North

Smith's Landing First Nation election happening Wednesday

Members of Smith's Landing First Nation will vote for their chief and four councillors Wednesday.

8 people are running to become councillors, and 2 are running to become chief

Voting for chief and council for the Smith's Landing First Nation are set to happen today. Polls open between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the Roaring Rapids Hall in Fort Smith, N.W.T.

Members of Smith's Landing First Nation will vote for their chief and four councillors Wednesday.

Polls will be open between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. at Roaring Rapids Hall in Fort Smith, N.W.T., and at Chateau Louis in Edmonton.

Challengers vying for council seats are Dianne Benwell, Eileen Tourangeau, Miranda Norn, and Delphine Paulette-Clarke. Geronimo Paulette, Thaidene Paulette, Fred Daniels and Tony Vermillion are incumbents seeking re-election.

The candidates for the vacant position of chief are Gerry Cheezie and Wilfred Paulette.

"The voters may be asked to produce identification, so they should be prepared," electoral officer Margo Harney said in an interview Tuesday.

A band card, which every member has, would work, or a driver's licence, she said.

There are 270 members who can vote.

John Tourangeau, the previous chief was removed after allegations of bullying staff members.

He's taking the First Nation to federal court.

In court documents filed months before his expulsion, Tourangeau alleges the four councillors of the First Nation unjustly suspended him without pay for 30 days and slashed his salary from $96,000 to $32,000.

An advance poll was open in Fort Smith on June 6.

Out-of-town members could also vote by mail.

All of the ballots should be counted within about 30 minutes to an hour after voting ends, Harney said.

"We need to see the voters out and have them make the decision on how they move forward. I'm excited for them to come out and vote," she said.