Kitselas chief councillor Glenn Bennett confirmed last week he won’t be seeking a sixth two-year term in elections later this year.
“It was a difficult decision, I didn’t make it lightly,” he said, but explained that this is something he’s been thinking about during the last several months.
“It’s been 10 years, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it and I feel extremely honoured that I’ve been able to represent my community over the last five terms,” he said.
“And I feel now that it’s a good time to step aside and allow someone else to see if they would want to fill that position. I think we have a lot of bright and well-educated people within my community.”
He said he didn’t expect to stay on for this long, and said he’ll miss it, but will still be part of the community.
Bennett said he’s proud of what’s been done in the time he’s been chief councillor, citing construction of a series of homes at Gitaus, the Kitselas subdivision just past Kleanza Creek Provincial Park on Hwy16 east of Terrace and which has replaced the band’s Queensway subdivision as a focal point for the band.
A firehall has also been built at Gitaus and a strong relationship built with the Thornhill Volunteer Fire Department.
“Some of the goals that both myself and council have set, we’ve accomplished them, and improved our infrastructure,” Bennett said, pointing out that there’s an agreement in place with the regional district for services for the reserve on Queensway.
He’s also pleased with the stronger relationship Kitselas has made with the City of Terrace too, with the agreement to jointly develop industrial lands adjacent to the airport.
The Kitselas have also been developing the world-class Kitselas Canyon heritage site into a cultural and historical centrepiece.
“We have a lot of work that still needs to go on, and I’m sure that whoever fills that position as chief councillor will certainly do their best to carry on the work that needs to be done for the people of Kitselas,” said Bennett.
“I know there’s a lot of potential from within our community, and it’s time that some of these people come forward and bring something new to the council and the community.”
Bennett will continue working as a treaty negotiator, which is what he was doing before seeking elected office.
He spent one term, between 1999 to 2001, as a band councillor before being elected as chief councillor, replacing Ken McDames Sr.
The current Kitselas council’s term expires June 12 and the band council will be choosing an electoral officer later this month who will then set an election date.