The face of municipal council meetings changed with COVID-19. This is a screenshot of a council meeting of the Village of Haines Junction on Aug. 25. (Lawrie Crawford/Yukon News)

The face of municipal council meetings changed with COVID-19. This is a screenshot of a council meeting of the Village of Haines Junction on Aug. 25. (Lawrie Crawford/Yukon News)

There will be elections in all but one Yukon municipality this October, unofficially

Two mayors likely to be aclaimed, and 11 council members in three communities

With three elections called in 2021, many Yukon voters have one more trip to the polls.

Following April’s territorial election and this week’s federal election, nominations closed for positions on the eight municipalities and five local advisory councils (LACs). Municipal elections are called every three years for the third Thursday in October, which will be Oct. 21.

Nominations closed at noon Sept 23. Each rural municipality has one mayor and four councillor positions to be filled. Local advisory councils elect five councillor positions (see LAC story and separate Whitehorse stories). Whitehorse has six councillor seats.

It will be another two days before all the nominations and acclamations will be considered official. There is a legislated two-day waiting period to contest nominations. Nominees can be disqualified according to a list of conditions described in section 50 (1) of the Municipal Act, like debt to the municipality or certain criminal convictions or for being a judge.

Unofficially, it appears that there will be elections in all but one Yukon municipality this October.

Mayo – one mayor, four councillor nominees

Mayo is the only municipality where there was a perfect fit of nominations with positions. Unofficially, former councillor Trevor Ellis will take the mayor’s seat unchallenged. Two incumbent councillors are returning, Blair Andre and Jo-Ann Aird. They will be joined by newcomers Simeon Paschuk and Brent Chapman. This will be made official in two days if no nominations are contested.

Haines Junction – three mayors, three council members nominated

Haines Junction has three mayoral candidates, but only three nominees for four councillor positions. So there will be an election for mayor and an acclaimed council. Incumbent mayor Thomas Eckervogt is being challenged by former councillors Kari Johnston and Bruce Tomlin.

Incumbents Angie Charlebois, Mark Nassiopoulos are likely to be acclaimed along with Vicky Maynes. These acclamations come provided there are no challenges to their nominations. The fourth council seat remains available with nomination papers that will be accepted until noon Sept. 29.

Dawson City – four for mayor, four for council nominated

Dawson City will have a vigorous mayoral race but has just the right number of nominated councillors that can be officially acclaimed soon — Alexander Somerville, Patrik Pikalek, Elizabeth Archbold and Brennan Lister. None of these councillors were on the last Dawson City council, perhaps due to the fact that two former councillors William (Bill) Kendrick and Stephen Johnson are running for the mayor’s job this time around. Two others, Kevin Mendelsohn and Xen Van Nostrand are also running for mayor.

Teslin – one for mayor acclaimed, five for council nominated

In Teslin, incumbent mayor Gord Curran will likely be acclaimed in two days. There will be an election for council positions since there are five people vying for four positions, two incumbents Juanita Kremer and Trevor Sallis, as well as Luc Johnstone, Jeff Myke and Jenny Roberts are running.

Carmacks – two for mayor, six for council

Carmacks has two experienced candidates for mayor with former councillor Tara Wheeler running against incumbent Lee Brodie. Also, the councillor positions will have healthy competition with six candidates in total, with Kevin Unterschute, Justin Lachance, John Laughlin Jr., and Doris Hanson taking on two incumbent councillors: Helena Belanger and Lorraine Graham.

Faro – three for mayor, five for council

Faro too, will have elections for both mayor and council. Three candidates have put their names forward for mayor: incumbent Leonard Faber, former councillor Lisa Snyder and Jack Bowers. Five people are seeking the four council seats: Sarah McHugh, Leif Nyland, Russell Truman, Taylor Fetterly and Paul Medrid.

Watson Lake – two for mayor, five for council

In Watson Lake, incumbent mayor Christopher Irvin is being challenged by Justin Brown. There are five candidates for four councillor positions: incumbents Thomas Slager and Lauren Hanchar, running alongside Dale Burdes, Beckie Ann Lussier and Denina Paquette.

Throughout rural Yukon

With ith 14 candidates vying for five mayor positions and 17 council candidates on town ballots, Gord Curran, the soon to be acclaimed mayor of Teslin and president of the Association of Yukon Communities, said he’s pleased to see so many candidates.

“It’s great to see so much interest. It speaks well about people’s engagement and desire to have a direct impact on their community’s future,” he said.

Contact Lawrie Crawford at

Municipal election