Miss Universe bid backed by council

. . . pending amendment to policy

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

A High Prairie woman is likely receiving $1,000 from High Prairie town council in her bid to become Miss Universe.

The decision was reached at council’s June 25 meeting contrary to its current sponsorship policy and subject to changing the policy at a future meeting.

Samantha Stokes, former High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo Queen and Miss Rodeo Canada, is running for Miss Universe. CAO Brian Martinson put together a package asking if council was interested in sponsoring.

Councillor Debbie Rose moved to sponsor Stokes $1,000 which drew a quick response from Councillor Donna Deynaka.

“As much as I’m torn on this one, I see the potential to get High Prairie on the world stage,” said Deynaka.

However, she added, council’s policy was clear it did not sponsor individuals.

Later, Rose amended her motion to include subject to policy amendment.

Councillor Brian Gilroy said he spoke to people in town and heard arguments for and against. He also argued precedent citing council would have to support bids for Miss Teen Canada and Olympics contestants.

Rose was quick to defend her motion and received support from Mayor Brian Panasiuk and Councillor Arlen Quartly.

“I think this is beyond an individual,” said Rose, adding Stokes brought attention and recognition to High Prairie for her past achievements.

“It’s a special consideration.”

She added final argument.

“She’s a town employee.”

Quartly agreed.

“I think this is fantastic. She’s stepping into the national scene. I don’t think $1,000 is enough. What an opportunity for her and us to back her.

“To me, it’s necessary,” he added. “We have to back this young girl.”

“We’re never going to have this opportunity again in our lifetime,” added Panasiuk. This is a once in a lifetime thing.

“For me, it’s an exception to the policy,” he added. “This is just giving back, $1,000 is money well spent.”

Panasiuk also alluded to violating the current policy.

“Policies are made to be rewritten. We’ve been there before.”

Rose’s motion passed with Deynaka and Gilroy opposed.

Councillors Michael Long and Judy Stenhouse were absent from the meeting.

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