April 15, 2024

Man Boutilier remembered as a politician who wasn’t afraid to make enemies or danger his job championing causes for Fort McMurray Wooden Buffalo.

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Man Boutilier, who represented Fort McMurray politically for greater than 28 years and was expelled from his personal social gathering after a struggle a couple of seniors’ care centre, has died. He was 65. Boutilier’s dying was confirmed by Mayor Sandy Bowman in a Friday afternoon assertion.

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“In my brief time as mayor, I at all times appreciated Man’s recommendation and perspective from his distinctive experiences cultivated over a lifetime of service. I’ll miss our conversations and phrases of encouragement, as will many people, I’m certain,” stated Bowman.

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Boutilier was born in Glace Bay, N.S and arrived in Fort McMurray as a summer season scholar in his early 20s. Lengthy-time pal and supporter Willie Hoflin stated Boutilier “fell in love with the place” and stayed. He rapidly turned a volunteer with native hockey and sports activities, and hosted a hockey present on a neighborhood entry channel. His signoff of “we’ve the vitality!” turned his affectionate rallying cry for Fort McMurray.

In 1986, Boutilier turned alderman for what was then the Metropolis of Fort McMurray. After two phrases he turned Fort McMurray’s youngest mayor after narrowly defeating incumbent Betty Collicott. Three years later he turned the primary mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wooden Buffalo. In 1997 he develop into the area’s PC MLA and would face his hardest struggle.

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MLA Man Boutilier speaks with seniors on the Rotary Home’s seniors’ facility in downtown Fort McMurray on January 31, 2008. Picture by Carl Patzel/Fort McMurray Immediately/Postmedia Community

Hoflin says many individuals could be shocked to know Boutilier was shy. As a politician, Boutilier was fast to joke with constituents, journalists, politicians of all stripes and workers. He doted on his spouse, Gail, and son, Mark. He had a comfortable spot for seniors and elders. However Boutilier was additionally able to be combative, incomes him loads of enemies.

“He was not afraid to get in your face if he thought you have been doing the mistaken factor. On the identical time, he could be the primary particular person that can assist you up in case you fell over,” stated Hoflin. “However in his personal time, he was an introvert. As a politician, it’s important to put your self on the market and he labored arduous at that.”

‘I selected to say one thing and I’ll by no means remorse it’: Boutilier

After holding municipal affairs and setting ministry’s below Premier Ralph Klein, Premier Ed Stelmach shuffled Boutilier in 2006 to Alberta’s ministry of worldwide, intergovernmental and aboriginal relations.

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Stelmach promised in 2006 to construct a $35-million, 100-bed persevering with care centre for 2009. The following yr, then-health minister Ron Liepert stated the undertaking was not a precedence due to a rising youthful inhabitants. The undertaking was delayed till 2012.

Boutilier publicly attacked these feedback and was kicked out of cupboard in 2008. In 2009, Boutilier informed the Calgary Herald that native seniors have been stored in “holding cells” and Liebert was “speaking gibberish.” He additionally inspired Fort McMurray residents to protest the federal government’s delay. Boutilier was instantly fired from the Tory caucus.

He sat as an impartial for a yr earlier than becoming a member of the fledgling Wildrose Social gathering and its chief, present premier Danielle Smith. When building on a seniors’ facility started in 2018, Boutilier stated in an interview with Fort McMurray Immediately he had no regrets about his behaviour throughout this time.

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“It’s vital to face on precept. When somebody guarantees one thing and so they don’t ship, you possibly can sit again and say nothing or say one thing,” he stated. “I selected to say one thing and I’ll by no means remorse it.”

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Alberta Atmosphere Minister Man Boutilier hams up a photograph with youngsters within the reflecting pool close to the entrance steps of the Alberta Legislature on this June 2005 Postmedia file photograph.

Not everybody felt this manner, although. Some residents and supporters felt Boutilier’s feud with Stelmach damage Fort McMurray when the neighborhood wanted assist with a swelling inhabitants. Others accused Boutilier of failing to arrange Fort McMurray for the housing, well being care, street and faculty wants of a booming metropolis.

Throughout the 2012 election, Boutilier insisted he pushed for options to those points. However he was defeated by a type of former supporters, former councillor and PC MLA Mike Allen. Boutilier returned to his roots as a councillor the subsequent yr.

