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Irricana councillor Debbie Day officially resigns

A member of Irricana's council officially resigned less than a month since the previous by-election, according to their Mayor, which means the town is preparing for another round of municipal campaigning.
Irricana councillor Debbie Day officially resigns, according to Irricana Mayor.

Less than a month since a recent byelection, the Town of Irricana has officially announced the resignation of another one of its council members, Debbie Day, prompting a second byelection in 2022.

Jim Bryson was elected in a byelection on May 17, with nearly 37 per cent of the vote. At the following council meeting, the members voted to elect Bryson as the town’s new mayor.

“As the newly appointed Mayor I can confirm Councillor Debbie Day has resigned her position,” stated Bryson via email on June 8.

It is still unclear when a byelection will officially be called, but unless council sets an earlier date for a byelection, election day is 120 days after the vacancy occurs, according to Scott Johnston, press secretary of municipal affairs. 

Normally the CAO will report a resignation to council at its next meeting after receiving the resignation letter.

Irricana residents can therefore expect another round of municipal campaigning to start up soon.

The recent byelection was held to fill a vacancy on council left by former mayor Frank Friesen, who announced his resignation in March before moving to Beiseker – a move that would have disqualified him from maintaining his council seat in Irricana.

Day declined to provide comment about her resignation when the Rocky View Weekly reached out to her.

She was first elected to Irricana’s council in an August 2018 byelection and was re-elected during the 2021 municipal general election last October.

Her profile on the Town of Irricana website states Day has been living in Irricana since March 2016 after moving to the town from Calgary in search of a smaller community to call home.

Day’s profile also stated she is married to Bob Day, who is involved in an ongoing RCMP investigation stemming from an alleged assault that occurred on voting day during the recent byelection.

Beiseker RCMP was called to Irricana on May 17 after an altercation allegedly took place between Bob Day and previous candidate Stephanie Katelnikoff. Katelnikoff later claimed to have filed a restraining order against him.

The altercation and a subsequent call to Beiseker RCMP were confirmed by Cpl. Gina Slaney, RCMP media relations officer for Southern Alberta.

“Each investigation varies regarding the time it takes to complete. There are a lot of people involved and you have to keep in mind the officers don’t work every day. Sometimes it takes some time before they can arrange to meet with people,” said Slaney, who could provide no further comment.

Following the incident, the Town of Irricana’s chief administrative officer Barrie Hutchinson stated the Town would not provide comment while the investigation is ongoing.

Katelnikoff claimed she was forcefully removed from the polling station at the Town’s office by Bob Day following a disagreement regarding her right to be present at the polling station. Several eye-witnesses alleged they saw Bob Day physically drag Katelnikoff out of the office before they had a chance to pull him away from her. 

Hutchinson later wrote in an email that Bob Day was and is not an employee of the Town of Irricana, but that he was a candidate scrutineer for the byelection. 

Bob Day did not comment on what his role was that day at the office.

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