Greater St. Albert Catholic voters, meanwhile, will see at least one familiar face on this fall’s ballot in the form of Joe Becigneul, who confirmed this week he will run for re-election this October as St. Albert ward trustee.
First elected in the 2016 by-election, Becigneul, 65, said he hopes to finish his work on school space utilization if re-elected.
“We’ve got several schools we want to right-size,” he said, and the board needs to find a way to fully utilize its school spaces.
Becigneul was chair of GSACRD when it attempted to address this problem in 2019-2020 through the controversial Faith in Our Future proposal, which, had it been approved, would have had radical effects on thousands of students spread across five schools.
That proposal was quashed last December in the face of public opposition, but not before the board implemented its recommendation to move École Secondaire Sainte Marguerite d’Youville’s high school students to St. Albert Catholic High.
“The key learning from the original Faith in Our Future was you need to involve the school communities that might be impacted right up front,” Becigneul said, adding that future efforts on this front would start with consultation rather than a proposed plan.
Becigneul said he is a good listener and communicator with five years of experience as a trustee. He has previously served as chair of what was then called the St. Albert Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Alberta Business Incubator, and is currently referee-in-chief for the St. Albert Minor Hockey Association and an active member of the Holy Family Catholic Parish.
Becigneul said his top priority, if elected, will be to lobby the province for sustainable school funding.
The Gazette will speak to GSACRD Trustee Greg Schell about his plans to run for re-election later this month.