Guichon re-elected for third term

Chief Percy Guichon is back at the helm for a third term with the Alexis Creek First Nation.

Chief Percy Guichon is back at the helm for a third term with the Alexis Creek First Nation.

In a band election held Thursday, Jan. 9, Guichon was re-elected for a third term after garnering 100 votes.

Opponents Ervin Charleyboy received 66 votes and Gerald Johnny received nine.

While 29 people ran for councillor, five were re-elected and one new person — Herman Billy — was elected.

Remaining on council are Otis Guichon Sr., Terry Char, Harold Corn, Clayton Charleyboy and Rockie Guichon.

“There was a lower turnout this election, I’m not sure why, but I’m grateful for the people who did come out and vote,” Guichon said Friday.

Leading up to the election, Guichon heard loud and clear about the need for employment and housing.

“There’s a waiting list for housing in pretty much every community.”

Recently four Canada Mortgage and Housing homes were completed in the community at the end of November and in the previous year three replacement homes were also constructed.

“We are making progress. A lot of our homes are overcrowded and we are trying to alleviate that pressure and have developed housing policies,” Guichon said.

Currently the band is developing an economic development corporation it hopes to have in place by April 1, with a board consisting of three business people outside of the reserve and representatives from within the community.

Revenue from the log harvesting done by Tsi Del Del Enterprises will go into the economic development corporation, so it’s separate from the band, Guichon said.

“The band will still be involved but at arms length.

“We’re looking at it as a means to move economic interests ahead in a responsible manner.

“Having experienced business people on the board will help guide us.”

Voter turnout was lower than in 2012 where 205 votes were cast, said electoral officer Gerry Hutchison.

“This year there were 177 votes, including mail in ballots. There were a total of four spoiled ballots which is extremely low.”

Voting was steady all day with no incidents.

“It would appear that the electors desired stability on council as only one new person has been elected,” Hutchison said.

There also appears to be a growing interest of women in running for the office, with over half of those running being female, he added.