Incumbent North Battleford, Sask., mayor dethroned in 2020 municipal election

David Gillan has won North Battleford’s mayoral race in the 2020 municipal election, according to unofficial results on Monday.

Incumbent Ryan Bater was facing his first challengers for the position after being acclaimed in 2016. He lost by 210 with 988 votes.

Gillan was trying his hand at politics for the first time this election. Most recently, he’s worked for the Town of Battleford as finance director and deputy chief administrative officer.

Prior to this, he was finance director of the City of North Battleford from 2014-17.

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For the majority of Gillan’s career, he’s been outside the municipal setting, spending 17 years working internationally for multinational companies.

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“My real background before working in municipal government was working in large corporations. So I have a corporate background and I think people were attracted to someone who’s got that kind of background and bringing that kind of skillset to the city and I worked in the city before,” Gillan said.

“Obviously there’s always issues in every election right and there’s sensitive issues and North Battleford has this image as a crime town and it was something I really focused on and believed that I could make a difference in trying to do, trying to improve that.

“I also told the residents here … that I’m going to make sure that kids, especially underprivileged kids, have better access to healthy activities like sports and creative arts and I will find the money, because as the previous finance director, I know where the city spends money and I know where we could possibly reallocate.”

Gillan said he’s leaving his professional career to work full-time as mayor.

The mayor-elect is originally from Charlottetown, P.E.I., but has lived around a decade in Saskatchewan in two stints. He also received his masters of business administration from the University of Saskatchewan.

Also running for mayor in this election were candidates Lois Laing, Misa Nikolic and James Sieben.

Read more: Municipal election postponed in Saskatoon after severe winter storm

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Both Saskatoon and Swift Current elections were postponed to Friday and Thursday, respectively, due to the snowfall this past weekend.

Although there was no disruption, returning officer for the City of North Battleford Debbie Wohlberg said the snow did not miss them.

“No … it didn’t miss us. But we live in North Battleford, we’re resilient, we get around. Yeah, there’s lots of snow out there but you just need four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive and good winter tires,” Wohlberg said on Monday afternoon.

“I mean, of course, the snow probably put a little bit of a damper on everything, but all of my workers made it to the poll to work on time. We had everything set up. We actually set up (Nov. 8) when it was still snowing.

“Our city crews are really good and they cleaned up around our poll and all the parking lot area and the street leading up to it. So, yeah, we’ve got good city crews moving snow around so it’s been moving along so we didn’t shut down and we didn’t postpone.”

— With files from Mandy Vocke

Click to play video 'Paulsen on the postponed municipal election' Paulsen on the postponed municipal election

Paulsen on the postponed municipal election

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