Bill Goodacre, a long-time Smithers town councillor, former Bulkley Valley-Stikine MLA and lifelong Smithers booster has died.
In a Facebook post this afternoon, Mayor Taylor Bachrach announced Goodacre passed away Sunday night at the Bulkley Lodge.
Goodacre was first elected to town council in 1990 before going into provincial politics in 1996. He returned to municipal council in 2002, where he remained until the last municipal election with the exception of three years after a failed bid to become mayor in 2008.
In October 2018 he retired from politics for health reasons and was awarded the Freedom of the Municipality, the Town’s highest honour.
“Bill was a tireless ally for indigenous people, especially the Wet’suwet’en, and a was particularly passionate about the Shared Histories project, for which he was an instigator and champion,” Bachrach wrote. “He stuck up for those on the margins, those without homes, and those among us who were suffering. He held a vision of community based on compassion and most of all he wanted people to be kind to each other.”
Nathan Cullen, Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP, recalled it was Goodacre who first convinced him to run for political office.
“He was such an incredible advocate,” Cullen said from Ottawa. “Bill was so unique; he was his own person and loved the valley so much. I loved the guy, such a caring person and totally himself, didn’t care too much what people thought and that’s not too common in politics.”
The new Supportive Housing development is being named in Goodacres honour.
“He has left a mark in our hearts and in our town, and he will be greatly missed,” Bachrach said.
The flags at Town Hall were lowered to half-mast Monday to mark his passing.