Monday, November 30, 2020

Ward 1 candidate Kevin Boychuk seeking recount

Kevin Boychuk is running for Saskatoon City Council in Ward 1 in the upcoming municipal election. (Supplied photo for Saskatoon StarPhoenix) (for 1021 web profiles ward 1)

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Turnout for the civic election was 27.4 per cent, with 58,734 of 214,301 eligible voters casting ballots. That is the lowest turnout since 2009, when 27.3 per cent of eligible voters actually marked a ballot.

Total turnout for 2020 includes 19,666 advance votes, 8,600 mail-in ballots, 20,906 ballots cast on Monday, Nov. 9 and another 8,532 on Friday, following the decision to postpone the election.

Boychuk credited hard work and plenty of time on the doorsteps for his result in Friday’s election, which was held four days later than expected due to a snowstorm that dumped more than a foot of snow, paralyzing the city last week.

Ward 1 was also the scene of one of the stranger campaigns. Kyla Kitzul’s first bid for a council seat was derailed about two weeks before the election by a self-isolation order due to COVID-19 exposure.

Kitzul planned to run her campaign like most others, with a combination of flyer drops and doorknocking. She said the self-isolation order was disappointing, but not devastating to her effort.

She responded by pulling constituents’ numbers from the phone book and setting up robocalls, with the opportunity to call back and speak to her personally. She also began hosting events on Facebook.

“Within, I think it was five days, I had talked to 40 people and reached 1,600,” she said.

Kitzul ultimately finished last in the ward, with 473 votes. She said spending two weeks campaigning online and by telephone “possibly” affected the results, but was upbeat about her experience, calling it “really cool.”

“I plan on running again in four years. I lost but it only helps me gain more support, because I got myself out there.”

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This story has been updated with information from the Saskatoon Returning Officer. 

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