By Clint Buehler
Audrey Poitras defeated a single opponent in elections September 6th to win her sixth consecutive term as provincial president of the Métis Nation of Alberta. The final unofficial tally was 1,380 for Poitras and 644 for Calgary businessman Donald McCargar. The contest for provincial vice-president was much tighter, with Toby Racette unofficially collecting 992 votes to 955 for her only opponent, former Region 4 vice-president Sharon (Letendre) Pasula. A request for a recount is expected. Tellingly, only slightly more than 2,000 of the Métis Nation of Alberta’s 36,000 members voted in this election.
Races for regional offices resulted in a mixture of old and new faces elected to Provincial Council, with one seat filled by acclamation and another left unfilled because no candidate came forward. In the race for Northeastern Alberta president, Willie Lindstrom unofficially narrowly defeated incumbent Bill Loutit 279 to 276. There will definitely be a recount. The battle for vice-president was also close with incumbent Diane Scoville defeating challenger Daniel Cardinal 293 to 250.
In Eastern Alberta, long-time Region 2 president Karen (KC) Collins was unopposed and acclaimed for another term. Frank Taylor had replaced longtime Métis icon Homer Poitras, who died before completing his term, but did not seek re-election, and no other candidate came forward to seek the seat. Southern Alberta also lost a representative with the untimely death of Ephraim Bouvier. He was replaced by Bev Weber as acting president. In this election, long-time Region 3 vice-president, returning after her own sabbatical, unofficially collected 171 votes to defeat Weber and Alyse McLeod. Incumbent regional vice-president Myrtle Beaulieu was unable to retain the position, defeated by Joe Pimlott. Marcel Proulx Junior was a distant third with 57 votes.
In Edmonton and Western Alberta, Region 4 President Cecil Bellrose continued to defend his several terms by defeating challengers Lyle Donald and Sid Karakonti. In the battle for Region 4 vice-president, James Atkinson unofficially defeated Everett Lambert. In North Central Alberta, incumbent Region 5 President Bev New won a close contest over challenger Kim A. Courtoreille (104 to 92), which will probably trigger another recount. For vice-president, Darrell Ghostkeeper, with no challenger, was acclaimed to succeed Elmer Gullion.
In the battle to continue as Region 6 president of the Métis Nation of Alberta, incumbent Brandy Mitchell was unofficially defeated by Sylvia (Goulet) Johnson, who formerly held that position. In the vice-presidential contest, Carol Ridsdale defeated Willard W. Roe to replace Darlene Cardinal, who did not seek re-election.