Masset is struggling to field enough candidates for the Oct. 20 election, but other islands communities will see plenty of choice.
Last Friday’s deadline for candidate nominations came and went with just two people — Evelyn von Almassy and Bret Johnston — putting their names forward for a Masset council seat.
Under B.C. elections law, the deadline was extended to 4 p.m. Monday to give any fence-sitters the weekend to decide on running and get nominations from two supporters. The new cut-off came after the Observer press deadline.
For mayor, at least, Masset voters have a contest — both Margo Hearne and Barry Pages are in the running.
Trevor Jarvis, chief administrative officer for the village, said this is the first time he’s ever seen Masset come up short on council candidates, adding that the 2014 switch from three to four-year council terms may be one reason.
“I suspect that’s a contributing factor, and also the move of the date,” Jarvis said, noting that local government elections are also being held a month earlier than usual this year.
Elsewhere on Haida Gwaii, the democratic spirit seems alive and kicking.
For the first time, Queen Charlotte voters will have a choice for mayor — Greg Martin and Kris Olsen are running — and also eight choices for the four councillor seats.
The Queen Charlotte councillor candidates include Dave Clair, Carl Coffey, Richard Decembrini, Jesse Embree, Sabrina Frazier, Alan Moore, Lisa Pineault, and Devin Rachar.
In Port Clements, there is just one candidate for mayor this year — Doug Daugert — and six candidates for the four councillor positions. Brigid Cumming, Kazamir Falconbridge, Ian Gould, Teri Kish, Betty Stewart, and Deena Wilson have all put their names forward.
At the North Coast Regional District, there will be contests for both rural Graham Island and the Moresby Island director positions. Mike Racz and Johanne Young are running on Graham Island, while Bill Beldessi, Ellen Foster, and Evan Putterill are running on Moresby.
And at the Haida Gwaii School District, there is at least one candidate for each of the five school trustee seats, with contests for both the north (Masset/Tow Hill) and south (Queen Charlotte/Sandspit).
Freda Davis, Patrick Moores, and Barb Sly are all running for the north area, while Roeland Denooij, Scott Marsden, and Rhonda McIsaac are running for the south.
Wilson Brown is the only candidate for the Old Massett seat, Julia Breese is the only one for the central area (Port Clements/Tlell), and Dana Moraes is the only candidate for Skidegate.
General voting for the local government elections will be on Saturday, Oct. 20, with mail-in ballots due the same day. An advance vote will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 10.