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Communities go to the polls

Northern News Services
Published Monday, December 19, 2011

New mayors and councillors were elected in the Northwest Territories last week and one judicial recount was ordered. The results:


In the Hamlet of Enterprise, Mike St. Amour was elected mayor out of a field of three candidates.

St. Amour - a former four-term councillor and the community's fire chief - received 18 votes, while Craig McMaster, the community's deputy mayor, was a close second with 16 votes. Joe Lalonde collected nine votes.

St. Amour, 47, said he was happy and surprised by the vote, especially since he and his wife were stuck in Keg River, Alta., on election day after their vehicle broke down while returning from Christmas shopping. They couldn't get back to Enterprise to vote.

Along with his own vote and that of his wife, they also had two proxy votes, he noted.

"So it was four votes."

As it turned out, he won by two votes.

Now that he has won, St. Amour has a number of priorities, including re-establishing committees, ensuring availability of land for residential and commercial development, and fire prevention.

"Basically get things done and have everything above the table and try to make the town progress," he said.

Whether he will remain fire chief is yet to be discussed, St. Amour noted.

"The fire chief has to be nominated every two years as per the bylaw. I can't nominate myself in that position."

The nomination will take place in the new year.

However, St. Amour said he will continue to be part of the fire department whether or not he is chief.

Mayor Allan Flamand did not seek re-election.

While he failed in his bid to become mayor, McMaster was successful in being re-elected to council by collecting 28 votes.

Two others were elected to council - John Leskiw II with 31 votes and Mathew Gauthier with 23 votes.

Three others were unsuccessful in their council bids - Joe Lalonde (20 votes), Gordon Riehl (10 votes) and Robert Fry (nine votes).

All the successful candidates for mayor and council were elected for two-year terms.

They will be sworn in during the council's first meeting of the new year on Jan. 9.

Of the 63 names on the voters list in Enterprise, 43 cast ballots for a turnout of 68 per cent.

Fort Resolution

In the Hamlet of Fort Resolution, Garry Bailey was elected to a two-year term as mayor.

Bailey, who has been on council for eight years and is currently deputy mayor, will now fill the top post on the new council along with his other role as president of the Fort Resolution Metis


Bailey collected 106 votes, compared to 81 for second-place finisher Carol Ann Chaplin and 48 for Patrick Simon.

Bailey, who was running for mayor for the first time, said he figured the election was going to be close.

"We had a good turnout. It turned out really good," he said. "I think the council is going to be good."

Among other things, he said he will be focusing on the community plan and working on trying to get some pavement for the roads.

Bailey, 38, intends to remain Metis Council president, noting he doesn't think there will be any difficulties in filling both positions and doesn't see any potential conflicts of interest.

"I just can't see how there would be a conflict," he said, noting he represents Metis specifically at the Metis Council and, with the hamlet, he will represent everyone. "For me, it's perfect. I've always wanted to bring the community more united."

Mayor Elizabeth Ann McKay did not seek re-election.

Six councillors were elected out of a large field of 12 candidates.

The new councillors will be mayoral candidate Simon (127 votes), Dawna Beaulieu (116 votes), Angela McKay (110 votes), Gordon Beaulieu (109 votes), Brandie Miersch (96 votes) and Wilfred Simon (94 votes).

The top three finishers will serve two-year terms, while the next three will serve one-year terms.

Bailey also received 108 votes for a council seat, but was elected mayor instead.

The unsuccessful candidates for a council seat were Amy Miersch (82 votes), Carol Ann Chaplin (79 votes), Dave Pierrot (75 votes), Freddy Collins (71 votes) and Stephen Cuthbert (47 votes).

The new mayor and council will be sworn in early in the new year. The ceremony is tentatively set for Jan. 4.

Of the 350 people on the voters list in Fort Resolution, 236 cast ballots (including five spoiled ballots) for a turnout of 67 per cent.

Fort McPherson

The results of the Fort McPherson mayoral election were submitted for a judicial recount on Dec. 14.

