News / Edmonton

Who is Henry Mak? Mystery candidate has Edmonton guessing

Are two candidates working together? Is one running for two seats? No one is totally sure

A screenshot of Ward A trustee candidate George Chung Yan Lam, who resembles a man identified as an agent for Henry Mak, who is running for mayor.

Courtesy epsb.ca

A screenshot of Ward A trustee candidate George Chung Yan Lam, who resembles a man identified as an agent for Henry Mak, who is running for mayor.

A mystery mayoral candidate who appears to have made no public appearances, no media interviews and has no contact info or pictures listed on their website has sparked a question among Edmonton social media sleuths.

Who is Henry Mak?

George Lam, a candidate for Edmonton Public School District’s Ward A trustee seat, is the official agent for mayoral candidate Henry Mak. Meanwhile, Mak is also the official agent for Lam.

So far, only Lam has appeared publicly.

Lam, who describes himself as a reverend, sat in for Mak at the mayoral forum on Tuesday night and answered questions in his place.

Edmonton's elections website lists Lam's official website as www.nasa.city, and it has information about Lam, but also lists details about Mak. There are six photos of Lam posted, but none of Mak. Mak also has no contact information on the elections website.

Twitter users got on the trail Wednesday.

One user posted a leaflet that appears to be campaign literature for Lam, urging residents to elect Lam for Ward A trustee, but also says “Rememeber (sic) this name” with an arrow pointing to the www.nasa.city and Henry Mak’s name.

The link between the two candidates even had some people speculating that they were one and the same, but Linda Sahli, Edmonton election’s returning officer, said all candidates had to show photo identification in order to prove their identity.

“Both (Lam and Mak) produced photo identification when the documents were commissioned,” Sahli said.

She added that it’s her understanding that Mak filed his nomination papers in person.

But Sahli could not and would not confirm if Lam and Mak are different people.

A social media posted this piece of campaign literature on Twitter. The leaflet seems to promote both George Lam and Henry Mak simultaneously.

Courtesy Twitter

A social media posted this piece of campaign literature on Twitter. The leaflet seems to promote both George Lam and Henry Mak simultaneously.

“The only thing I can confirm is we received 132 nomination packages, all for individuals of different names, all of which were commissioned documents,” Sahli said.

“We don’t ask people to confirm their genetic identity when they file their nomination papers,” she added.

In theory, a person can run for both council and a trustee position, and can be elected and serve in both positions, a spokesperson for municipal affairs confirmed.

Bashir Mohamed, an Edmonton resident and activist who raised the possibility of the two candidates being the same person on social media, is convinced that is the case. He called the situation “Scooby Doo-esque.”

“The fact that Elections Edmonton can’t confirm that they’re different people, it’s almost like a parody,” he said.

As for an official agent appearing at a mayoral forum on behalf of a candidate, Sahli said it’s allowed, but not common.

“All of the proper processes were followed last night. It is unusual, but it’s absolutely allowed,” she said.

Mohamed said he finds the situation funny more than anything.

“It’s hilarious and it’s very Edmonton, just the weirdness around it.”

But he’s also not feeling totally confident in the candidate selection system since no can prove Mak exists.

“If you’re running as a candidate … People should feel comfortable that you actually exist as a person.”

Lam has not responded to a request for comment.

Neither has Mak.

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