Ward 8 voters head to polls Dec. 3

One of the first bits of business for general committee following its July summer recess was filling the vacancy in Ward 8 created when Jennifer Robinson resigned for health reasons – and residents are going to the polls Dec. 3.
City clerk Dawn McAlpine prepared a report with two options, but recommended a by-election be held to elect a new councillor.
Under section 263 of the Municipal Act, council has two options for replacing a councillor: through appointment or by-election. An election isn’t allowed if the vacancy occurs after March 31 of an election year, which isn’t until 2014. If a vacancy occurs within the restricted timeframe, council must fill it by appointment within 45 days – no election or appointment is required if the vacancy comes 90 days before an election.
There are about 28 months until the next election. Because the recommendation to have a by-election was adopted, it must be held 45 days after nomination day, which is to be within 60 days of council passing the required by-election bylaw.
“As a result of the legislated timelines within the Municipal Elections Act, and in consideration of the timing and unexpected nature of the vacancy, the importance of providing adequate opportunities for eligible electors to file nomination papers … it is anticipated that a by-election would be held Dec. 3, 2012,” the report states.
While a by-election would serve democratic principles, it won’t come without a cost – with estimates ranging from $20,000 to $40,000. It’s estimated that the related costs of appointing someone would be in the region of $2,000.
City council is planning to ratify committee’s decision on Aug. 27.

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