An increase in voter turnout was apparent at the recent Stz’uminus First Nation election and that brought about a change in one council seat.
Peter Seymour is the new council member to be elected, replacing relative and namesake George.
The election was held Thursday, April 3 in what was a closely contested contest for council.
Seymour will sit at the council table alongside eight other regular councillors and Chief John Elliot who returns for his third term in a row.
“This is my third election term and I am now looking forward to the next three years for sure,” said Elliot. “We were told by the people that we are doing a job and doing it well, so now we have to keep going.”
Back in March, Stz’uminus First Nation signed an agreement with the Town of Ladysmith that will see the town expand its services, including water and sewage out to the Stz’uminus reserve.
The new Stz’uminus council therefore also consists of Kevin Frenchy, Roxanne Harris, Tim Harris, Anne Jack, Terry Sampson, Harvey Seymour, Herb Seymour and Shawna Seymour, all of whom were re-elected for office like Elliot.
Out of the 415 chief votes, Elliot received 235 of them but was given a relatively close shave by challenger for the position Marlene Rice, who received 141 votes.
Spencer Symour was the other candidate who ran for chief, receiving 36 votes.
Three chief ballot votes were rejected.
A total of 27 candidates ran for a shot on council.
Notably, Harris, Sampson and Herb Seymour all received over 200 votes each and retained their positions at the table with relative ease.
Despite Harris’ re-election, namesakes David Jr., David Snr., Catherine, Francis, Gina Mae and Ray all failed to make it on despite running for office, with Catherine and Ray receiving over 100 votes each.
All other council members that made it back on also received over 100 votes each in what was a very tight vote.
Four ballots were rejected in the council vote.
Elliot also confirmed that for a period of time during the last term, Stz’uminus continued to operate with only eight councillors at the table due to a death of a previous councillor.
“Congratulations to Chief Elliot and his Council; may you be successful in guiding the Stz’uminus Nation to sustainable prosperity and opportunity,” wrote Haida Seafood Products Ltd. on the Stz’uminus First Nation’s Facebook page.
Communications officer Chad Harris was unavailable for comment at press time.
For more information on the election, click here or visit the Stz’uminus First Nation Facebook page.