"Everything was boxed up and sent to a judge someplace and they do the recount," said Knute Hansen, senior administrative officer for the hamlet.

Preliminary results on Monday showed incumbent Mayor Hazel Nerysoo with 66 votes, Bill Prodromidis with 65 votes and Ruby Koe with 64 votes.

A recount Wednesday afternoon resulted in one spoiled ballot, which changed the final results for Prodromidis to 64 votes.

Hansen said he was unsure how long the judicial recount would take.

Incumbents Leslie P. Blake and William James Clark were re-elected to council, as were Larry A. Firth, Peter Firth, Johnny Peterson and Abe Wilson.

Voter turnout in the community was 52 per cent.


In Aklavik Arny Steinwand defeated incumbent Mayor Billy Storr by a margin of 116-101.

Steinwand, who has lived in Aklavik for nine years and the North for 54, said he will work to make the hamlet office more courteous, friendly and inclusive.

"I think maybe just a little bit of nepotism crept in over the years," he said.

This will mark the new mayor's first foray into politics after being involved in business his whole life, owning and operating stores in Behchoko, Whati, Gameti, Wekweeti, Hay River and Aklavik.

In addition, he has worked with motels, restaurants, transportation services, construction, development, and as a coroner and postmaster.

"I have a vision for Aklavik as a healthy and vibrant community, with employment and jobs for everybody that wants them," he said.

Steinwand promised to lobby for an expanded airport, an all-weather road to the Dempster Highway and said he will hold regular town hall meetings to hear concerns.

Four councillors were also elected in the community.

Incumbents Dave McLeod, Eddie Greenland and Anna Lee McLeod were re-elected with 176, 158 and 153 votes respectively.

Richard Papik and incumbent Kathy Greenland tied for the fourth seat with 134 votes. Greenland was elected by drawing a name from a hat.

Elections were also held for the community's recreation committee. Gladys Edwards, Charlie Kalinek, Anna Lee McLeod and Mary Ruth Meyook received the most votes.


Tyler Inuktalik and Joseph Haluksit were elected to serve one-year terms on council in Ulukhaktok's byelection.

Inuktalik led with 58 votes while Haluksit received 52 votes.

Joshua Oliktoak and Joseph Perry trailed with 47 and 11 votes respectively.

Sachs Harbour

Angela R. Keogak, Lucy Kudlak and Martha Kudlak were acclaimed to hamlet council at the end of November.

The three will now make up half of the council's six spots, and will serve a two-year term until the next election.


Incumbent Mayor Danny Yakeleya was elected to his second term in Tulita Monday, beating out challenger Angus Lennie.

The community's new hamlet council is made up of four incumbents and four newcomers.

Janet Bayha, Danny Lennie, Lori Ann Lennie and Gary Yakeleya were all re-elected. Sarah Horassi, Terry Kunkel, Edward MacCauley and David Menacho will make up the rest of council.

All will serve three-year terms.

Voter turnout in the community was 35 per cent.


Incumbent Mayor Merven Gruben won his third term in Tuktoyaktuk with 41 per cent of the vote.

Hamlet councillor Darrel Nasogaluak Jr. placed second with 29 per cent, John Paul Steen placed third with 26 per cent and John Noksana Jr. rounded out the votes with 13 per cent.

Gruben credits his win to his strong record and strong election campaign, which included a pamphlet outlining his platform and an appearance at the all-candidates forum.

"It was my vision of developing the community and going forward. (Tuktoyaktuk) is in the spotlight and it's going to be a huge community in the next few years. It's going to be very big - bigger than Inuvik," he said.

"It's for the future and it's for the community. It's not for myself."

Incumbent John Stuart Sr. was the only councillor to win back his seat, earning 197 votes.

Jim Stevens, Erwin Elias and Billy Emaghok won the other three seats with 197, 196 and 174 votes respectively.

Gruben said in his next term he will focus on moving the community to natural gas, exploring the possibility of building a deep-sea port, developing wind power and expanding Mangilaluk School.

