Manitoba

Ritchot mayor-elect hopes to move on from RM's past turmoil

The mayor-elect of the rural municipality of Ritchot suggests he’s confident he can get the town council to work together and move past issues that saw his predecessor resign.

'Transparency is my main thing,' Chris Ewen says

Incoming Ritchot Mayor Chris Ewen (centre) with his new council colleagues. (Facebook.com)

The mayor-elect of the rural municipality of Ritchot suggests he's confident he can get the town council to work together and move past issues that saw his predecessor resign.

"The best thing to do is move forward. Sitting in the past, nothing gets done," Chris Ewen, 29, told CBC News on Thursday. "That's just the best way to do this. Work together to build a future." 

Ewen defeated former mayor Jackie Hunt on Wednesday night to become the new mayor of Ritchot. Hunt resigned in May after two years on the job, citing bullying and belligerency from other council members, two of whom also stepped down from their seats.

The RM is about 20 kilometres south of Winnipeg.

Ewen, a political rookie who owns and operates two coffee shops, says he plans to take a business-minded approach to being mayor and work co-operatively with his council colleagues to set priorities for the RM.

"Transparency is my main thing,"  Ewen said. "I'm always available to just talk. If somebody has something they want off their chest, I'm there to listen and you're going to get an answer from me. It may not always be the answer you're going to want to hear, but I would never leave you in the blind. That is my commitment."

The RM council comprises four wards and the mayor's seat. Ewen will work with Couns. Janine Boulanger, Ron Mamchuk, Shane Pelletier and Jeannot Robert. 

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