A mix of old and new
Municipal elections produce a familiar roster of mayors, but new councils

by Ian Elliot
Northern News Services

NNSL (Oct 24/97) - Three councillors got promoted and three mayors held their jobs in six municipal elections held around the NWT on Monday night.

The big shakeup was on the councils, where a veritable flood of newcomers filled council seats in Norman Wells, Fort Smith, Fort Simpson, Iqaluit, Yellowknife and Hay River.

The desire for change was evident in each community. In five of the six there was a race for mayor, and there were at least three more council hopefuls than seats in each of the towns that went to the polls.

Following are the results of each election. The number of votes each candidate received is noted, and each person is indentified as I for incumbent or N for newcomer.


Norman Wells has a new mayor as councillor Frank Pope outpolled newcomer Kevin Diebold 168-123 on Monday night. Incumbent Max Melnyk did not run.

For council, only one incumbent was in the race, and Tim Melnyk snagged the last of the five council seats with 149 votes. Newcomers Jim R. Brown (216), Elaine Somers (216), Celina Stroeder (195), and Ann Marie Tout (195) formed the rest of the council.

Finishing outside contention were Margaret McDonald (97), Dan Chizen (92), Lee Smith (66), Daryl Dannish (59), Sonia Lafleur (50) and Mark Moir (10).


Iqaluit also got a new mayor as Joe Kunuk did not run for re-election. Jimmy Kilabuk, who has been a councillor since 1975, topped the three-man field with 321 votes, edging out Adam Itorcheak (285) and Bryan Pearson (272).

Eight councillors were elected from a field of 11 and six are newcomers. Incumbent Ben Ell topped the field with 577, followed by Lynda Gunn (N-563), Simon Nattaq (N-562), Joshua Kango (N-526), John Matthews (N-524), Matthew Spence (N-510), Gosah Uniuqsaraq (I-477) and Douglas Lem (N-453). Not elected were newcomer Barry Cornthwaite (342) and incumbent councillors Kenn Harper (324) and Bryan Hellwig (292).


Incumbent Mayor Jack Rowe was returned by acclamation, but 11 people competed for eight councillor's positions.

Incumbent Robert Bouchard topped the vote-getters with 674, and trailing him were Dean McMeekin (I-671), Donna Lee Demarcke (N-579), Raymond Young (I-546), Red McBryan (I-517), Sandra Stanway (N-507), Bruce Sutherland (N-502) and Verne Tordoff (I-467). Not elected were newcomers Carl Simms (393), Eliza Lawrence (347) and Warren Gibb (294).


Incumbent Norm Prevost defeated John Hazeberg for the mayor's post in Fort Simpson, 226-99.

Eight councillors were elected from a field of 11. Elected were: Carl Lafferty (N-236), Robert Hanna (I-234), Marilyn Napier (N-219), Owen Rowe (I-200), Gordon Villeneuve (N-201), Ron McCagg (N-197), Tom Wilson (I-195), Lindsay Waugh (I-160). Out of contention were Pat Wood (112), Ken Brown (142) and Daniel LaPierre (159), although a recount will take place as Lapierre finished just one vote out of the eighth council position.


Councillor Peter Martselos stepped up into the mayor's job on Monday night as he defeated newcomer John Mageean 628-297.

Three newcomers and five incumbents filled out the eight-person town council. The new council is; Loreen Foye (I-652), Charles Kennedy (I-609), Robert Sanderson (N-594), Pat Burke (I-588), John Berg (N-554), Lou Sebert (I-548), Mike Couvrette (N-522) and Duncan MacPherson (I-501). Three newcomers failed to win seats: Bernie Minute (499), Jim Bassingthwaite (425) and Craig MacPherson (335).


Incumbent Mayor Dave Lovell held off challenger Matthew Grogono by the slimmest of margins Monday night, keeping his seat 1137-1131. It was the closest finish in city history and stood up after a Wednesday recount requested by Grogono.

Elected to council were Dave Ramsay (N-1,898), Robert Slaven (N-1,819), Bob Brooks (I-1,672), Cheryl Best (N-1,577), Peggy Near (N-1,545), Blake Lyons (I-1,435), Kevin O'Reilly (N-1,390) and Ben McDonald (N-1,233).

Not elected were Dan Hayward (1,209), Melody McLeod (1,164), John Best (1,118), Merlyn Williams (1,057), Bob Findlay (832), Larry Adams (690), Mike Bryant (527), John Murray (510), Cam Kos (498) and Dave Anderson (357).