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Candidates breeze to victory by acclamation

Sturgeon County, Bon Accord, school board races won by default

Sturgeon County and St. Albert residents filled in a lot of electoral blanks Tuesday, 21, as a long list of candidates won council and board positions by default. 

Nominations for the 2021 Alberta municipal election closed at noon on Sept. 20 but didn’t become official until the next day as candidates had 24 hours to drop out of the race. 

That’s what happened in Bon Accord, where Coun. Brian Holden was acclaimed mayor after his opponent Stephanie Lumbard dropped out of the race at the last moment. 

“That was a shock to me,” Holden said some 40 minutes into his mayoral term, as he had already put up campaign signs and started door-knocking.  

Holden thanked town residents, administration, and his wife for their support. Despite the win, he said he plans to campaign anyway just to talk with town residents. Next term, he said he hopes to build stronger relationships on council (which was split by two by-elections last term) and between residents and council. 

Sturgeon County winners 

Alanna Hnatiw was acclaimed mayor of Sturgeon County for a second term last Tuesday.  

“I’m incredibly excited about the next four years,” she said, and grateful voters felt she was doing a good enough job to continue unopposed. 

Hnatiw said council would pay close attention to how often county residents use rec facilities in other communities this term as part of its work on recreation funding. Road and drainage improvements will continue, as will work on master plans to create safer communities.  

“We’re going to continue to work hard on the hydrogen front,” she said — an industry of national importance. 

“This is a global race to lower [greenhouse-gas] emissions, and it’s something we know how to do here.” 

Hnatiw said council will also work to bolster relations with Alexander First Nation, the Michel Band, and the Métis Nation of Alberta.  

Also acclaimed to county council were Division 1 Coun. Dan Derouin and Division 2 Coun. Kristin Toms. 

“I’m extremely happy to be able to come back for four years,” Toms said, adding that she hopes this is a sign she is doing a good job. 

Toms said she hopes to improve the county’s infrastructure and recreational opportunities, especially trails and outdoor facilities, which had proven popular during the pandemic. She thanked residents, council, and her family for their support.  

Derouin thanked voters and county staff for their support. He hopes to finish work on the county’s broadband and drainage initiatives next term, and emphasized the need to get a heavy-haul route into Alberta’s Industrial Heartland region.  

Trustees cruise to win 

Francophone parents won’t have to worry about a trustee election this fall, as Étienne Alary, Steve Daigle, Giscard Kodiane, Ismaïl Osman-Hachi, Tanya Saumure, and Jean-Daniel Tremblay were all acclaimed to the Conseil scolaire Centre-Nord board.  

Incumbents Noreen Radford and René Tremblay were acclaimed as Greater St. Albert Catholic’s Morinville trustees, while incumbent Cathy Proulx took the Legal seat unopposed. 

Incumbents Janine Rae Pequin, Joseph Dwyer, Trish Murray-Eliott, and Tasha Oatway-McLay were acclaimed as Sturgeon Public School trustees for the Redwater/Coronado, Alcomdale/Villeneuve, Sturgeon Valley/West St. Albert, and Cardiff/Garrison wards, respectively. Newcomer Stacey Lee Buga was acclaimed trustee for the Morinville ward. 

Kevin Ma

About the Author: Kevin Ma

Kevin Ma joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2006. He writes about Sturgeon County, education, the environment, agriculture, science and aboriginal affairs. He also contributes features, photographs and video.
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