Retired fire chief Micke McKinlay is looking forward to his role as Duncan’s newest city councillor. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

Retired fire chief Micke McKinlay is looking forward to his role as Duncan’s newest city councillor. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

McKinlay looking forward to new role as Duncan councillor

Former fire chief took second highest number of votes in election

Mike McKinlay said his first year as a councillor with the City of Duncan will be a learning experience for him.

The retired firefighter, who received the second highest number of votes after incumbent Garry Bruce among the council candidates for the City of Duncan during the municipal elections on Oct. 15, said he has much to learn about being a councillor as he’s never been a local politician before.

But McKinlay said he’s delighted to be given the opportunity by voters to represent them at the council table.

RELATED STORY:MIKE McKINLAY RECIPIENT OF DUNCAN’S 2021 SCROLL OF HONOUR

“My main reason for running for a council seat was that the City of Duncan had paid my wages for more than 30 years, and I felt it was time to give back a little,” McKinlay said.

“I was really surprised and pleased I received the second most votes (563) among the candidates and I’m looking forward to getting down to work. I’ve been doing orientation since the election and our first council meeting will be held on Nov. 7.”

McKinlay started with the Duncan Fire Department in 1987 and moved up through the ranks and became the fire chief in 2008, a position he held until his retirement last year.

He was the recipient of the City of Duncan’s 2021 Scroll of Honour which recognizes long-term service to the community.

McKinlay, the only new councillor at the table, will be joined by re-elected incumbents Bruce, Carol Newington, Tom Duncan, Jenni Capps, and Stacy Middlemiss.

Incumbent Mayor Michelle Staples won her seat by acclamation.

RELATED STORY: FEW CHANGES ON DUNCAN CITY COUNCIL AS FIVE INCUMBENTS, ONE NEWCOMER ELECTED

McKinlay said he has gotten to know a lot of people in Duncan over the time he’s worked with the city, and he’s looking forward to interacting with the public as a councillor.

“I’ve been on the work side of the city for many years, and it’s interesting and exciting to now be on the side of the city that gives direction,” he said.

“I remember years ago, a worker in the city’s public works department said he was going to run for city council when he retired. He didn’t, but I thought about what he said so I decided to run after my retirement.”

McKinlay said he has no particular pet projects or initiatives to pursue at this stage of his new career as a councillor, and will concentrate for the time being on learning all he can to be the best councillor he can be.

“The new council looks good to me and I think I’ll be able to work with everyone there,” he said.

“I’ll listen to them and I think they’ll listen to me. I’ve always backed the NDP in senior levels of government but, for me, at the local level it’s really more about the individual than any political party.”

McKinlay and his wife have two children and three grandchildren.

He said they all supported him when he announced he was running for council, and two of his grandchildren helped him put election signs up around the city.

“My kids were a little apprehensive at the beginning, but they fully supported me during the campaign,” McKinlay said.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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Election 2022