Election night 2022 made history in the Blue Mountain town.
For the first time in the history of the city, four women were elected to the council.
Incumbent councilman Andrea Matrosovs easily won the mayoral seat in a four-time race. The sailors will be joined at the assembly table by current deputy mayor Peter Bourdignon, who received the accolade, and councilors Paula Hope, Gail Ardiel, June Porter, Alex Maxwell and Sean McKinlay.
Matrosovs was in the council sessions when the results were announced and celebrated with friends and family.
“I’m relieved. I’m very excited. I can’t wait to work with the new council,” she said. “Tonight we elected four women to the council and that’s something to celebrate.”
Matrosov took the time to praise the outgoing council and said that everyone in the council worked hard until the end of the mandate.
“They’ve all been solid and dedicated council members, we’re going to have a great transition,” Matrosovs said.
Four years ago, Hope missed out on being elected by just 15 votes (she later joined the council after Deputy Mayor Odette Bartnicki resigned). This time she topped the polls with 2,947 votes.
“It is what I had hoped for and I am delighted for my fellow councillors. We have a very strong board,” Hope said. “It’s amazing that we have gender parity in the council.” It’s a real achievement and it means a lot to me that we did it.”
New Councilor Gail Ardiel has a long history of serving on the Blue Mountains council. She was the first woman ever elected in the city and returned after a four-year absence.
“I’m very excited. It’s great to go back to the support I got. We’re going to continue with our official plan and big issues,” said Ardiel. “This is going to be very special, four women on the council, it’s the first time. I think great.”
June Porter will join the council four years after narrowly missing out on being elected. Porter was undeterred by the results of the previous election and continued to be vocal on city issues.
“I feel really satisfied,” she said. “I went out there, I was involved and I didn’t miss an opportunity,” Porter said. “I think I’ve been rewarded for how I’ve shown my commitment to the community over the last four years.”
Sean McKinlay was elected to a seat on the council on Monday night, continuing a family tradition. His uncle, Duncan McKinlay, was a long-time councilman and Gray County trustee.
“What a ride.” What an experience,” McKinlay said of the campaign. “Now it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.”
The Blue Mountains election results are still unofficial until they are certified by an official.