Boersma Morinville’s new mayor

UPDATE: The Town of Morinville sent an update indicating actual voter turnout was 2,649 or 34.65%, not the 3,624 or 47.4% reported by the Town earlier. 

by Colin Smith

The shape of Morinville Town Council has shifted dramatically following this year’s civic election.

The unofficial election results show incumbent mayor Barry Turner defeated by challenger Simon Boersma. Boersma took 1,681 votes compared to 733 for Turner, while the third mayoral candidate, Shane Ladouceur received 206.

While previous councillors Rebecca Balanko, Stephen Dafoe and Scott Richardson were returned to office, former colleagues Nicole Boutestein and Sarah Hall were defeated.

Taking their place (and that of Lawrence Giffin, who did not run for re-election) for a four-year term on Council will be Jenn Anheliger, Maurice St. Denis and Ray White.

Unofficial vote tallies for councillor are as follows: Maurice St. Denis, 1,568; Ray White, 1,512; Stephen Dafoe, 1,491; Jenn Anheliger, 1,465; Scott Richardson, 1,392; Rebecca Balanko, 1,098; Sarah Hall, 1,022; Nicole Boutestein, 995; Wayne Gatza, 820; Erin Vollick, 737; Alan John Otway, 608.

This year’s election saw 3,624 of Morinville’s 7,645 eligible voters cast their ballots, for a 47.4% turnout.

That bucks a trend that saw turnouts decline from 43% in 2010 to 41% in 2013 and 23% in 2017

This year, in addition to choosing a mayor and councillors, voters were presented with ballots asking referendum questions on daylight savings time and Canada’s equalization payment arrangements and for the election of Alberta nominees for the Senate.

The results of these province-wide votes will be declared on October 26 at 11 a.m., according to Elections Alberta.

At that time the three Senate candidates with the highest number of votes will be declared, along with the referendum decisions

Candidates for public and separate school board trustees for Morinville were elected by acclamation following Nomination Day.

Noreen Radford and René Tremblay were re-elected to the Board of Trustees of Greater St. Albert Roman Catholic Separate School Division, Ward 2, which includes Morinville, Bon Accord, Carbondale, Cardiff, and Namao, north of Hwy 37.

Stacey Buga was acclaimed for Morinville Ward for Sturgeon Public Schools.

In the 2017 election, Barry Turner had become mayor-elect by acclamation. Councillors elected were Rebecca Balanko, with 855 votes, Nicole Boutestein, 1,063, Stephen Dafoe, 1,084, Lawrence Giffin, 650, Sarah Hall, 821, and Scott Richardson, 999. Unsuccessful candidate Neil McDougall received 531 votes.

The 2013 election was a squeaker in which Lisa Holmes won the mayoralty with 1,034 votes compared to 1,016 votes for Sheldon Fingler. The win was confirmed with a recount.

An automatic recount also took in the councillor race, where the initial count showed Jackie Luker taking the sixth council seat with 689 votes, two ahead of Rob Ladouceur. The recount put Ladouceur five votes ahead, giving him the last seat.

The other winning candidates were Gord Putnam with 1,452 votes, Nicole Boutestein with 1,205, Barry Turner with 1,145, Stephen Dafoe with 952, Brennan FitzGerald with 801.

Other unsuccessful candidates were David Pattison, Ruth Shymka, Lawrence Giffin, Wayne Gatza, Jennifer Laurence, James O’Brien, Joseph Trapani, Brandy Keenleyside and Brent Henry.

We were unable to reach Mayor-Elect Simon Boersma by deadline. We will update this story with commentary as soon as possible.

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