Lefebure confirms fall bid to reclaim mayor’s chair

Jon Lefebure will challenge North Cowichan Mayor Tom Walker — if Walker runs again — for the municipality’s top seat in the Nov. 19 election.

Lefebure narrowly lost his mayoral chair to Walker in the 2008 election, and he’s the first hopeful to announce a run for the mayoral post in 2011.

Lefebure told the News Leader Pictorial his concerns about preserving North Cowichan’s environment, while helming development, coaxed him back into politics.

“I feel a real need for balance between development and protecting the environment, and I just don’t see that happening without the right hand on the controls.”

He realized Chemainus’ controversial Echo Heights development could be underway when voting ends Nov. 19.

Still, Lefebure hoped to have input in publicly owned Echo Heights many folks want saved as a park.

“A future council will still have to make decisions about the development, but they’re putting a comprehensive development plan in place now for that property.”

That plan, and others led by Walker’s council, doesn’t contain enough ecological safeguards in Lefebure’s books.

“Environment’s been slipping off the radar. I’d like to see more emphasis back on it.”

He also wants more care in how council’s decisions affect the lives of North Cowichanians.

“We affect the social fabric of everything from grants to neighbourhood development plans. I’m just afraid council’s not really interested in that kind of thing, and I want to get us back on track.”

Meanwhile, Walker was still mulling his direction.

“My vacation is at the beginning of August. I’ll go to my cabin in the Chilcotin, go fishing and ask myself if I should stay involved or not.”

Councillor John Koury also said he hasn’t decided whether to run for mayor.

“I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about it,” said the recent federal Tory hopeful.

Duncan Mayor Phil Kent was nearly sure about running.

“At this point I’m pretty certain I’ll be running again. There’s still lots to do.”

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