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Sayward councillor resigns amid ongoing friction

Kohen Gilkin, a first-term councillor in the Village of Sayward, said council is in a ‘sad, sad state’
Sayward Coun. Kohen Gilkin. VIA VILLAGE OF SAYWARD

A first-term councillor in the Village of Sayward has resigned his position due to ongoing turmoil around the council table.

Kohen Gilkin, 19, quit council effective Monday after topping the polls with 126 votes in the 2022 municipal election.

He isn’t ruling out running again in the 2026 election, provided what he calls dysfunction among council members is resolved.

The village of about 350 people, between Campbell River and Port McNeill, has asked the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to send in an adviser to help sort out friction among council members.

Gilkin said when he decided to run at age 18, “I thought this is the best opportunity for me to get into politics and the best opportunity for me to help my community.”

He said he hoped to show the community that there are younger people who want to get involved, but he has been frustrated by council’s lack of progress.

“We started off great as council and things were moving along and then things started to fall apart.”

Council is in a “sad, sad state,” he said in an interview Thursday.

In a social-media post explaining his decision, Gilkin said there’s been “fighting, tearing our relationships apart amongst each other. …”

“My vision has been blurred with anger, frustration, disappointment, and sadness, with the current way council is conducting itself. I am no longer able to bring my voice to the table and be a constructive member of this council in the current state.

“So I must step aside, and give someone else the opportunity to bring their passion to serving the community as I did.”

A byelection date to fill the seat has not been set. The matter will likely to come before council in April, said chief administrative officer Keir Gervais.

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