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Western Regional Service Board was in a good place when Downer left, Barbara Barter

Barbara Barter took over as chair of the Western Regional Service Board following Don Downer’s resignation in June.
Barbara Barter took over as chair of the Western Regional Service Board following Don Downer’s resignation in June. - Diane Crocker/The Western Star

Barbara Barter doesn’t think that Don Downer moving out as chair of the Western Regional Service Board and her moving in has changed things all that much for the board.

“The board was already in a process that they knew well,” said Barter, who stepped up from vice-chair to chair when Downer resigned in June.

“I think Mr. Downer was here long enough with the board members that the board had a solid understanding of what was happening,” she said.

Downer’s stint as chair was not without controversy though and last November Municipal Affairs Minister Eddie Joyce publically stated he felt it was time for him to step down.

Downer told The Western Star that he had been having issues with the government prior to his resignation, but would not elaborate further.

Barter said it was not for her to say if his resignation had been politically influenced.

“In my mind he decided to move on.”

Barter will remain as chair until a new board takes over in the new year and chooses its chair.

According to the Regional Service Board Act the board can elect its chair from the elected members around table or get an outside third-party, as Downer was.

Barter, who had been mayor of Burgeo and now sits as a councillor, is uncertain if she’ll be part of the new board as the selection process for representatives has not been completed for her sub-region.

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