Dehcho
Politics

Randy Sibbeston to take empty seat on Fort Simpson council


Randy Sibbeston, who earned 199 votes in Fort Simpson’s 2018 municipal election, will be appointed to the village council after Mike Rowe stepped down from his position.

Council announced at a regular meeting on Monday that Sibbeston had accepted the appointment and would be sworn in next Tuesday, after the long weekend.

While Sibbeston was not mentioned by name, Mayor Sean Whelly earlier confirmed the village had offered him the vacant seat.

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In a 2019 interview with Cabin Radio while running for MLA, Sibbeston said he had taken an active role in the village’s justice committee and was a past president of the Fort Simpson Métis.

He has also sat on the executive committee for the Dehcho First Nations. Sibbeston said at the time he was working in farming and real estate development.

Sibbeston did not respond to a request for comment on his appointment.

Rowe was at the centre of a disagreement over conflict of interest rules following a February council meeting.

At that meeting Rowe joined his father, Pat, in making a presentation to council about the servicing of village vehicles and the Rowe family company.

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Rowe told Cabin Radio in April he had resigned for personal reasons unrelated to that disagreement, one of several related to conflict of interest during his time on council.

Appointing someone to fill the vacancy was one of three options available to council, which could also have left the seat open or held a by-election.

At an April 27 meeting, Councillor Muaz Hassan expressed concern that a by-election wouldn’t see a high level of voter turn-out during a pandemic. He supported appointing the next person from the list of unsuccessful 2018 candidates, which was Sibbeston.

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