By Andrea Arnold
Update – On Tuesday, shortly after noon, the Goat received a notice from Chief elections officer Sherri Flynn stating that the withdrawal request was approved.
“That request was approved today, and a Ministerial Order was signed to rescind the previous Declaration of Election by Voting, and issue a Declaration of Election by Acclamation,” said Flynn.
This means, that Tina Bennett will be sworn in as councillor at an upcoming council meeting.
Kat Vickery submitted a letter to the Village of McBride as well as the Rocky Mountain Goat announcing her withdrawal from the Municipal Councillor by-election at 6:40pm Sunday September 17th. She said that her work obligations have increased and she feels she is unable to – if elected – serve the community as she should.
“I hope that in the future, when I have retired, that I will have the opportunity to run once again and do my best to help you and our community,” said Vickers. “I’m truly sorry to disappoint my supporters.”
This date is far beyond the withdrawal date of September 1st so the matter has been turned over to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, said McBride Chief Elections Officer Sherri Flynn.
“As per Division 9, Section 101 (2) of the Local Government Act, after the deadline for withdrawal of a candidate has passed, a candidate may withdraw only by delivering to the Chief Election Officer a signed request to withdraw and receive approval of the withdrawal from the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing,” said Flynn.
She has been in contact with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and is waiting for instructions on how to proceed. All updates will be posted to the Village of McBride website, Facebook page and bulletin board outside the office doors as soon as they are available.”
With advance polls scheduled to be held on Wednesday Sept 20th, and election day fast approaching, the timeline for a decision is tight.
The remaining candidate, Tina Bennett, waits along with the rest to hear the decision. Although there has been some conversation around the community regarding her candidacy and her close relationship to another council member, there is no legislation that says members of Council cannot be related or in a relationship. Each person is responsible for their own decisions and discussions, must swear an oath of office, and abide by the Village of McBride’s Code of Conduct Policy AD-19.
Flynn said that if an elected official does not swear the oath of office within 45 days of the official declaration of election results, they are deemed disqualified. This oath is treated as if it were sworn in a court of law.