Posted March 15: 9.40pm: There are unconfirmed reports that the votes have been tallied after today’s vote for the Council for Wahta Mohawk Territory. It’s reported that Philip Franks was succesful in his bid to become Chief and one of the four incumbent Council members — Stuart Lane — will retain his position. Also reported elected are Karen Commandant, Michael Decaire and Teresa Greasley.
Here’s the unconfirmed breakdown of vote numbers:
- Philip Franks 154
- Tim Thompson 93
Four Elected to Council
- Karen Commandant 156
- Mike Decaire 151
- Teresa Greasley 146
- Stuart Lane 114 (Incumbent re-elected
- Shirley Hay 104
- Dan Stock 104
- Bill Hay 100
Wahta Mohawks have been without a chief since 2011, elections today will see position filled
NOTE: Results are expected to be published tomorrow after release by the Elections Officer.
Posted March 15, 9am: Members of the Mohawk Wahta Territory are casting their ballots today to choose a new Chief and Council. The poll opened at 9am at the Wahta Administration Office and will close at 7pm tonight.
In the running for the position of Chief are Philip Angus Franks and Tim Thompson. Seven people are seeking Council positions and only four will be elected. They are:
- Karen Commandant
- Michael Decaire
- Teresa Greasley
- William (Bill) Wayne Hay (incumbent)
- Shirley Hay (incumbent)
- Stuart Lane (incumbent)
- Dan Stock (incumbent)
Votes will be tallied immediately after the poll closes, says Elections Officer Veronica McLeod and results are expected by 9pm.
The Wahta Mohawks have been without a Chief since November 2011. Blaine Commandant had held the position of Chief for 12 years and was removed from office after Council said he had missed three meetings. Since then, the process to fill the position of Chief has not been without controversy.
A Council update in April 2012 said the community had agreed to a postponement of a by-election to replace the Chief. At the time, there were at least two people (reportedly Lawrence Schell and Steve Stock) who had shown interest in competing for the position.
In June 2012, legal action was taken to attempt to re-instate the past Chief and remove the four duly elected Councilors. That action was unsuccessful. In its 2014 Annual Report released this month and posted just prior to today’s election, Council states it considers this case as still not being closed as court costs remain owing to Council.
The report also outlined Council’s position on the nomination process, which disallowed certain Wahta members to run for Council if court costs owed to Council by applicants involved in the court case were not paid prior to seeking nomination for office.
The 2014 Annual Report states:
“The Electoral Officer, on the advice of legal counsel, is requiring the Applicants to ensure that the court costs are paid prior to being considered as having met all qualifications for running for office.”
According to the Council report, applicants in the court case were “Blaine Commandant, Darrel Bruce DeCaire, George Francis Decaire, Elizabeth Bella Roberts, Scott Sahanatien, Lawrence Schell, Neil Schell, Ronald Strength, Calvin White and Michael Dewasha.” It’s not known if any of these people sought to seek office in today’s election.
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