Municipal Elections municipales
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notre jeunesse !
by Isabel Mosseler
It was a long night for Scott McLeod, convincingly re-elected Chief of Nipissing First Nation after a hard fought campaign. He received support from an overwhelming number of members of NFN who voted for their new council on Friday, July 13, but he didn’t get to call it quits until 4:30 in the morning of the 14th, and says he’s a bit tired.
The process was particularly lengthy partly due to the careful verbal vote counting by marking tally sheets with bingo dabbers. In the end, McLeod received 509 votes, while contenders Bob Commanda received 239 and Jeffery Stewart, 82. Council positions went to Muriel Sawyer, Eric (Rick) Stevens, June Commanda, Corey Goulais, Brian Couchie, Mike Sawyer and Jane Commanda.
Chief McLeod has just come off of a very busy month, with NFN hosting the All Ontario Chiefs, and this week he’s off to British Columbia for the Assembly of First Nations annual convention and elections. McLeod says he expects to maintain his progressive course over the next three years.
“It was a long Friday night followed by a couple of hot days… I’m pretty excited about the results and the new make-up of the council team going into the new term,” he states. That team has two new members, Jane Commanda and Michael Sawyer. The total votes cast were 852, with 2 rejections. A healthy margin of those votes went to McLeod, signifying a general agreement with the way he and his former council have been addressing community concerns. “I think it gives myself and council a clear mandate to continue on the path of what we are doing, moving our nation forward. (…) There may have been some question in the first term if we were following community needs… Going into the second terms with the results we see… it’s clear we are on track. It gives our council confidence going in that we’re doing things right.”
McLeod has a reputation for being a consultative leader. Asked if he cultivated that approach, he says “I never went into this with any type of conscious decision of how I was. It wasn’t going to change me. I’m still the same kid that grew up in this community and I share the values this community has. I don’t think the chief position is a power position… it is a reflection of what the community wants and is, and I take that seriously and stay true to myself and my community. And I guess that works.”