Five North Cowichan councillors have spent most of the week at the Local Government Leadership Academy in Parksville.
Christopher Justice, Tek Manhas, Rosalie Sawrie, and Debra Toporowski are all new councillors and are learning more about what is required of them in their first term.
Despite more than a decade of experience as a councillor, North Cowichan’s new Mayor Al Siebring is also there and he said there is a lot of discussion and information sharing at this session.
“It’s a lot of networking and a lot of figuring out best practices, what other municipalities are doing, so that we can take some of that knowledge and apply it to our local context,” said Siebring.
There is a lot of information the new councillors have to try and absorb and Siebring recalls his first session at the leadership academy.
“My head was exploding because there was so much new information that I wasn’t aware of,” said Siebring. “All of a sudden, when you’re a newly elected councillor you come to the table thinking you have all the answers. When you go to a few sessions like this you start to figure out that, really, your role is to know what questions to ask so you can get to the right answer.”
Siebring was at this session to support the new councillors as they go through this process for the first time.