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

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