Rather than the previously reported full council election, a byelection will be held in the new year to replace the ousted chief and his councillor aunt at Splatsin First Nation.
In September, Kukpi7 Doug Thomas and Coun. Beverly Thomas were removed following a petition from three fellow council members.
The Splatsin Complaints and Appeal Board found the Thomases improperly used gas cards and signed bank drafts without council approval while suspended.
The drafts were to pay for a forensic audit of band finances.
Electoral officer Marcus Hadley stated in a notice of nominations that the byelection will be for the remainder of the current two-year term rather than a full election for a new four-year term.
The Splatsin election code states that: "If the vacancy results in a loss of quorum, a full election will be held if there are less than six months remaining until the end of the term."
Hadley says, "In this case, as quorum has been lost but there are more than six months remaining in the term of the current council, a byelection is required."
There are 23 months remaining in the term.
Meanwhile, interest is heating up in filling the two vacant council seats.
Four people have been nominated as potential candidates for chief, including former chief Wayne Christian.
Michael Christian, Nerissa Joseph, and George William have also been nominated.
Twenty-nine people have been nominated for the councillor position:
- Anthony Antoine
- Stephen Antoine
- Trina Antoine
- Vern Clemah
- Edna Felix
- Tia Felix
- Yvonne Felix
- Stephanie Harry
- Phyllis Jezewsky
- River Johnson
- Bryce Jones
- Nerissa Joseph
- Brenna Joseph
- Stephanie Killman
- Miransa Kimbasket
- Cory Lee
- Lawrence Lee
- Marion Lee
- Stuart Lee
- Gloria Morgan
- Crystal Morris
- Wilma Maxime
- Sherman Nicholas
- Alicia Smith
- Karen Sutherland
- Valerie Thomas
- Vikki Tronson
- Salena Webb
- Theresa William
Hadley says the nominees must first accept their nomination and be vetted to see if they qualify before becoming official candidates.
Violation of the election code will see the former chief and councillor barred for running for office for eight years.
Chief Thomas denies the allegations that led to his ouster.
The byelection will be held Jan. 22, advance polling will take place Jan. 11.