Who is eligible to run in November elections

As The Mayor Sees It with District of Barriere Mayor Bill Humphreys

As most of you are aware there will be a local government election this November. A few residents have said to me that they have tried to look for the “official” rules around who can run and how the process works.

The Province of BC produces a “Candidates Guide to Local Government Elections” before each election, but as the new Election Act was just passed, it is not yet available so there is not somewhere online other than the Local Government Act to direct queries.  In addition, the Province has disabled the link to the guide produced for the 2011 elections.

The applicable sections of the Local Government Act Division 5 – Qualifications for Office can be used for immediate reference. They are a bit long winded but what they do say is that a person is qualified to be nominated (and elected and hold office) provided that they:

• Are 18 or over on general voting day

• Are a Canadian citizen

• Have been a resident of B.C. for the last six months

• Are not disqualified from voting (currently incarcerated, convicted of an election offence, did not file financial disclosures when required, etc.)

• Are not an employee of the local government that they wish to be an elected official of

• Are not a judge of the Court

• Have received the number of nominations required by the local government from eligible electors within that jurisdiction (typically two)

• Have paid their nomination deposit if required. This does not apply in the District of Barriere.

What the Act does not specifically cover, and this may cause confusion, is if a person wants to run for election in a jurisdiction where they do not live and do not own property and are therefore not eligible electors. The answer to this is that they most certainly can.

As above, the people that are signing the nomination papers need to be eligible electors, but the candidate does not.

I have been told that someone has told a number of residents that they do not qualify to run based on their residency outside the District. I have no idea why someone would be saying this, but they need to stop spreading misinformation and take the time to seek out the true facts.

Speaking of facts and misinformation, I was asked why the council had not placed in the budget any funds for Barriere’s 100th Anniversary? I am not sure where this misinformation is coming from, but whoever is saying this should check on what is really the truth. Not only was there funds allocated for the 100th Anniversary, but Councillor Kershaw generously donated half of his District council remuneration to the funding of the actual events, the promotion of the events and so on.

I suspect that these remarks are a result of simple ignorance of the facts. However, no matter what the reason may be, I would encourage those with such inaccurate and negative remarks to try and keep them to themselves.

On a positive note the North Thompson Fish and Game Club had a great turnout for their 5th Annual Father’s Day Fishing Derby. My family and I stopped by the Bandshell to see who caught the big one, and were greeted by the wonderful aroma of fried onions and hamburgers. Those folks do know how to run a barbecue.

I was given the unexpected honour of drawing the names for the prize draws. I know it won’t gain me any points with the local members but I managed to draw all three names from out of town. What this does point out though is the far reaching hard work of the North Thompson Fish and Game Club. I understand that their membership has grown dramatically over the past few years, and I suspect it is due in large part to how well the club is run. Hats off to all of you for your hard work.

The Lions Club has contributed a great deal to our community over the years. It broke my heart to miss their summer windup dinner due to a miserable cold. I do appreciate the invitation and I thank you all for your efforts to make our community all that it can be.