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Three candidates file to run for mayor, nine for council - but not enough for full school board

The nomination deadline for Flin Flon's upcoming city elections has passed. There will be competition for the mayorship and city council seats, but only five people filed to run for school board - not enough to fill it.
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A voter casting a ballot.

The nomination deadline for Flin Flon's upcoming city elections has passed. There will be competition for the mayorship and city council seats, but only five people filed to run for school board - not enough to fill it.

City election officials confirmed Tuesday that a total of 17 people filed paperwork to run in the upcoming election - three candidates for mayor, nine for council and five for the board of trustees for the Flin Flon School Division (FFSD). The names of the entrants cannot yet be confirmed by election officials - all candidates who filed have a chance to remove themselves from the ballot Sept. 21 before each candidate is officially announced Thursday.

At least two mayoral candidates have been confirmed, both incumbent councillors. Tim Babcock and Leslie Beck both announced they would seek the City's top governance post earlier this year. As of Wednesday afternoon, the identity of the third candidate has not been confirmed by The Reminder.

Out of the nine candidates who filed for city council spots, entrants include Bill Hanson, the only current member of city council who will run to keep his spot. Along with Hanson as candidates, as confirmed by The Reminder, are Lord's Bounty Food Bank executive director Alison Dallas-Funk, attorney Judy Eagle, tax specialist Vair Ellison, Hapnot Collegiate principal Steve Lytwyn and car salesman Mike Slipp.

The other candidates' identities will be announced by the City Thursday.

School board

Two current members of the FFSD board of trustees - Tim Davis and Leslie Fernandes - confirmed earlier this month that they would run for reelection, while five other current members confirmed they would not. The identities of the other three candidates have not yet been announced or confirmed by election officials.

If too few people run for school board, the normal procedure would be all candidates joining the board by acclamation, with new candidates being appointed, not elected, to fill the remaining spots. The FFSD will contact the Manitoba School Boards Association (MSBA) to confirm what their next steps will be.

When asked about the possibility of not enough candidates running during the board's Sept. 13 meeting, Fernandes, the current board chair going into the election, said the standard procedure for the board would be to appoint people to the board to cover possible vacancies.

"They're [MSBA] under the impression that this is going to be the same across the province. They're anticipating low trustee numbers, due mostly to the terrible landscape of the last four years. Bill 64 did a number - so did COVID-19," she said.

Davis, now running for his sixth term on the board, said he had not seen the board come up short for candidates since he began as a trustee, though some boards were determined by acclamation.

"There's been quite a number of acclamations. When we had the town separated in areas, there was once an election where one half was acclamation and four people were running for the other three spots, so they had an election for half the board," said Davis.