Robert Louie has been elected Westbank First Nation (WFN) after receiving 258 votes.
He beat his only rival, Roxanne Lindley, by 131 ballots. A final count of ballots for the Sept. 15 general election saw two newly elected council members, Angie Derrickson and Sara Tronson. Incumbent councillors Andrea Alexander and Jordan Coble were re-elected.
Louie, who previously held the office of Chief for 24 years, is the owner of Indigenous World Winery and Distillery, Kelowna West Manufacturing Home Park, and several other businesses. Earlier this year, Louie was recognized by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business with a lifetime achievement award.
The 2022 election saw 391 votes cast with five ballots being rejected, out of 701 eligible voters. Council will be sworn in at an Oath of Office meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022, to each serve a three-year term.
In June, former Chief Christopher Derickson abruptly resigned claiming corruption within WFN. He cited what he said was an unauthorized and undervalued sale of 147 acres of land owned by WFN in Peachland in March 2021. Derickson had brought the issue forward in March.
The sale was reviewed by the Hon. Marion Buller, former B.C. Provincial Court Judge. Her report found several gaps in WFN’s governance and made sixteen recommendations for change.