Snuneymuxw choose new chief to lead

NANAIMO – Douglas White III congratulates new chief, John Wesley, on his win.

John Wesley has been named the new chief of the Snuneymuxw First Nation after winning the election race by a narrow margin Saturday.

Wesley – the only challenger to Douglas White III and a former chief – triumphed by a 13-vote lead in the Snuneymuxw election.

A total 499 votes were cast for the office of the chief during the election race. Wesley got 253 of the ballots. White followed up with 240.

In a statement to the press, White, who was seeking a second term, congratulated the new chief and all the other council members elected.

“While personally I feel some disappointment I am proud of all the accomplishments our council achieved over the last four years,” he said.

“In the next four years I look forward to seeing our nation continue to march on the path towards increased prosperity, health and well-being, and happiness for each and every one of our people.”

Wesley was unavailable for comment before press time Monday.

The elections are staggered, with half the council being voted in every two years. This round, incumbent councillors James Seward, Michael Wyse, Paul Wyse-Seward and William Yoachim beat contenders to take back their seats.

Erralyn Thomas won her first term with one of the highest vote counts at 241.