The City of Prince Rupert has six elected Councilors and one elected Mayor. They each serve 4 year terms. Get to know our Mayor and Councilors!
Mayor Lee Brain
Lee Brain is currently the Mayor of Prince Rupert and is a fourth-generation “Rupertite”. Raised in Prince Rupert, he spent his time working with at-risk youth, as well as getting, involved in the community through volunteering on First Nations issues, arts, sustainability and facilitated group development.
Lee attended Simon Fraser University from 2003-2009, focusing his studies in Developmental Psychology, Sustainable Community Development and Dialogue. He studied various governing systems and different methods of group development and also holds a Certificate in Innovative Leadership. Lee has over five years of professional facilitation experience and training, along with extensive experience in conflict resolution and mediation.
As a hands on learner, Lee met with a variety of local governments in international cities analyzing innovative 21st Century community models. Lee also spent a month on one of the world's largest oil refineries in India in 2009. There he learned the many processes involved in global oil operations – knowledge that will be important to a Province facing potential hyper-economic activity.
Lee enables healthy and positive people interactions by using root cause analysis to identify innovative solutions to common group/organizational problems. Lee’s facilitation experience combined with his passion, energy and enthusiasm would be an ideal asset for any group seeking to become more effective, innovative and engaged.
Councillor Barry Cunningham
Councilor Barry Cunningham has lived in Prince Rupert for 37 years, working first as a flooring contractor and now in environmental response for the Canadian Coast Guard.
Barry’s volunteer activities have included the Prince Rupert Labor Council, the Unemployed Action Centre, Executive member of Prince Rupert Minor Hockey, and minor soccer coach.
Barry’s focus on Council is promoting economic development with a focus on equality, fairness, labor issues and environmental commitments from industry.
Barry is considered an avid listener who endeavors to hear all the facts before addressing an issue. He resides in Prince Rupert with his wife, enjoying the company of his 3 children and 5 grandchildren.
Councillor Blair Mirau
Blair Mirau is a born-and-raised Rupertite and is currently the Economic Development Officer for the Gitmaxmak'ay Nisga'a where he is responsible for managing their business initiatives. Blair also has experience in City Hall as grant writer, where he won an international award for his work. Blair is a professional member of the Economic Development Association of Canada and has volunteered with the local Chamber of Commerce and Youth Soccer Association. Blair's focus on council is: enhancing accountability, increasing efficiency and planning for prosperity. When not working, you'll most likely find Blair hiking, playing tennis or kayaking around Kaien Island.
Councillor Wade Niesh
Wade Niesh was not born here but has lived in Prince Rupert since the age of 1 1/2 when his family moved here. He is married and has three daughters.
Currently he is operating his own business as a building contractor. He has worked in other jobs in the community such as an airport technician, bus driver and in retail which have allowed him to converse with many different people of the community and outsiders.
He has always worked hard at everything he has taken on and wishes to apply that to his time on council. He now wants to hear from the people of our community and make wise, common sense decisions to move our community into a better position all around starting with an open for business attitude which will allow us to create jobs and economic prosperity. By moving in this direction he feels our city can work towards building a better place for locals and newcomers to live in.
Councillor Gurvinder Randhawa
Gurvinder Randhawa and his family, including his three children, have been living in Prince Rupert for over 23 years. He has a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education in India. After arriving in Prince Rupert, Gurvinder also attended Northwest Community College for a few years to continue his education.
In India, Gurvinder worked as an auditor with the Accountant General. He is currently self employed as an owner-operator of a driving school as well as a local taxi. He is an active member of the recreation community, and has coached minor soccer for many years. He has served on the Board of Directors for Tourism Prince Rupert and also serve as a board member of the Northwest Community College.
As a Councillor, Gurvinder advocates for training and employment opportunities for residents, so that there is as much local economic benefit as possible from industry. Gurvinder also advocates for policy to attract new economic opportunities and encourage growth in existing businesses. Additionally, he is concerned with the renewal of Prince Rupert’s aging infrastructure.
Councillor Joy Thorkelson
Councillor Thorkelson arrived in Prince Rupert in 1974. This is her third term as City Councillor.
Joy’s focus on Council is workers’ concerns and issues affecting poverty and employment. She works for environmentally responsible growth and for jobs for local people. Improved social programs, the fishing industry, and fostering better relationships with our neighboring First Nations’ communities are some of the issues Joy, as a Councillor, brings attention to.
Committee activities include working on the Prince Rupert Library Board and on short term social issue committees.
In addition to her Council activities Joy is the Union representative for those in the fishing industry, labor representative on a wide range of issues, social and environmental activist, and “Mom”.
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