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DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Leonard Hiebert, the current director of Electoral Area D for the Peace River Regional District, has decided to let his name stand for reelection to a third term.

Though it was a tough decision, he said, it was made in consultation with both the community he represents and his family. 

Hiebert is proud of some of the achievements that have come from his time on the regional district board but says there is still much work to be done. 

Connectivity and communication for the PRRD’s Area D and the district overall are two of the main areas he has focused on in the past and plans to continue working in to serve his constituents. 

Several pockets of the PRRD’s Area D still have no cellphone service, Hiebert explained, speaking with Energeticcity.ca over a crackling phone connection. Broadband connectivity is an issue for even larger portions of the region. 

“We know that, going forward, and we’re working on getting those done,” he said. 

Area D is a rural region that stretches south from the Peace River towards Dawson Creek and to the Alberta border in the east. It includes Rolla, Farmington, Tomslake, and other communities along the Alaska Highway and Rolla Road.

Communication about the PRRD and the processes, discussion, and debate that go into specific decisions was a sticking point early on in Hiebert’s tenure and an area that saw significant, community-led improvements during it. It is also something Hiebert wants to keep improving should he win another term. 

“At one of my community roundtables a few years back, [someone] suggested that we maybe start videotaping the meetings,” Hiebert explained. 

“Now that we’re recording those meetings, they can actually see how we get to those conclusions on those resolutions.”

All PRRD meetings are now livestreamed and recorded for members of the public to view. This began before the pandemic required the incorporation of such technology for these meetings.

Communication between the PRRD and constituents is one element of these vital connections. Another is communication between Hiebert and the community he represents—a line he wants to build up again.

The idea to record PRRD meetings came out of a community roundtable—a casual meeting with constituents Hiebert hopes to hold more of in the future.

“COVID has really kind of knocked that back, the communication that we used to have in just sitting over a table, having coffee,” he said. “It’ll be good to work on getting that back on track again.”

The Municipal General Election will be held in October, 2022. PRRD board members, like city councillors, will be chosen by voters during this process.

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Grace Giesbrecht

Grace Giesbrecht is a news reporter for EnergeticCity.ca who recently graduated from Trinity Western University with a bachelor of arts in Media + Communications. She was born and raised just outside of Fort St. John. She began reporting for her university’s student newspaper and interned with Ottawa Life Magazine where she developed a passion for asking questions, telling stories, and the written word. In her free time, you can find her drinking coffee, snowboarding, or reading novels.