issues.
“We need to have defined goals and objectives for the watershed, then a plan to fund it,” she said. “We also must have ways of reporting back and measuring our success in meeting our outcomes.”
She said it will be important to work with the provincial and federal governments to ensure the GRCA has enough money to fulfill its mandate, particularly when it comes to maintaining critical flood-control infrastructure such as dams and dikes.
Prendergast, a representative of the City of Brantford, moves to first vice-chair after 10 years as second vice-chair. A board member since 1999, he is a retired management consultant and has been involved with many community organizations including Brantford General Hospital, the Alzheimer Society of Brant and Tourism Brantford.
D’Ailly, who is serving his first term on the board as a representative of the Region of Waterloo, was acclaimed second vice-chair. He served on Waterloo city council from 2003 to 2010. D’Ailly is chief executive officer of a company that develops clean energy from waste. He has also served a board member of the Clay and Glass Gallery and the K-W Symphony.