CAROL LECLERC’S break from public life didn’t last long. After nine years on city council, Leclerc, known for carefully watching the city’s bottom line, decided not to run again last November.
But now, after some thought, she wants to return to the political arena – first to win the BC Liberal Skeena nomination and then to go up against sitting NDP MLA Robin Austin next spring.
“I’ve considered it for a long time and been through the ups and downs of why would you do this,” said Leclerc. “I think it comes down to, it comes down to what’s happening here in the Northwest.”
Born and raised in Terrace, Leclerc said she has a close connection with the region’s economic struggles — especially since the forest industry’s crash in the 1990s.
“When I went on to city council in 2002, it had already been five years of tough times,” she said. “We went knocking on doors looking for any opportunity for economic development and the economic development is now starting to come.”
Leclerc thinks it’s especially important that the region have a government that supports resource development. “I’m not sure that the NDP will do that for us,” she said. “Stuff starts to happen and then they kind of change their tune but if you’re trying to attract people to come here and you want people to have confidence that this is a good place to come, I think that you have to be positive from the start.”
While on council, Leclerc also sat on the regional district and regional hospital district.
Leclerc works in human resources at Coast Mountains School District 82 and has been there since 1990. The 51-year-old mother of three and grandmother of two also recently started a two-year master of professional communication at Royal Roads University.
Leclerc said it is communicating with people that drives her.
“It’s about listening to people and connecting issues and connecting people,” she said, adding she has been and will continue to travel to various communities and talk to people about issues. “I’ll probably be telling them to the Liberal government ahead of time so that if I don’t get elected they know what the issues are,” she said.
“It’s just sharing communication. It’s not top secret. You don’t go in and just represent your small little circle of people. It’s representing everybody in the region, and that’s key for me,” Leclerc said.