Qualicum First Nation has a new chief

Michael Recalma beat sitting chief Patricia Cassidy

After a very low key election, that may have included no actual campaigning, the Qualicum First Nation has a new chief in former councillor Michael Recalma.

“I personally never campaigned and I didn’t hear about anyone else doing it,” Recalma said Friday of Wednesday’s vote, which was run by a federal electoral officer. While specific numbers were not available, Recalma said that it is a small enough group that people just know the candidates personally and vote based on that.

According to Aboriginal Affairs, the Qualicum First Nation has 106 members, of which 55 live on reserve. Recalma beat previous chief Patricia Cassidy.

Sarah Swanson and Arnold Recalma won the two council positions from a field of seven candidates including sitting Coun. Donna Kennedy, along with Tanna Wier, Marorie Orrick, Sandra Demerse and Darlene Wells.

“I’m just one of three, I’m not a majority of council,” Michael Recalma said of any priorities he’d have as chief. “I’ll wait and see where we’re going first, once I meet with council.”

Recalma said he will take a leave from his fisheries work with the federal government for his two-year term as chief.