by Brandon Mayer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
In a North Dundas Council meeting lasting nearly three hours on Tuesday, January 18, the first order of business was for the newest member of the Council team – Councillor Theresa Bergeron – to take the oath for her position. Councillor Bergeron took the oath witnessed by the Clerk, and then immediately took her seat at the Council table for her first meeting in her new position.
Councillor Bergeron was chosen to fill the position left after the resignation of Tyler Hoy on December 1 of last year. At the time, Tyler declined to comment on why he was resigning his position, and the Township did not provide a reason in its release on December 2 either. Tyler had served three years on Council at the time of his resignation. He had been the subject of significant controversy in the summer of 2020 after he called the Black Lives Matter social justice movement a “terrorist group” in a comment on social media. For his comment, Tyler received a formal reprimand from Council in a special meeting held on August 24 of that year. No further controversies occurred, and there is no indication that this incident had anything to do with Tyler’s premature departure.
Councillor Bergeron was chosen to fill Tyler’s vacancy as she had the next highest number of votes in the 2018 municipal election, after those Councillors who won their seats. When a sitting Councillor is removed from office, resigns, or dies, the remaining Council members must decide whether to appoint a replacement or hold a by-election. This decision often depends heavily on when the next municipal election will be – there is little sense in holding a costly by-election if an appointed replacement will serve only a short term. But, at the same time, Council members are supposed to be elected, and so public opinion often strongly favours by-elections to fill vacant seats when there is still a significant portion of the 4-year term left to serve.
Given that municipal elections are scheduled for later this year, many municipalities, including Merrickville-Wolford and Brockville, have recently appointed replacements for members of Council who resigned or died. Councillor Bergeron could not be reached for comment.
Theresa was born and raised in Cornwall. She obtained a BA in life sciences from Queen’s, and an MSc in nutrition from the University of Guelph.
She moved to South Mountain in 1983, where she raises Angora goats. In 1992 she developed mohair socks from their fleeces and trademarked them under Thermohair.
From its small beginnings, the business has expanded, and the socks are now sold across Canada, and in the United States and Japan. For the last three years, she is one of 12 on the committee writing the Canadian Goat Code of Practice. This will be the reference manual for the Canadian dairy, meat and fibre goat industry, outlining the required and recommended practices.
In her spare time, she tends to her gardens and permaculture orchard, always sharing the extra bounty with friends and neighbours.