Bob Simpson plans to keep busy after losing his reelection bid for mayor of Quesnel.
According to a news release by B.C.’s Ministry of Forests, Simpson has been named a member of a new advisory council in support of forestry workers and communities.
Simpson said he had known for a while that he would be part of the Forestry Worker Supports and Community Resiliency Council, which includes 18 members from across the province.
“We’ve been waiting for that announcement for a while and are looking forward to the first meeting,” Simpson said. “I’ve had discussions with both the forest minister and the parliamentary secretary for forests, Doug Routley who is chairing the council, and I’m excited to be able to dig into that larger framework of resilient forestry communities and resilient forests which is going to be the focus of that work.”
The council is expected to advise the province on improvements to existing programs and the development of new, forward-looking initiatives aimed at supporting forestry workers and the economic resiliency of rural communities.
Simpson previously served two terms as Quesnel mayor and was defeated by longtime city councillor Ron Paull on Saturday, Oct. 15.
“Elections are determined by those who show up and vote…and this time those who showed up chose an alternate leader, so you have to be willing to accept those outcomes in a democratic process like this,” Simpson said of the unofficial election results which show him having received 969 votes compared to the 1,179 by Paull.
Following his loss, Simpson believes he will be able to further enjoy the simpler things in life and looks forward to volunteering in the community and consulting on projects that interest him, such as forestry innovation, food security and zero waste initiatives.
“Getting out of politics is very freeing — number one, you get your personal life back,” Simpson said. “I’ll be able to go grocery shopping and take my wife out for dinner without having to dispel the latest rumour and correct the impressions people have of things I didn’t do, and so on. There are lots of people who tell you you’re doing good stuff, but part of being a public figure is you become a target when you’re in the public.”
Simpson noted he has always been athletic, and groups that he may reach out to volunteer with are the Cariboo Ski Touring Club and the Gold Rush Cycling Club.
He said he is also interested in possibly getting involved with those working to address some of the social issues within the community.
“My heart has always been in every decision that I’ve made in the eight years as mayor and has always been community-focused, and I’ll continue to have that focus and see our community continue to progress.”
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