Longtime school trustee mourned in Chilliwack

Long time Chilliwack school trustee Martha Wiens has passed away.

Long time Chilliwack school trustee Martha Wiens has passed away.

Wiens had been a trustee for more than two decades, and was a frequent visitor to the schools where she acted as a liaison for the board.

She was first elected in the Nov. 17, 1990 election, narrowly beating future Mayor Sharon Gaetz. The election results were close enough for a recount, but Wiens won by a mere 12 votes. In that same election, John Les had been voted in as mayor, and Clint Hames as councillor.

Prior to her work as a trustee, Wiens had been the returning officer for the Chilliwack-Kent electoral district.

In her most recent term as trustee, Wiens was liaison at McCammon, F.G. Leary, Bernard, and East Chilliwack elementary schools. She sat on the budget committee and audit committee.

The school board released a statement on Thursday morning.

“It is with sadness that we share the news that one of our long serving trustees, Martha Wiens, passed away peacefully last evening, surrounded by family. Martha was a dedicated and valued member of our Board of Education, who tirelessly gave of herself and her time, commitment and energy, in support of students in the district. We will miss Martha. Our thoughts and sympathies are with Martha’s family and friends and we join them in mourning.”

The board noted there will be a service to honour Wiens, with details to come in the near future.

Byelection likely

The board won’t have long to mourn the loss of their colleague. According to the school act, Wiens’ passing will trigger the need for a by-election.

With so much time left in this term, the board is mandated to fill the now-vacant position. Section 36 of the school act spells out the process for filling board vacancies, and orders boards to appoint a chief election officer within 30 days, or to notify the municipal council to do the same.

The election day must be set for no later than 80 days after the appointment of that officer. If no by-election is held, the minister of education can fill appoint a trustee.

The last school trustee by-election was held in Chilliwack in 2013, when trustee Louise Piper resigned following an extended medical leave.

At that time, the by-election was estimated to cost the school board about $50,000.

Dan Coulter earned his place on the board, although voter turnout was dismal. Six candidates threw their hat in the ring, but only 2.3 per cent of eligible voters showed up at the polls.

Chilliwack school board has not yet announced a timeline for a by-election.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

UFV grads of 2020 honoured in innovative ways

No convocation ceremony due to pandemic, but grads receive ‘celebration box’

Two-day summit calling for justice reform for Indigenous peoples

National Indigenous Justice Summit July 7-8 will explore calls for justice and policing reform

Expansion announced for Chilliwack’s G.W. Graham secondary

The crowded high school is getting a 450-seat addition that promises to eliminate 8 portables

UPDATE: Missing Chilliwack 35-year-old woman located

The RCMP were asking for the public’s help to find woman not seen in months

Abbotsford Flea Market reopening on Sunday

Market has been closed since March 8 due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Following incident at sea, fishing lodge says it will reopen despite Haida travel ban

QCL reopens July 10, says president; Haida chief councillor describes ‘dangerous’ boating encounter

Kamloops RCMP officer’s conduct under review after blackface jokes on social media

Meinke’s Instagram is private and it’s unclear when the posts were made

NHL says 35 players have tested positive for COVID-19 since June 8

Positive rate for the league is just under 6%

Man charged in Rideau Hall crash had rifle, shotguns, high-capacity magazine: RCMP

Hurren is accused of threatening to cause death or bodily harm to the prime minister

B.C. extends income assistance exemption for COVID-19

Provincial program to match Ottawa’s CERB, student pay

Most Read