• Dawn Riley

Municipal Election Brings New Faces To Councils


Last week’s municipal election brought some new faces to the Council Chambers for both the Town of Vermilion and the County of Vermilion River. The Voice was able to catch up with some of the candidates throughout the County, all of whom were grateful to be chosen to serve their constituents for the next four years.

In the County race, George Kuneff managed to unseat Lonnie Wolgien in Division 4. Incumbent Jason Stelmaschuck in Division 5 was successful in maintaining his seat,

“I’d like to thank our former Reeve Lonnie Wolgien for his dedication to serving the County, I am looking forward to working with our newly elected Councillors as well as the other Council members who were re-elected through the voting process or Acclamation. Congratulations to our Deputy Reeve, Clint Murray, who will continue his role to lead and a big congratulations to our newly elected Reeve, Stacey Hrychuk. Her transparent and common sense approach to collaborating with all stakeholders within the region will lead us forward to new success and achievements. Most importantly I am humbled and honoured of the strong mandate provided to me in Division 5 and will do my absolute best to serve my Community and Lead the CVR to the best of my ability. God Bless everyone,” stated Stelmaschuk.

Leslie Cusack also kept his seat in Division 7. “I would like to thank all those that supported me and continue to trust me to represent them on Council,” said Cusack.

Buffalo Trail Public Schools trustee election saw three new trustees voted in Ward 4. Subdivisions 1, 3 and 4 welcomed new trustees to the Board.

Darla Yonkman, Trustee for Subdivision 1 stated that, “I am filled with gratitude for the confidence that the community have shown in me, with their votes. Voting shows that people trust me to be their voice, and I cannot thank them enough for giving me this opportunity. Thanks for believing in what I stand for. I understand the responsibilities I will have and intend to show people that they have made the right decision. I look forward to joining my fellow Trustees with genuine sincerity and dedication to do the work at hand, and I will focus on the needs of the students, parents, teachers, and community as I assume my position as a Trustee, Buffalo Trail Public School Division. Together we can make a difference! From my heart to yours, thank you.”

Jessica Kaastrup, voted in Subdivision 3 commented, “I am honoured to have been elected to represent the voice of Ward 4 Subdivision 3. Thank you for your support. My fellow Trustees bring vast knowledge and experience to the table. I look forward to working together to strengthen our schools in Buffalo Trail.”

David Bensmiller joins the BTPS Board for Ward 4 Subdivision 4.

In Subdivision 2, Trustee Jim King retained his seat and would like to personally thank all the people who came out to vote.

“I look forward to working with the returning trustees along with the newly elected trustees. As well as working with our senior leadership team and board secretary. I am excited to keep Buffalo Trail Public School moving forward for the best interest of all students in the division. Thank you,” stated King.

The Town of Vermilion voted five new council members into office, with Councillor Rob Pulyk being the only incumbent to be returning to Council Chambers this week.

“It is great that people have confidence to have me on council. I am looking forward to working with the new council for the betterment of Vermilion and its residents,” declared Pulyk.

Pulyk would like to also extend a thank you to the Vermilion and District Chamber of Commerce and the Vermilion and Area Voice for introducing people to those running. With the limitations that the pandemic put on traditional campaigning and meeting constituents, he stated that the exposure received from the chamber and the paper gave voters the opportunity to make informed decisions this year.

New councillors Josh Rayment, Kirby Whitlock, Paul Conlon, and Kevin Martin all echo Pulyk’s sentiments about voters:

“Thanks to everyone who stayed engaged with the election, I feel the more people involved in the process, the better it is for Vermilion. I am looking forward to working with the council, the mayor and town for the next four years,” Rayment said.

Whitlock is ready to get to work for the townspeople of Vermilion, “Thank you to everyone for your support. And a thank you to all the people who ran, it was a great race. I am excited to be a part of this fantastic team and am looking forward to working hard for all our residents.”

“I want to thank the wonderful people of this community. I am very grateful that I was elected to be a representative for you! I am looking forward to this new endeavour and being able to be a bigger part of this amazing town,” Conlon stated.

“Thank you to all the voters who came out and to those who voted for me. I would also like to thank the past council for their service. Finally, thank you to all who ran this election, it was good to see that so many people care for the community and its prosperity,” said Martin.

New Mayor Greg Throndson also expressed his gratitude towards voters, “I am cautiously excited about my new role in town. It has been a very humbling experience to appreciate how many people are instilling their faith in my ability in being a leader to help Vermilion prosper.”

“I understand there is no learning curve here, it is a straight line. With a new mayor and council, a little time is definitely required to get our feet grounded and focused on the next four years.”

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