Glooscap First Nation elects new chief
Sydney Peters wins by 102 to 85 vote
On Saturday the people of the Glooscap First Nation in Hantsport, Nova Scotia, elected a new chief.
Sydney Peters, who is the younger brother of the current chief, defeated the only other candidate by a vote of 102 to 85. A 76.3 per cent voter turnout was reported.
The current chief, Shirley Clarke, did not re-offer. "I'm retiring. I put 40 years working with our people so I think it's time that I had a rest," Clarke said.
"My health issues have been plaguing me for a little while so I think it's good to let some of the younger generation take over."
Clarke said she's proud that her brother will continue on the family tradition of being a chief. "He's the fifth generation of chiefs within our family," she said, though not all have been chiefs at Glooscap.
Before Clarke her father, Joseph Peters, was chief of Glooscap.
Clarke said that Peters brings valuable experience to the job.
"He worked with housing up north. He worked with the Innu up in Labrador. He's worked with [the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation] so there's a lot of expertise there," she said.
Clarke was chief for 20 years and a councillor before that.
Larry Peters, Kristen Halliday and Jean Labrador won the three council seats.
The election began Feb. 2. Polls remained open until Feb. 11 so those voters who live off reserve could send in ballots by registered mail.
According to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Glooscap First Nation has a population of 300 as of December 31, 2009. 213 people live off reserve.
The new chief and council take over on April 1.
In 2010, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation claimed that Glooscap had paid its chief and three councillors $1.7 million dollars for salaries, expenses and business contracts during the 2008-2009 fiscal year.