Elections are planned to take place Oct. 5 for 30 contested spots on school councils in the territory. (Black Press file)

School council elections taking place the first week of October

There are 30 contested spots on school councils in the territory

Elections are taking place Oct. 5 for 30 contested spots on school councils in the territory.

Nominations opened on Sept. 14 and closed Sept. 24.

“There are more candidates running this year. It was a bit of a surprise because this is an unusual time for people to be thinking about running for school council because traditionally, they would do it in the spring,” said chief electoral officer Maxwell Harvey.

In normal circumstances, elections are held every two years in the spring to elect members for each school council that represent the territory’s 26 attendance areas. This year, due to COVID-19, elections were delayed until October.

In total, 77 school councillors were acclaimed because not enough people were running to challenge in an election. Three spots will remain vacant because not enough people came forward to fill them.

The remaining six schools, where the number of candidates is higher than the positions available, will hold a poll on Oct. 5 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on school premises to elect members of their council.

This is the case in four Whitehorse schools — F.H. Collins Secondary School, Selkirk Elementary School, Christ the King Elementary School and Holy Family Elementary School — and in Faro at Del Van Gorder School.

The most contested election will be in Mayo, where eight people are running for just three council spots at J.V. Clark School.

“School councils provide an opportunity for Yukoners to be involved with the education of youth. They have very important insights to be able to share on behalf of students. That’s what I think we all want is success for the students, success for the schools and success for the education system,” Harvey said.

“I would encourage those whose schools have elections in October to find out the issues and support your candidate or candidates, and vote,” he said.

Voting will take place in schools. Candidates must be at least 18 years old and have lived in the attendance area for at least three months or be the parent of a child who attends the school.

Chief electoral officer Maxwell Harvey said COVID-19 precautions, including masks and crowding control, will be in place to ensure safety.

Because of COVID-19 the use of mail-in ballots has also been expanded. Applications are available at electionsyukon.ca.

Contact Haley Ritchie at haley.ritchie@yukon-news.com