Lynda Dickson, chief of Carcross/Tagish First Nation (C/TFN), talks to media after her swearing in ceremony in Carcross on July 17, 2019. Dickson was re-elected as the Haa Shaa du Hen (chief) of C/TFN during an election on June 30. (Julien Gignac/Yukon News file)

Recount planned following Carcross/Tagish First Nation’s close election for chief

Lynda Dickson received 109 votes, with runner up Danny Cresswell just five votes behind

A recount is on the horizon after only five votes separated the winner and runner-up of Carcross/Tagish First Nation’s election for Haa Shaa du Hen (chief).

Incumbent Lynda Dickson received 109 votes following the election on June 30, the most out of the seven candidates on the ballot.

However, runner-up Danny Cresswell received 104 votes, the First Nation said in a notice shared July 2. The executive council and chief electoral officer agreed that it was “a small enough margin justifying an official recount to confirm the original results.”

The News did not receive an answer about when the recount would happen before press time.

Dickson has been serving as Haa Shaa du Hen since a July 2019 by-election following the ouster of then-chief Andy Carvill earlier that year over allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace.

She told media following her swearing-in ceremony that summer that her goals included building a healing centre on the site of the old Chooutla Indian Residential School, bringing more transparency and accountability to C/TFN and increasing housing stock.

Other candidates in the June 30 election included Robert Wally, who received 38 votes, Geraldine James, who received 32 votes, George Shepherd, who received 19 votes, Peggy Dubeau, who received 16 votes, and Jerry James, who received 14 votes. Four votes were rejected.

An initial C/TFN press release originally declaring Dickson as the Haa Shaa du Hen thanked all the candidates and noted that the election had one of the highest voter turnouts, with a total of 336 votes cast.

That represented about 42 per cent of the 794 citizens who were eligible to vote in the election.

A swearing-in ceremony originally scheduled for July 3 was postponed pending the results of the recount. The winner will serve a four-year term as per the First Nation’s constitution.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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