WESTLOCK - The Town of Westlock will have a minimum of three new councillors after the Oct. 18 municipal election, while all but one Westlock County division has at least a single candidate.
Unlike 2017 when the nomination day had to be extended for 24 hours due to not enough candidates in town, this year there are eight men and women vying for six seats.
Three incumbents, Curtis Snell, Murtaza Jamaly and Randy Wold, are joined on the ballot by Abby Keyes, Jon Kramer, Laura Morie, Brenda Lussier and Chad Cloutier — nomination day, Sept. 20, is the final chance for candidates to submit their paperwork. Incumbents John Shoemaker, Clem Fagnan and David Truckey have all announced their retirement from council.
Depending on whether more candidates emerge in the final week, the fact that there are three women running means at least one is assured a seat — the last female member of town council was Shelia Foley, who resigned in 2015. No women ran for town council in 2017.
Two-term mayor Ralph Leriger remains unchallenged and was elected by acclamation in 2017.
Westlock County features at least two races so far, with single candidates in all but one of the municipality’s seven divisions.
In Division 1 incumbent Victor Julyan faces challenger Sherri Provencal, while in Division 4 Francis Cloutier and Lisa Germann are seeking the seat left vacant by retiring incumbent Brian Coleman.
Division 2 incumbent, and current county reeve Jared Stitsen has announced he’s running again, while Division 5 incumbent Isaac Skuban, who won his seat in a September 2019 byelection, has also declared.
Up in Division 7, Christine Wiese has submitted her paperwork, while incumbent Dennis Primeau has yet to publicly declare his intentions. Division 6, vacant since the resignation of Fred Slobodian last November, has one candidate, Stuart Fox-Robinson.
Division 3 doesn’t have a candidate yet as incumbent Lou Hall has not declared her intentions publicly.
Clyde and Pembina Hills
The Village of Clyde, which is governed by a five-member council and elects its mayor from that group, has one candidate so far, Gerald Austin.
Incumbent Art Purdy has already stated he won’t be running again, while Nat Dvernichuk resigned from council earlier in the summer citing health concerns. The remainder of the incumbents, Doug Nyal, mayor Christa Clausing and Danielle Dillman, have yet to declare.
Finally, the Westlock side of Pembina Hills School Division will have three new trustees as Jackie Carson, Westlock South, Wendy Scinski, Town of Westlock, and Jackie Comeau, Westlock North, won’t be running — Carson tendered her resignation from the board in August as she and her family have moved out of the area.
So far Maureen Shnirer, who’s seeking Westlock South, is the only local to let their name stand for school board.