Courtenay council paid tribute Monday to outgoing councillor Ronna-Rae Leonard at its final meeting before the municipal election Saturday.
“Although she and I did not always agree on issues, I want to say how much I admire her strength and her dignity,” Coun. Starr Winchester said of Leonard, who has served on council the past nine years.
She described Leonard as a “woman with a vision” who will tackle any project or issue for the betterment of the community.
“Your dedication and commitment to our city has always been evident,” Winchester said.
Coun. Jon Ambler commended Leonard for her persistence and consistency, and for being an inspiration to women.
“You were a force for good,” he said.
Coun. Manno Theos said Leonard paved the way for him at the Vancouver Island Regional Library Board.
“It isn’t always easy,” Leonard said about her time on council, noting the changing political environment and a sometimes “disgruntled” public. She encourages all women to involve themselves in politics.
Leonard was seeking the NDP nomination in the new federal riding of Courtenay-Alberni, won by Gord Johns.
She ran in the 2011 federal election as the NDP candidate in Vancouver Island North, garnering the most NDP votes ever. Conservative MP John Duncan won in a close vote.