Eskasoni First Nation re-elects Leroy Denny as band chief

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Leroy Denny garnered 1,100 votes in the election, double what his closest rival received. (Steve Sutherland/CBC - image credit)
Leroy Denny garnered 1,100 votes in the election, double what his closest rival received. (Steve Sutherland/CBC - image credit)

Eskasoni First Nation has re-elected Leroy Denny as band chief.

Denny's re-election comes after the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the election for months.

The chief for the past 10 years, Denny won by a landslide, garnering more than 1,100 votes in balloting Wednesday.

His closest rival, Allison Bernard Jr., received 550 votes.

Denny said the election was a referendum on his track record.

"I was campaigning with the results from my leadership," he said.

"We've been doing quite, quite well in Eskasoni. For example, the long-term care and the new … high school and recreation centre."

Denny said his focus includes plans for better community housing and employment opportunities.

He described the past year as the most challenging of his political career.

"The pandemic, the lockdown, all those sort of things that were happening. It was very difficult trying to get some developments happening at the same time, but we were able to succeed in that but it's been tough."

The election was originally scheduled for last fall.

It was officially called in March. More than 50 candidates campaigned for the 12 council seats.

Two women were elected to band council this election, ending an all-male council.

Five new faces will join Denny on council for a term period of four years. Denny said he's looking forward to some fresh ideas.

"I just can't wait to hear them and to get things going," he said. "I'm excited for it and to see what's going to be brought to the table."

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