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Kitimat election 2022 sees 3 incumbent councillors and mayor return for another term

Preliminary results also sees two first timer nominees elected to council
British Columbians are once again heading to the polls to cast their votes in municipal elections being held across the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Preliminary results for Kitimat election sees incumbent councillors Mario Feldhoff, Terry Marleau and Edwin Empinado return for another term along with Mayor Phil Germuth who was acclaimed last month.

There are also three newcomers to the District of Kitimat’s council this year, Graham Pitzel, Michelle Martins and Gerry Leibel.

Feldhoff and Pitzel are leading with 857 votes each, Marleau with 807, Empinado with 772, Martins with 775 votes and Leibel with 682 votes.

There were nine candidates who ran for six council seats this year. The polls closed at 8 p.m. on Oct. 15.

Other candidates who ran unsuccessfully included Claire Ratteé with 622 votes, Chelsea Bossence with 511 and Colton Patrong with 291 votes.

Advance voting took place on Oct.5 and Oct. 12. On Oct. 15 residents could go in at vote at two locations in Kitimat– Riverlodge and Mount Elizabeth Secondary School (MESS).

This year Kitimat, which has an estimated 6,285 eligible voters, saw a turnout of 18 per cent with 1,150 votes cast.

This is drastically low from the 2018 numbers which had 39.6 per cent voter turnout with 2076 votes cast despite an estimated 6,662 eligible voters.

Phil Germuth, who was acclaimed mayor last month, said he is looking forward to the challenge of a third term. Germuth said the big issues for council, are the three “cares.”

“To ensure we have child care [daycares] in the community, to ensure that we’re going to be lobbying for healthcare and of course, seniors care,” he said.

The $ 8 million water treatment upgrade project is top of the list for the council in terms of infrastructure projects, along with the Haisla bridge and LNG Canada project. “We’re also looking at tourism and our relationship with the Haisla Nation, that is a huge one.”

Germuth added recycling is also a huge undertaking and that there’s much work to do in that sector as well.