Recount, not draw, should have determined Carmacks councillor, says candidate

A tie-breaker in last week's municipal election in Carmacks wasn't dealt with the right way, according to one of the candidates in the race.

A tie-breaker in last week’s municipal election in Carmacks wasn’t dealt with the right way, according to one of the candidates in the race.

John Laughlin said a recount should have taken place within 24 hours to break a tie between the fourth and fifth place candidates.

Instead, returning officer Bonnie Cooper picked a name from a hat, he said.

Laughlin later called Whitehorse returning officer Norma Felker, who confirmed that a recount should have taken place first.

“It’s my opinion that a recount should have been automatic,” she said.

“The rules are set down in the Municipal Act – and in 2012 I had direct, personal experience with the requirements.”

A recount was needed to break a tie between Mike Gladish and Roslyn Woodcock in the 2012 Whitehorse municipal election.

Felker cited section 124 of the Act, which states that a recount must take place if there is a tie between two or more candidates. Section 126 states it must take place within 24 hours of polls closing.

“None of us knew the laws so we went along with it,” Laughlin said.

“The returning officer should know her job, but she didn’t know it.”

Cooper couldn’t be reached for comment by press time.

Pat McKenny, who was tied with Calvin Charlie at 50 votes, was picked from the hat. After complaints were made a recount was eventually held on Monday evening, which McKenny won, too.

But Laughlin thinks the system is to blame, and should be changed.

“If I have 50 people voting for me, they want their votes to count, they don’t want to lose by a stupid draw,” he said.

“Maybe the government should look at changing that. It won’t help me at all though, I got my ass kicked.”

Charlie, who lost the draw, declined to comment.

Tara Wheeler, Doris Hansen and Bob Patles were also elected as councillors in Carmacks, while Lee Bodie was re-elected as mayor, easily defeating Bob Mayer.

Bodie, a former deputy mayor and councillor, had held the position of acting mayor since a February byelection.

In Teslin, Clara Jules was acclaimed as mayor, a position she’d held for the past 12 years.

Brad Stoneman, Gord Curran and Denise Johnson were re-elected to council, while Trevor Sallis won the fourth seat.

Justin Brown became the new mayor of Watson Lake, defeating former councillor Thomas Slager by 41 votes.

Stacy Bauer, Brenda Leach, Brian Lund and Christopher Irvin were elected to council.

Faro has a new mayor in Jack Bowers. He defeated incumbent Deborah Carreau by 34 votes, and former mayor Heather Campbell by 32 votes.

Incumbents Lisa Snyder and Diana Rogerson were re-elected to council while Debra Edwards and Patrick McCracken won the other two seats.

Scott Bolton was acclaimed as mayor of Mayo once again. Incumbents Trevor Ellis and Jo-Ann Aird were re-elected, with Richard Ewing and Blair Andre rounding out the team.

Michael Riseborough was elected mayor of Haines Junction, beating incumbent Mike Crawshay by only eight votes.

Riseborough, the village’s former chief administrative officer, had quit his job in 2013 over council infighting.

Evelyn Koh, Bruce Sundbo, Susan Smith and Thomas Eckervogt were elected to council.

And in Dawson City, Wayne Potoroka was acclaimed as mayor.

Stephen Johnson, Jay Farr, Kyla MacArthur and Bill Kendrick all won seats on council.

Contact Myles Dolphin at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Inside the courtroom in Whitehorse, Chief Electoral Officer Max Harvey, Vuntut Gwitchin returning officer Renee Charlie and Supreme Court Judge Suzanne Duncan open the box containing the names of the tied candidates. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Annie Blake elected as MLA for Vuntut Gwitchin after name draw

“I’m still feeling shocked that my name was drawn, I feel overwhelmed.”

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New COVID-19 case confirmed in rural Yukon community

An exposure notification has been issued for Andrea’s Restaurant in Watson Lake

Food trucks gather on Steele Street between Front and Second for the annual Street Eats Festival in Whitehorse on August 12, 2019. (Julien Gignac/Yukon News file)
May 1 could mark the start of the 2021 food truck season

Lottery for downtown sites set for April 28

Wyatt's World

Wyatt’s World for April 16, 2021.… Continue reading

From left to right, Pascale Marceau and Eva Capozzola departed for Kluane National Park on April 12. The duo is taking on the first all-woman expedition to Mt. Lucania. (Michael Schmidt/Icefield Discovery)
First all-woman team among mountaineers heading to Kluane National Park

One team will be exploring Mt. Logan while a second all-woman team aims for Mt. Lucania summit

Crystal Schick/Yukon News Whitehorse International Airport in Whitehorse on May 6, 2020.
NAV CANADA suspends review for Whitehorse airport traffic control

NAV CANADA announced on April 15 that it is no longer considering… Continue reading

A bulldozer levels piles of garbage at the Whitehorse landfill in January 2012. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Rural dump closures and tipping fees raise concern from small communities

The government has said the measures are a cost-cutting necessity

Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

Joel Krahn/ Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: Hands of Hope, the quilt of poppies

Toilets are important Ed. note: Hands of Hope is a Whitehorse-based non-profit… Continue reading

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Most Read