County residents will say ‘bonjour’ to their new trustee this week as Ginette Martel takes her seat on the local francophone school board.
Martel was acclaimed as the representative of St. Albert-Legal for the Conseil Scolaire Centre-Nord last week. She replaces Martin Blanchet, who stepped down after many years with the board.
The francophone board runs 14 schools throughout northern Alberta, said elections officer Denis Collette — two in St. Albert and one in Legal. Voters elect seven trustees, five of whom are Catholic and linked to specific districts and two of whom are public members-at-large.
All five Catholic trustees were elected by acclamation this year, Collette said. Karen Doucet and Paul Dumont return as representatives of Edmonton, joined by newcomer Nathalie Lachance.
Former Edmonton trustee Denis Vincent said he decided to step aside after six years on the board. “I just felt it was time to do other things,” he said. He hinted that he planned to run again in the future.
Claude Duret also decided to step down as representative of the Fort McMurray-Red Deer-Wainwright-Jasper region and has been replaced by newcomer Nicole Lorrain.
Kevin Bell, Laurent Bolduc and Ismail Osman-Hachi are running for the two public seats on the board, Collette said. None could be reached for comment.
All graduates, parents of graduates and parents of students in the board’s 14 schools can vote in the public member election if they fill out a declaration saying they want to do so, Collette said. Anyone who does can’t vote in the Catholic trustee elections. A recent census suggested that about a thousand people were eligible to vote for public members.
Voters should soon get a pamphlet in the mail with the profiles and platforms of the three candidates, Collette said. The board has also planned a candidate’s debate at Edmonton’s école publique Gabrielle-Roy on Oct. 6.
Voters will be able to cast their ballots this Oct. 18 at St. Albert’s école Alexandre Taché and école La Mission, or Legal’s école Citadelle. For details, call Collette at 780-974-3490.
Few elections in county
It’s all-quiet on the county front when it comes to trustee elections, unless you live in Redwater.
The Sturgeon School Division acclaimed six of its seven seats last week. Shelley Porter, Liz Kohle, Daryl Krieger, Terry Jewell, Tracy Nowak and Wendy Miller are now the trustees for Camilla, Bon Accord, Gibbons, Landing Trail, Namao and Sturgeon Heights, respectively.
Brent Gray and Earla Wagar are running for trustee in the Redwater ward. Voters can cast their ballots on Oct. 18 at the Redwater Pioneer Club.
The Cardiff and Cunningham four-by-fours are not holding elections this year, said spokespeople. Stephen Cymbol is the provincially appointed trustee for both regions.