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Wednesday, 24 October 2012 21:00

Two new faces on council following 2012 Swift Current Civic Election

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg
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Voters in Swift Current have decided and they elected a council for the next four years that will see two new faces at the table.

Civic elections took place in communities across Saskatchewan on Oct. 24. In Swift Current, the voter turnout was about 31 per cent with 3,173 ballots being casted out of approximately 10,000 eligible voters. Three years ago the voter turnout was around 52 per cent.
With Mayor Jerrod Schafer already assured of a second term after being returned by acclamation, voter attention was focused on the 11 candidates who ran for the six council seats. The incumbent councillors all stood for re-election and they were joined by five new candidates.
The two new faces on council are Pat Friesen and Ron Toles. Friesen received the highest number of votes, with 2,235 giving their support to her. Toles finished in sixth spot with 1,471 votes.
Friesen stood for council after retiring recently from a 36-year long career with Saskatchewan credit unions. A Swift Current resident since 1974, she emphasized the need for regional partnerships and co-operation as the key to economic growth during her campaign.
“I'm very excited and I would also like to congratulate all of the candidates,” she said. “I commend them all for running and I really look forward to working with the new council.”
She was not sure why so many people voted for her during her first attempt to win a council seat.
“I think a lot of people have known me over the years through a lot of my community involvement and my work at the credit union,” she said. “They know of me and they know that I'm sincere about what I'm wanting to do and so perhaps that was why.”
Toles is a retired school teacher with a long-time interest to run for council, but never finding the time to do it before.
“Sixth or first, it doesn't matter,” he said about his election. “I'm where I want to be at this time, so I'm happy, very happy.”
He described his first campaign as an interesting learning experience.
“I enjoyed myself,” he mentioned. “I learned a lot and I'm ready for the challenge of learning even more.”
His campaign priorities were his concerns over honesty, transparency and sustainability.
“Those are the things I want to look at and of course my push has always been trying to keep the library downtown,” he said.
The four returning councillors are Ryan Plewis (1,974 votes), Gord Budd (1,779 votes), George Bowditch (1,599 votes) and Denis Perrault (1,513 votes).
Perrault was elected to his first term on council in 2009. He had to attend a SGI board meeting in Regina on election day and followed the outcome from a distance.
“It's nerve wrecking,” he laughed. “I'm honoured that the residents of Swift Current chose to re-elect me and that they put faith in me to do the job again for them for the next four years. ... We're going forward and we're going to be a city focused on growth and excitement in the southwest.”
The potential for a low voter turnout was a concern to him from the start of the election campaign.
“I was worried that turnout might be low, given that we had no mayoral race and quite frankly, there was not a lot of issues in this election,” he said. “So unfortunately we saw a reduced turnout but that doesn't change anything for me. I'm still very excited and I can't wait to get back to the job of being a councillor for the City of Swift Current.”
The successful candidates in the Public School Board elections were Cassandra Appelgren (1,543 votes), Tim Ramage (1,442 votes) and Randy Beler (1,322 votes).
For results from the elections in rural municipalities, visit the following website:

Here are the civic election results of the vote on the council positions courtesy the City of Swift Current:


Pat Friesen-2,235 votes
Ryan Plewis-1,974 (re-elected)
Gord Budd-1,799 (re-elected)
George Bowditch-1,599 (re-elected)
Denis Perrault-1,513 (re-elected)
Ron Toles -1,471


Not elected

Dan Martens-1,395

Keleah Ostrander-1,271

Jayson Sletten-1,266

Tim Bugera-916

Joe Collinson - 718



For results on the RMs check out:



Read 13179 times Last modified on Thursday, 25 October 2012 08:55