"The (Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk) road is trucking along. It's got its momentum going. It's going to happen. We're just trying to speed that up," he said.

"At the end of the day the Tuktoyaktuk people wanted more of the same, and I think we're doing a good job. I plan to do even better in the next few years, mark my words."

Voter turnout in the community was 71 per cent.


Two incumbents and two newcomers were elected to hamlet council in Paulatuk on Monday.

Incumbents Tony Green and Albert Ruben Sr. were re-elected, as were Jason Reidford and Bill S. Ruben.

Voter turnout in the community was 48 per cent.

Pehdzeh Ki First Nation

Candidates for band council


Lisa Moses - 35 votes

Robert Nayally - 32 votes

Elsie Hardisty - 31 votes - I

Terrance Yendo - 27 votes

George Moses - 23 votes

Angus Ekenale - 22 votes

Other results:

Ernest Moses - 20 votes

Lloyd Moses - 20 votes

Raymond Pellissey - 20 votes

Roland Yendo - 10 votes

I = Incumbent

Communication will be an important factor for Pehdzeh Ki First Nation over the next year according to the band's newly re-elected chief.

Tim Lennie was returned to the position of chief during the band's Dec. 9 election. Lennie, the incumbent, received 29 votes. The other candidates for chief included Gaylene Moses, 14 votes, Sharon Pellissey, 12 votes, Maurice Moses, 4 votes, and Darcy E. Moses, 4 votes.

This is Lennie's second consecutive term. He was originally elected in Dec. 2009. Since 1986, Lennie has served approximately seven different terms as chief.

Lennie said he wants to work on improving communication in the community, including holding more community meetings and dispersing more information. Lennie said his leadership style involves providing information to the band's members so they can decide on the direction the band will take on


Lennie said he has his own opinions, but communication will be important so the membership can provide a clear mandate to the band council. The community does have concerns about issues including the Dehcho Process and devolution and people will have to attend public meetings so they can provide their opinions, said Lennie.

"There needs to be continued community involvement," he said.

Lennie said another goal for the term will be to establish an election policy and code of ethics before the next election. The fact the band doesn't have an election policy has been a contentious issue and a source of conflict, he said.

Lennie said he was originally excited when he found out about his re-election, but that being chief isn't easy.

"There's a lot of work for leadership in a small community," he said.

Lennie said the last term was very difficult as council worked to get Pehdzeh Ki First Nation organized and financially stable. Establishing the band as a government without the proper financial resources is a struggle, he said.

The band has also been preparing itself to deal with the Dehcho Process, mining in the area, the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline and the Mackenzie Valley highway. Lennie said leaders in small communities have to multi-task dealing with everything from economic, social, political and environmental issues, while still taking care of their own health and


Lennie said one thing leaders soon realize is it takes both the leadership and the whole community to work together to move the community forward.

Fort Providence

The Hamlet of Fort Providence has a new hamlet council.

During the election on Dec. 12, incumbents Jonas Landry and Alphonsine Gargan were returned to the council with 90 and 65 votes respectively. Other council members now include Shirley Gargan, 66 votes, Delmer Bonnetrouge, 59 votes and Rosemary Minoza with 58 votes. Minoza will be serving a one-year term while the other councillors will sit for two years.

A total of eight candidates ran for the five seats. Ninety-eight residents, 17 per cent of the

eligible 567 people voted.

Fort Liard

The Hamlet of Fort Liard has a new mayor.

On Dec. 12, Morris McLeod was elected with 66 votes compared to 47 for the other candidate JoAnne Deneron.

The election for Fort Liard's District Education Authority was also held on the same day. The elected board members include Cheryl Bertrand, 89 votes, Sylvia Bertrand, 85 votes, Beverly Timbre, 79 votes, Irene McLeod, 65 votes, Karen McLeod, 62 votes and Shadab Hassan Khan, 55 votes. A total of 11 people ran for the six seats.

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