The infrastructure for October’s municipal election has been put in place by city council.
On Monday, council discussed the make-up of October’s contest. The focus around the table was on the number of polling stations in place for 2016, along with a short exchange on the past practice of not requiring candidates to disclose campaign contributions or expenses.
Councillor Larry Sauer had voiced concerns about the new development of Ironwells possibly need its own polling station, but administration indicated the proposed amount of eight stations across the community would work best. Shortly after that series of questions, the bylaw was put to a vote, and passed without an opposing vote.
The approved bylaw also set the remuneration amounts for election workers. A deputy returning officer will be paid $230 per day, with a poll clerk making $170 per day. An advance poll worker will make $15 an hour, while workers attending training sessions will be paid $35 per two hour session.
When asked about the decision to not require disclosure, Acting City Clerk Doug Rodwell said the tracking of such information would have no impact on the outcome of the election.
“If you’re going to demand that somebody disclose their information or their financials, you have to track it,” said Rodwell.
“At the end of the day, even if someone disclosed their financials, or decided that they didn’t want to disclose their financials, it does not affect the outcome of the election. There is no punishment for failure to do so, they’re still elected if they’re elected and they still sit on council.”
Rodwell said the declaration of interests before council meetings by council meetings would cover concerns.
“Council has to declare any pecuniary interest at the start of any meeting, so that more than covers any concerns that we have relating to somebody that may or may not have sent money to their campaign,” said Rodwell.
Rodwell also said the placement of polling stations is aimed at centralization, for convenience.
“We always work with those who have trouble travelling in the advance polling stations, so we go to the seniors homes and the hospitals during the advance stations,” said Rodwell.
Currently, nominations for city council are not open. However, Rodwell said the packages are available for pickup.
“if people wish to pick up the packages we’re certainly willing to give them to them,” said Rodwell.
“Nominations open on September 6 and they close on September 21. Once nominations close, anybody that has decided to put their name forward has 24 hours to consider whether they want to continue in that or not.”
A full list of confirmed candidates will be released on September 22, and the election will take place on Wednesday, October 26, 2016.
The polling areas are as follows:
Poll 1:Servus Sports Centre
Poll 2:Servus Sports Centre
Poll 3:St. Thomas Gymnasium
Poll 4:St. Joseph Gymnasium
Poll 5:Winston Churchill Gymnasium
Poll 6:St. Mary’s Gymnasium
Poll 7:Mother Theresa Gymnasium
Poll 8:Queen Elizabeth Gymnasium