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Boutilier later vindicated on points

Similar to on the legislature, he had battles to struggle. Boutilier opposed the Metropolis Centre Space Redevelopment Plan (CCARP), a expensive downtown plan that included an area. He additionally opposed the municipality’s use of senior managers who lived elsewhere and commuted to Fort McMurray. Boutilier’s time on council ended when he was accused of doing the identical by outstanding native enterprise proprietor Robert Vargo.

A authorized problem alleged Boutilier spent most of his time in Edmonton and barely lived at his Thickwood dwelling. Rumours about Boutilier’s residency have been frequent after it was revealed he used his Edmonton dwelling because the deal with for a personal consulting enterprise. The accusations have been by no means confirmed in court docket.

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Boutilier stated he used the Edmonton dwelling so his autistic son may get therapies on the Glenrose Rehabilitation Centre. He was additionally a part-time lecturer on the College of Alberta. In January 2015, Boutilier stated he was resigning to spend extra time with household. Boutilier was final working for Alberta Counsel, a consulting firm based by former Wildrose MLA Shayne Saskiw.

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Councillor Man Boutilier throughout a 2014 council assembly for the Regional Municipality of Wooden Buffalo. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Immediately/Postmedia Community

Vaughn Jessome, Boutilier’s former constituency assistant and a long-time pal, argues Boutilier has been vindicated on his greatest fights. A unbroken care centre at Willow Sq. opened in 2021 and its greater than what Stelmach promised. Former mayor Don Scott offered Boutilier with a Key to the Area in 2021.

On Friday, tributes and condolences to his household poured in from throughout the political spectrum. Smith referred to as him “a Nice Albertan.” NDP Chief Rachel Notley stated he was “captivated with this nice province.” Alberta Power Minister Brian Jean and Conservative MP Laila Goodridge shared fond recollections of serving to Boutilier with campaigns and his love for Fort McMurray Wooden Buffalo.

“He was a passionate man who was devoted to the neighborhood,” stated Jessome. “Historical past will probably be form to Man, there’s little doubt about it.”

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Fort McMurray MLA Guy Boutilier is helped by his son Mark as he casts his vote in the 2008 provincial election. Photo by Carl Patzel/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
Fort McMurray MLA Man Boutilier is helped by his son Mark as he casts his vote within the 2008 provincial election. Picture by Carl Patzel/Fort McMurray Immediately/Postmedia Community
Alberta Minister of Enviroment Guy Boutilier smells an oil spill during a tour of Lake Wabamun after a CN Rail derailment near Whitesands, Alta. on Aug. 3, 2005. Postmedia file photo
Alberta Minister of Enviroment Man Boutilier smells an oil spill throughout a tour of Lake Wabamun after a CN Rail derailment close to Whitesands, Alta. on Aug. 3, 2005. Postmedia file photograph
Environment Minister Guy Boutilier and Premier Ralph Klein test out a Smart car outside the Alberta Legislature on Oct. 20, 2005. Postmedia file photo
Atmosphere Minister Man Boutilier and Premier Ralph Klein check out a Good automotive exterior the Alberta Legislature on Oct. 20, 2005. Postmedia file photograph
Incumbent MLA Guy Boutilier, running for the Wildrose Party against PC Mike Allen in the 2012 Alberta election, makes signs with Fort McMurray-Conklin candidate and former mayor Doug Faulkner. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Today/Postmedia Network
Incumbent MLA Man Boutilier, operating for the Wildrose Social gathering towards PC Mike Allen within the 2012 Alberta election, makes indicators with Fort McMurray-Conklin candidate and former mayor Doug Faulkner. Vincent McDermott/Fort McMurray Immediately/Postmedia Community
Wildrose Leader, Danielle Smith, centre, with L-R: Rob Anderson, Guy Boutilier, Heather Forsyth and Paul Hinman at the Sheraton in Calgary on February 28, 2012. Darren Makowichuk/Calgary Sun/Postmedia Network
Wildrose Chief, Danielle Smith, centre, with L-R: Rob Anderson, Man Boutilier, Heather Forsyth and Paul Hinman on the Sheraton in Calgary on February 28, 2012. Darren Makowichuk/Calgary Solar/Postmedia Community
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Man Boutilier, MLA for Fort McMurray-Wooden Buffalo and Wildrose Chief Danielle Smith on the Wildrose 2010 Annual Common Assembly on the Capri Resort in Pink Deer on Friday, June 26, 2010. Picture by Brendan Miller/Particular to The Calgary Herald

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