The Town Council of Gander consists of a Mayor and six elected Councillors who are responsible for policy development and general governance of the municipality of Gander. General elections are held on the last Tuesday in September every four years as per the Province's Municipalities Act.
The Mayor is elected in a separate election and Council is elected at large on a separate ballot with the six individuals receiving the highest number of votes elected to Council. The Deputy Mayor is then chosen from the elected Councillors at the first Council meeting following the general election. While the Councillor who received the highest total number of votes in the election is generally chosen as the Deputy Mayor, this is only a tradition and is not required under the Municipalities Act.
The last Municipal General Election took place on September 24th, 2013. Claude Elliott was returned to the office of Mayor by acclamation and the following citizens were elected to represent the Town of Gander for a four-year period commencing at that time.
Claude Elliott was born and raised in Twillingate, in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. He trained as a Paramedic, graduating in 1973 and moving to Gander with his wife Gerri and their two children. In 2000, he retired from the Gander & District Hospital Board after 27 years of service.
Mr. Elliott was first elected to the Gander Town Council in a 1990 by-election and has served in municipal office since that time. He was elected Deputy Mayor in 1993 and accepted the Mayor’s seat in 1996, when his predecessor was elected Member of the House of Assembly for Gander District in the Provincial Legislature. He was returned as Mayor in the Municipal Elections of 1997, 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2013.
During his time in office, Mayor Elliott has served on every committee of Council, including the Government Restructuring Committee and Physician Recruitment Committee. He has represented the Central Region on the Board of Directors of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador and has chaired MNL’s Membership Committee. He was presented with the tourism industry’s 2005 Ambassador of Newfoundland and Labrador Award and in 2008 received a Priory Vote of Thanks from the Order of St. John.
Mr. Elliott is a member of the Gander Masonic Fraternal and is a past-president of the Rotary Club of Gander. He enjoys fishing and golfing, and is an avid hockey card collector. He spends time with son Shawn in Gander and regularly vacations in Hawaii with daughter Tina and grandchildren Jake and Will.
Cyril Abbott was born in Bonavista in 1955 and moved to St. John's three years later where he lived prior to moving to Alberta in 1981. He returned to Newfoundland in 2010. He and wife Pam (Turner) have three children, Jared, Matthew, and Mikala, who live in Alberta, and a step-daughter Shayna in Gander.
Deputy Mayor Abbott has owned or operated businesses ranging from giftware manufacturing and retail to oil and gas services, and brokering agricultural products. He currently operates a pain therapy clinic in Gander with a Naturopathic Consultant designation.
He has a long history of volunteering in various capacities. He served on the Municipal Council in High River, Alberta, for six years and currently Chairs the Canadian Cancer Society in Newfoundland and Labrador and sits on the National Board of that organization.
Deputy Mayor Abbott chairs the Finance Committee of Council and sits on the Parks & Recreation Committee and Tourism & Special Events Committee. He also sits on the Mayor's ad hoc Physician Recruitment Committee and the Gander & Area Community Advisory Board on Housing & Homelessness.
Robert Anstey was elected to the Gander Town Council in September, 2001, and re-elected in the Municipal General Elections of 2005, 2009 and 2013.
Councillor Anstey was born and raised in Gander and has been employed with Canada Post since 1980. He was an active member of the Gander Lions Club for many years, holding every office at least once. During his years with the Gander Lions Club he received the Lion of the Year award twice and for his exemplary service received the Judge Brian Stevenson Award. He has been a Boy Scout Leader and served on the Girl Guide House Committee.
Councillor Anstey is the Chair of the Economic Development Committee and serves on the Parks & Recreation Committee and the Municipal Works & Services Committee. He also represent the Town of Gander on the Urban Municipalities Group.
Councillor Anstey and his wife, Kathy, have two children - Nicole and David.
Brian Dove was born and raised in Twillingate but has lived and worked in the Town of Gander since 1979. He worked in the retail/service industry before joining the Provincial Government’s Tourism, Culture & Recreation Department at the Gander Arts & Culture Centre in 1990. He spent 10 years as Theatre Technician and became the Centre’s Regional Manager in 1999.
He has been active in theatre throughout his life, has been a member of the Avion Players since 1986 and currently chairs the Newfoundland and Labrador Drama Society. He and wife Michele have one son, Alex, who is pursuing post-secondary studies at Memorial University in St. John’s.
Councillor Dove chairs the Tourism & Special Events Committee of Council and sits on the Public Safety & Human Resources Committee and Economic & Social Development Committee. He also represents Council on the Boards of the North Atlantic Aviation Museum, Thomas Howe Forest Foundation and Destination Gander.
Born in 1962, Councillor Lorenzen attended school in Gander Academy and graduated from Gander Collegiate in 1979. He pursued a career in aviation safety and has worked at Gander International Flight Service Station since 1982. A large portion of his professional career was spent as a local, regional and national union representative and eventually served as the VP for Flight Service for Ontario and East plus several Arctic stations. Mr. Lorenzen and wife Cathy, also a Gander native, have two children, Allison and Steven.
Councillor Lorenzen has been an active community volunteer with 12 years in fire rescue and as a first aid instructor, and is perhaps best known as a long-time Karate instructor. He is also an active swimmer, windsurfer, biker and photographer and is a strong proponent of recreation and an active lifestyle for the Town's citizens. He also runs a motorsports team that competes in Targa NL and through that team raises funds for the Autism Society of NL and the Central North East Health Foundation. He also writes a newspaper column for the Beacon called Perpetual Motion.
Councillor Lorenzen is chair of the Public Safety & Human Resources Committee and sits on the Municipal Works & Services and Finance Standing Committees, as well as the Airport Terminal Building Committee and Wastewater Steering Committee.
Sarah McBreairty was born in 1983 in Corner Brook and moved to Gander in 1986 with parents Hope and Sheldon McBreairty. She and husband Neal Blackmore have two sons, Kelson and Hayden.
After completing three years of an undergraduate degree in philosophy at MUN, Ms. McBreairty attended the Culinary Institute of Canada at Holland College in PEI. Throughout and following that training, she worked in BC, PEI and in Gander, and is currently completing her university degree.
She serves on the Board of Directors for the Gander Status of Women Council, holding various committee and executive positions during her tenure.
Councillor McBreairty chairs the Parks & Recreation Committee of Council and sits as a member of the Economic Development Committee and the Tourism & Special Events Committee. She also represents Council on the Multiplex Committee, Cobb's Pond Rotary Park Redevelopment Committee and The Roads to End Violence.
Born on Gander's former townsite, Councillor Gerry Parrott received his education at Gander Academy and Gander Collegiate. After working for a local firm in Gander, he joined Transport Canada/Nav Canada as an Air Traffic Controller in November, 1969, retiring in April, 2005.
Councillor Parrott has been involved with many organizations, including the Gander Curling Club, Gander Golf Club and the Gander and Area Snowmobile Club.
Mr. Parrott was elected to Council in the September, 2012, Municipal By-Election and re-elected in the 2013 Municipal General Election. He chairs the Municipal Works & Services Committee and serves on the Public Safety & Human Resources Committee and the Finance Committee. Councillor Parrott also represents Council on the Civic Enhancement Committee and 91 CEF Advisory Board.
To see our list of previous councils throughout our history, please click here.