Lake Babine Nation (LBN) held a byelection last Thursday to choose a new councillor to represent the Tachet community.
The position opened up after newly elected councillor Paul Joseph stepped down before LBN’s swearing in ceremony.
The byelection was held on July 26, with a total of 58 voters showing to the polls.
Incumbent Dolores Alec was elected with 20 votes. Running against her were candidates Johnson Tom (15 votes), Mildred George (13 votes) and Ronald George (eight votes). Two votes were spoiled.
Alec will now share the task of representing the Tachet community with councillor Shane Modine, who was elected in LBN’s June 16, 2018 general election.
During the general election, Alec was tied with Joseph and Mildred George, but Joseph won the council seat after the three names were put back in a ballot box and drawn.
Joseph did not attend LBN’s swearing in ceremony on July 4, which included the presence of approximately 10 protesters who were drumming to take a stand against candidates with a criminal record.
Joseph, who was sentenced of sexual assault in 2001, could not be reached for a comment by press time.
The nation’s current election code does not prevent a person with a criminal record from running for elected office, but the election code is currently being revised. Although the revised version is expected to be completed before LBN’s annual general meeting in October, it likely won’t come into effect until council’s the next term, which starts in 2021.
Gordon Alec became LBN’s new chief after receiving 307 votes, while incumbent Wilf Adam, who was running for an unprecedented fourth straight term as chief, received 275 votes.
The new chief said that over the next three years he plans to focus on economic development.
With a membership of approximately 2500 people, LBN is the second largest First Nation in the north. Woyenne in Burns Lake is LBN’s largest community.