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ʔaq̓am Community to elect new Chief and Council of St. Mary’s Indian Band

Members of the ʔaq̓am Community will be casting their ballots Wednesday to elect a Chief and two Councillors after a successful appeal of October’s election.

The new election will run from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, with voting available at the ʔaq̓am Dan Joe Memorial Gym (7500B Mission Road).

Due to COVID-19, voting is also available over the phone. Voters must verify their identity with their Band Registry (Status) Number before calling (250) 426-5717 to cast their ballot.

All of the votes will be counted immediately after the poll closes and the results will be declared. Residents can then join the online streaming of the ballot count after the poll closes.

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MORE: ʔaq̓am Community Election Ballot Count (Available after 8:00 pm on Wednesday)

There was an election held back in October where both Joe Pierre Jr. and Julie Birdstone finished tied with 80 votes. Since there was a tie, both of their names were placed in a receptacle and drawn.

“The Chief Electoral Officer broke that tie by our names, basically her name and my name in a hat, and my name was drawn out,” Joe Pierre Jr. told back in October. “I would have supported Julie 100%, absolutely if it had gone the other way.”

PREVIOUS: Chief Joe Pierre Jr. wins ʔaq̓am Election following tied result (Oct. 29, 2020)

However, Jodi Gravelle, Chief Administrative Officer of ʔaq̓am told on Tuesday that an appeal was submitted about the previous election’s results. Gravelle said the appeal was upheld. Since the appeal was successful, the old election results were thrown out and forced a brand new election for Chief and Council, which officially takes place on Wednesday.

The candidates have changed slightly from the October election. Julie Birdstone and Joe Pierre Jr. remain on the ballot, the same goes for Codie Andrew-Morigeau, Sancira Williams-Jimmy, and Terry White. Kolton Johnstone is a new name on the ballot while Diane Whitehead and Donovan Williams both opted not to run again this election cycle. All of the candidates are looking to be elected Nasuʔkin (Chief) of the St. Mary’s Indian Band for the ʔaq̓am Community, with results to be finalized late Wednesday evening.

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