McCann landslide
Woytuik wins second seat in low-key campaign

Richard Gleeson
Northern News Services

NNSL (Oct 22/99) - It was a case of second-time luck for Dave McCann.

The consultant went down to defeat in the last territorial election but on Wednesday night garnered almost twice as many votes as the next candidate in the municipal byelection.

Official results

David McCann -- 1,146
Alan Woytuik -- 672
Rachel Lawless -- 586
Garth Wallbridge -- 439
Fraser Weir -- 298
Bruce Coomber -- 236
John Dalton -- 212

Turnout: 21 per cent

Asked if he had anticipated such an overwhelming victory, McCann replied, "In a word, no."

Both he and rookie campaigner Alan Woytuik, who won the second seat on council, struggled to contain their emotions at the end of a long wait in City Hall for the election results.

"I'm grateful for all the support the citizens of Yellowknife showed me and I hope I can live up to their expectations," said Woytuik after the results came down. "I'm feeling a little apprehensive right now."

McCann and Woytuik campaigned for fiscal restraint at city hall. Both called for the recent hike in taxes, which sparked outrage among many residents, to be eliminated. They also called for a re-evaluation of all services the city delivers to determine where savings can be made.

The two will fill council seats left empty with the resignations of Dave Ramsay and Peggy Near.

They had one night to savour the victory before getting down to work.

Yesterday both were to attend a meeting to discuss Miramar's request for a two-year break on property taxes at Giant Mine.

The steady stream of voters filing into City Hall, the lone polling station, became a torrent between 5:15 p.m. and 6 p.m. A line up that extended outside discouraged a few voters.

Others who did vote were offended by some of the last-minute campaigning that was going on inside the doors.

"I don't like the fact that Garth Wallbridge and Dave McCann are right inside there," said Monika Rohlmann.

McCann and Wallbridge were stationed in the lounge area just outside the doors of the room in which the voting was taking place, greeting people as they entered and left the room.

Rohlmann went back in to complain to election officials. She said she was told candidates were allowed to be there but were not to talk to voters.

Other voters said they were disappointed with the low profile of the election.

Marjorie Sandercock said she was out of town for much of the election and was disappointed at the lack of campaign pamphlets that were available. Sandercock said she read the answers candidates gave to questions posed by the Yellowknifer, but found most of them "wishy-washy."

"A lot of candidates refused to take a stand on anything," said Sandercock.

A voter who wished to remain anonymous said the election, "did not really capture my attention, but I decided to do my civic duty."