Election poster. Courtesy of George Gordon First Nation.
Members of the George Gordon First Nation, about 110 kilometres north of Regina, are going to the polls today to elect a new chief and band councillor in controversial by-elections.
The council position became vacant last summer because of a resignation, but the chief position was vacated by courts. The Court of Appeal threw out the results because of 17 disputed ballots that could have changed the outcome.
The challenge was launched by band member, Solomon Cyr, who is running for the council position. He is up against Vera Ash, Byron Bitternose, Danny Cyr and Lyndon Oochoo.
Ousted Chief, Bryan McNabb Junior, is back in the race against John McNab and Shawn Longman. Bryan McNabb won the election in March of 2016, defeating John McNab by only eight votes. Shawn Longman came in third, 43 votes behind the leader.
Last October, a Court of Queen’s Bench threw out the entire election results missing ballots, 17 for chief and 14 for council. The Court of Appeal ruled in April the council results could stand, but it upheld the ruling to hold a new election for chief.
If the advance polls are any indication, there is a lot of interest in today’s election. Four-hundred and fifty votes were cast in the advance polls earlier this month.
There are about 250 mail-in ballots and another 325 votes that can be cast in today’s by-elections. Polls close at 8:00 p.m.