THREE RIVERS, P.E.I. - History has been made in the new Town of Three Rivers.
Ed MacAulay is the first-ever mayor of the newly formed municipality of roughly 7,500 people.
The new mayor celebrated his victory with some of his supporters at Clam Diggers Beach House & Restaurant in his hometown of Cardigan.
“It’s pretty exciting first of all, but it’s pretty humbling, too,” he said. “I’m certainly excited to embark on this challenge.”
Three Rivers is the amalgamation of Montague, Lower Montague, Georgetown, Valleyfield, Cardigan, Brudenell and Lorne Valley, as well as some of the unincorporated communities in the area’s three fire districts. The town formed in September.
MacAulay said being mayor of a newly formed municipality will not be without challenges.
“It’s a lot of stuff ahead, and we’ve just got to take it one step at a time,” he said. “It’s pulling the councillors together and making sure the councillors are communicating with their community and get all the good, the bad and the ugly on the council table and then start to work through it.”
MacAulay took an early lead in the evening with a major lead in Ward 8 where he received 154 votes. James Bagnall had the second most votes in the ward with 32.
The lead continued for the rest of the evening as the rest of the polls were counted. MacAulay also led the advance polls with 502 votes. Bagnall received the second-most advance poll votes with 247.
MacAulay, won the election with 1,378 votes, which is just under 50 per cent of the votes.
MacAulay said he credits some of his victory to the desire for change in the Three Rivers area, which he will help provide.
“We kind of elect our MLAs to come in and be our voice, but they lose our voice in Charlottetown,” he said. “So, we’re going to start building our community within and for the future we’ll probably be saying ‘this is what we need and this is how you can help us but this is our show we’re going to make it work’.
“We’re just going to try to change the dynamic that’s been happening over the last number of years.”
MacAulay said his first order of duty will be going to a meeting with the current interim council next week.
MacAulay previously served on the Cardigan council for nine years until 2012. He is a social worker for Ed MacAulay Counselling Services.
Monday night’s decision also formed the first town council for Three Rivers. There are 12 councillors for the town.
Going into the race, Alan Munro was elected as councillor in Ward 2 by acclaimation. Isaac MacIntyre won Ward 9 the same way.
The winners of the remaining wards are as follows:
Ward 1, Coun. Jane King won over Billy Johnston with 133 votes; Ward 3 went to Gerard Holland with 180 votes; Ronnie Nicholson won Ward 4 with 163 votes; Ward 5 was won by Cameron MacLean with 158 votes to Brian Harding's 107; David McGrath won Ward 6 with 111 votes; Cindy MacLean won Ward 7 with 197 votes; Cody Jenkins won Ward 8 with 129 votes.
Three councillors came from Ward 10: John MacFarlane, Debbie Johnston, and Wayne Spin.
Meanwhile, James Bagnall had the second most votes in the mayoral race with 580.
Peggy Coffin finished with 344 votes. Former Montague mayor Richard Collins received 294 votes. Anne VanDonkersgoed had 254 votes.