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By-election for Nelson municipal seat yet to be announced: City

Timothy Schafer
By Timothy Schafer
December 1st, 2020

City councillor Brittny Anderson may be headed to Victoria as the region’s MLA but she won’t be leaving the city right away.

Coun. Anderson has not resigned her position with the city despite winning the Nelson-Creston seat for the provincial NDP in the last provincial election in October.

According to the City of Nelson manager of Corporate Services Sarah Winton there is no time frame for her to step down.

“She is not actually required by legislation to resign, although we are anticipating that she will before the end of the year,” she said in an email on the matter.

Anderson must resign before the city can start any by-election planning. Once she hands in her resignation, Winton explained, council would appoint the chief elections officer once it is practical to do so “and all the legislated requirements that are identified in the Local Government Act can be met — timing is critical.”

When the officer is appointed the by-election is slated to resolve within 80 days.

In the last committee-of-the-whole council meeting in November, city staff were informed by Anderson that she was stepping down from her current role as the city’s regional district director.

The B.C. Legislature is set to return Dec. 7 after the NDP won a majority government in October’s provincial election. The brief legislative session will begin with a throne speech that focuses on keeping people safe and the economy moving during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Five days ago Premier John Horgan named his new cabinet and Anderson was excluded from the mix.

However, Kootenay West’s Katrine Conroy was named the Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development minister, with former Kootenay Boundary Regional District director Roly Russell named Parliamentary secretary – Rural Development.

Anderson narrowly won the Nelson-Creston riding the race in October. The “lead” changed hands several times early after polls closed between BC Green Party candidate Nicole Charlwood and Anderson, with Anderson edging ahead as the evening wore on.

The NDP won 57 of the 87 seats in the legislature.

Since the end of the provincial election in October there have been 10 municipal by-elections called across the province, including one in Rossland, Grand Forks and the Kootenay-Boundary Regional District.

Council voted and nominated alternate regional district director Janice Morrison to the full time role in its last meeting, with Coun. Keith Page as the alternate.

It is a requirement of the Local Government Act that council appoint a member of city council to represent the city at the regional district table.

The director is expected to attend the Regional District of Central Kootenay board of director’s meetings and engage in the required preparation beforehand in order to fully represent Nelson and its interests.

Local government by-elections

As is the case with general local elections, by-elections must be held on a Saturday.

The rules regarding by-elections are, for the most part, the same as those for general local elections — in other words, the same rules typically apply formatters such as the roles and responsibilities of the local government and Elections BC, elections administration, voter eligibility and voting, qualifications for running for office and campaign finance rules.

— Source: Local government by-elections

Categories: General

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