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City council not on board with moving municipal elections to 2021

City council has come to a general consensus of not moving the 2020 municipal elections to 2021. The Government of Saskatchewan has asked municipalities to provide feedback on moving the election to another year due to the closeness with the provincial election.

“No one from city council here in Lloydminster is in support of moving the municipal election an extra year,” says Councillor Jonathan Torresan. “We’ve been asked to provide information to the provincial government as to how we would feel about the idea, it’s just been floated up to us.”

Currently, the municipal elections are slated for October 28, 2020, five days before the provincial election on November 2, 2020. Mayor Gerald Aalbers says there are numerous challenges with the elections being so close together.

“The problem that is is that there’s voter fatigue. People will get confused about the issues being is it a municipal issue or a provincial issue. The returning officers, numerators and clerks are a lot of the same people that come out and help out at an election but do they want to work back to back weeks.”

Aalbers says one of the proposals floated by a different municipality is moving the municipal election to June 2021.

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“Every community in Saskatchewan’s weighing into this. The City of Saskatoon, their recommendation is not to move the date. PA [Prince Albert] is open with moving the date. One of the recommendations out of PA was to look at the June date for an election, but it’s totally up to the Government of Saskatchewan.”

Councillor Stephanie Munro says she rather serve her four-year term and let the residents keep their votes, as well as have other people wanting to be in council have their chance. However, on second thought she says the extra year will allow the current council’s vision come to fruition.

“I take into consideration the time and commitment that this council has dedicated to our strategic planning, to our restructuring and organizational changes that we’ve made throughout the city, as well as the time we’ve allocated to find a new city manager.”

Council will present their comments and thoughts on the idea to the province and wait for a decision to be made.

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