Doucette New MNS President

Thursday, June 28, 2007 at 13:26



All the votes are in for this year’s Metis Nation of Saskatchewan election.


Ballot numbers from late-reporting polling stations in La Loche were released around 2:00 this afternoon.


They show Marlene Hansen winning the race for area director in Northern Region 2 with 240 votes, ahead of Leonard Montgrand who finished with 198.


Those polling numbers also helped Max Morin climb back into first place in the battle for MNS provincial secretary.


He finished with 1,286 votes — 46 more than second-place finisher Tammy Mah.


However the chief electoral officer for the election, David Hamilton, says those totals are close enough to prompt a judicial recount which will happen at a later date.


Nothing has changed in the race for president and vice-president.


Robert Doucette was elected president with an unofficial vote total of 1,995 — well ahead of Alex Maurice, who finished with 1,130 votes, and Guy Bouvier, who had 944.


The race for MNS vice-president has been won by Allan Morin, who received 1,410 votes. Dale McAuley was second with 1,043.


Doucette is satisfied with the voter turnout, but feels there will be many more Metis who take part in the next vote in 2012 as his group slowly wins back the trust of Metis citizens.


Meanwhile, there’s a new MNS area director in Northern Region 3.


Louis Gardiner is the unofficial winner in a race that also included Don Favel and George Smith.


Gardiner finished with 331 votes. Smith, the incumbent, had 263 votes, while Favel received 163.


Gardiner is the only one of the three who hasn’t previously served as an MNS area director, and he thinks that worked in his favour.


Gardiner got the lion’s share of his support in Ile-a-la-Crosse and Beauval.


In Eastern Region 1, Lennard Morin defeated Harold Fosseneuve by a vote count of 150 to 105.


As for the other area director elections . . . Bob McLeod won in Western Region 2A, Darlene McKay was victorious in Western Region 2, Mavis Taylor came out on top in Western Region 1, Billy Dean Kennedy won the battle in Western Region 1A, Karen Larocque was the victor in Western Region 3 and John Robert LaFontaine came out on top in Eastern Region 2A.


Hamilton says communication breakdowns and the length of time it took to count the ballots were responsible for delays in getting results from the polling stations in La Loche and Sandy Bay last night.


Hamilton notes it was a late night for many of his regional and deputy returning officers — with some of them counting ballots until almost 4:00 this morning.


Hamilton adds he doesn’t blame the clerks for being extra careful with their counting.


He also says he hasn’t heard any reports of anyone trying to manipulate the election process.


The results won’t become official for five days, to allow time for them to be verified.


The provincial government says it will wait for the results to be confirmed officially before beginning discussions with the MNS to determine how to restore relations between the government and the Metis organization.


The province severed funding to the group in 2004 following the tainted MNS election that year. The federal government eventually followed suit.