Political newcomer defeats former mayor in byelection to fill Snow Lake council seat

Kyle McLaughlin won the April 16 byelection to fill a vacant councillor position in Snow Lake, defeating former Snow Lake mayor Kim Stephen by more than 100 votes.

McLaughlin, 35, received 188 votes to 84 for Stephen in a byelection that saw 272 eligible voters – 33.41 per cent – cast ballots.

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The byelection was called when Coun. Andrew Smith resigned from his position a little more than two months after the Oct. 24 municipal election, which saw all six council candidates seeking spots on Snow Lake’s council declared elected by acclamation.

Married with two children and employed at Hudbay’s Lalor paste plant, McLaughlin grew up in Snow Lake before moving to Thompson with his parents when the New Britannia Mine closed and they had to relocate for work.

“I believe that my level-headed, reasonable, and respectful approach would be a huge benefit to the town council, as well as being a voice for the aforementioned demographic, which I believe has been woefully under-represented, historically,” McLaughlin told Nickel Belt News Snow Lake columnist Marc Jackson in the run-up to the byelection. “Further to this, the topics that I’m most looking forward to being involved in are finding ways to get families to permanently move into the community, establishing new programming, and improving existing programming for children in the community, whether it be recreation-based or otherwise. The other high priority item for me is involvement in the ongoing improvements being done with the town’s aging utilities infrastructure.”

Shelley Chrapun, Tom Fleming, Sherri Hill, Bill Pleasance and Penny Roberts are Snow Lake’s other councillors. The town’s mayor is Peter Roberts, who took first spot in the October election, capturing 70 per cent of the vote with 285 total ballots, compared to 113 for Jodie Wilson and nine for Marian Grajciar.

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