BIRCH ISLAND—Voting is now open for the Whitefish River First Nation (WRFN) chief and council elections.
Band members have until 5 pm on Saturday, February 9 to cast a vote online. Mail-in ballots are also available for eligible voters who live off-reserve; these individuals should have already received a voting package. There will be a regular, in-person poll at the WRFN Community Centre from 8 am to 8 pm on Saturday, February 9.
Online votes can be cast at OneFeather.ca/Nations/WhitefishRiver where a full list of candidates and a notice of election can be read. This is the first election to be held under WRFN’s new election code that it passed in September 2018. Part of the changes include a shift from a two-year term to a four-year term, similar to municipalities.
There are 26 candidates for the seven spots on council, one more spot than the current council. The candidates are: Anastasia (Stacey) Cywink, Nicholas Francis, Candice Jacko (Assiniwe), Gail Marie Jacko, Sandy Jacko, Anita Ruth McGregor, Brian McGregor, Cara (Caralyn) McGregor (incumbent), Francis Eugene McGregor, Leslie Florence McGregor, Lynn Marie McGregor, Murray McGregor Jr., Todd McGregor, Valarie McGregor, Beverly Nahwegahbow, Leona Nahwegahbow (incumbent), Esther Osche (incumbent), Gail (Kiki) Pelletier, L. (Bird) Pitawanakwat, John Recollet, Dave Shawanda (incumbent), Jacinta Maria Shawanda, Mark Hilary Shawanda (incumbent), Martha (Marti) Shawanda, Marilyn Stevens and Murray Still.
There are four candidates for chief. The candidates are: Carianne L. Agawa, Rose Jacko, Donald McGregor and Franklin (Shining Turtle) Paibomsai (incumbent).
Anyone who would require or prefer a mail-in ballot is requested to contact the electoral officer directly. A list of voters is posted at the WRFN band office and the community centre, or by request from the electoral officer. All electors are required to ensure their information on the list is accurate. The electoral officer, Lawrence Lewis, can be reached at 250-384-8200 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Jaclyn Casler is the deputy electoral officer and can be reached at 205-213-5247 or email@example.com.