Photo by Marianne Curtis
Newly elected RM of Stuartburn councillor Christine Friesen is the first woman to be elected to council within the municipality.
By Marianne Curtis
When I first met Christine Friesen, she was a teenager mourning the loss of her father, Rick Tkachuk. At the time of his passing in September 2003, Tkachuk had spent one year on the RM of Stuartburn council as reeve and seven as councillor for Ward one.
Nine years later his middle daughter Christine has successfully followed her father’s footsteps and taken the seat of ward 1 councillor in a recent by-election. Not only did she win the seat, she became the first woman to ever sit on council in the municipality after capturing 64 votes out of the 142 ballots cast.
The twenty-five year old mother of three lives on the family farm in Gardenton with her husband Isaac.
“Politics has always interested me,” Friesen explained. “When I was a little girl I would wait for dad to come home and then I would listen to him talk about the meetings. It interested me.”
Friesen says she has considered municipal politics for awhile but didn’t plan on pursuing it until her children were older. However when the recent opportunity to seek election came up she listened to supporters and asked for votes.
“This is where I was mean to be – I want to leave my mark on something,” Friesen continued. While she is the first woman ever elected to council in the RM of Stuartburn, she is confident that there will be no issues.
“I am not at all intimated with being a part of council,” Friesen stated. “We’ve known each other for many years – I will add a different point of view to the table.”
Friesen says there is one piece of advice her father that she will carry with her during the remainder of the term.
“He always taught me to stand my ground – I know he did and a lot of people respected him for that,” she shared. “When I was campaigning I asked people what they wanted done – the fact they could get their voices heard I think made the difference.”
Friesen says she is looking forward to serving the ratepayers while carrying on a legacy which began with her grandfather John Tkachuk, who also served on the RM of Stuartburn council.
New councillor elected in Stuartburn
The RM of Stuartburn has a few face at the table after a recent by-election took place in the municipality.
On August 29, Ward 1 residents within the RM of Stuartburn showed their confidence in Christine Friesen. Friesen became the first woman to ever sit on council in the municipality after capturing 64 votes out of the 142 ballots cast.
The remaining 78 ballots cast were split between the remaining three candidates including Doug Penner (33 votes); David Shewhuck (24 votes) and Guy Bouchard (21 votes).
The by-election was called after former councillor Dan Bodz stepped down from his positi0on after serving several consecutive terms.