May 23rd, 2024

Tory Campbell named Lethbridge County Reeve


By Dale Woodard on November 5, 2021.

Tory Campbell is back for another term, this time as reeve.
The new Lethbridge County Council was sworn in Oct. 28 at an Organizational Meeting for the 2021-2025 term.
Campbell, representing Division 2, was elected by council as Reeve for the upcoming year. Klaas VanderVeen was elected as Deputy Reeve.
Campbell has been on Lethbridge County Council since 2017 as he begins his second term, joined by council members Lorne Hickey (Division 1), Mark Sayers (Division 3), John Kuerbis (Division 4) and Morris Zeinstra (Division 7).
Division 5 remains vacant with a by-election slated for Dec. 13.  
Campbell, however, gears up for another term.
“It was exciting to be acclaimed and to be welcomed back for a second term,” he said. “I’m grateful and thankful that the residents in our Division thought enough of what I did in the first term to have me back again. That was obviously appreciated and I’m extremely excited for what lies ahead. Being appointed the reeve was a pretty cool moment for me. I was obviously quite excited at the time and I don’t know if it’s really quite set in yet. I’m still kind of floating a bit.”
A political science graduate from the University of Lethbridge in 2008, Campbell said his first stint on council came with a learning curve.
“With my background and my schooling, I did have some familiarity with the government and more specifically, the municipal government. But I don’t think you fully appreciate it until you’re actually in it. It’s a huge learning curve right from the get-go.”
Working on a family farm with his wife, Campbell said working as part of a team was something that was relatively new to him. 
“So working as a team and learning the ropes and finding my own voice and gaining that confidence to speak my mind was huge,” he said “And then it was just going through the whole process and getting confident to the point where I feel comfortable as a councilor and the best part is I feel comfortable in this role as reeve. I’m really excited.”
Upon graduating from the U of L 13 years ago, Campbell said his goal at that time was to work in municipal government before another career opportunity presented itself.
“I thought that would be a great way to make a living,” he said. “Then my wife and I were afforded an opportunity to go farming on our own and we set off in our own direction on our own farm and we’ve been doing that since 2008.”
Then in 2017 the opportunity presented itself to join the political forum.
“I seized that opportunity and I really haven’t looked back. It’s been great so far,” he said.
Campell now joins Hickey, Sayers, Kuerbis and Zeinstra for his next term.
“I think we’d like to carry the momentum we had in the last term,” he said. “I think we did some good work and we were able to accomplish quite a few of the goals the previous council had set up. But now I think it’s coming together with a new team and realigning that focus. We’re going to do planning and see what our trajectory is going to be moving forward.”
The most important step in the immediate future is filling the vacant Division 5 seat.
“So for me, that’s trying to encourage the residents out there in that area to reach out to council, the staff and previous councilors and consider running so we can have an election Dec. 13 and have someone come forward and try to get them acclimatized as fast as we can so that we’re all on even footing,” said Campell, adding he’s looking forward to getting to work with the existing council.
“I think we have some varied backgrounds and varied experiences. We obviously have Lorne, who has been at the county for quite a while with his experience as a reeve. Morris has been here for a while and he obviously brings a wealth of experience and then Klaas and myself are returning for a second term.
“To have two new councilors with various backgrounds, most of us have an agricultural background and to have a small business owner, an entrepreneur and whoever fills that other seat, I think it really balances things out well. We have some different perspectives and different levels of experience and I think that’s going to serve us very well moving forward.”
More information on the Dec. 13 byelection can be found at https://lethcounty.ca/p/election-2021.
Until then, Campell and his councilors get to work.
“One thing I’ve been hearing a lot is we’ve been discussing vaccination rates, rural versus urban, and we as a county continue to stress the message that Dr. Hinshaw keeps relaying, and that’s vaccines are safe and they are our best way forward through this pandemic,” said Campell. “We just continue to stress that. We have a great administrative team at the county and I think we’re all just champing at the bit to get to work.”

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