Residents in Kanata North will not go to the by-election to elect a councilor because their next representative will be appointed by the Ottawa City Council at a special meeting on November 10.
The city council on Wednesday decided to fill the vacant seat by Jenna Suds, who was recently elected Liberal MP, though the city attorney recommended a by-election in January.
Councilors Scott Moffat, Rick Chiarelli and Theresa Kavanagh refused to pursue an appointment route in the direction of their colleagues’ decision.
Many council members thought the by-election was too expensive — it could cost more than $ 550,000 due to COVID-19 restrictions — and could be very close to the next municipal election in October 2022.
He thought the new councilor would be late to make important decisions. The city’s 2022 budget will be approved in December.
An important file in Kanata North remains unsettled: the fight over Clublink’s plans to develop homes at the Kanata Golf and Country Club. Residents have urged councilors to appoint their former councilor Marianne Wilkinson because she knows the controversy.
The appointment cannot be stopped in 2022
Neighborhood Kanata South Coun. Alan Hubli supported hiring someone, but said an open call was important.
“Frankly, I’ve had a pretty heavy lobby from one or two guys at the beginning here,” Hubli said.
“I want to make sure that everyone in Kanata North knows this is a process they can participate in … We don’t go with a candidate and run with it.”
Some councilors have expressed concern that there is no way to prevent the appointment of Kanata Northern from contesting next year’s election. Officers often have the advantage during elections.
City Clerk Rick O’Connor vows that he will not run a petition next year as a “political promise,” such as a promise not to raise taxes, and that it will not stand in court.
Moffat said the by-election should be won as it happened in 2006. There were similar tensions when Bob Monet replaced Herb Kreling in Orleans in a vote just 10 months before the general election that year.
“We live in a democratic society, and we elect our representatives, and this is a process we should always follow, regardless of the timelines,” Moffat said.
The vacancy will now be advertised on October 18, and people can apply from October 25 to 29. They must be at least 18 years old and a resident of Ottawa or a Canadian citizen with property in the City of Ottawa.
The clerk will report to the municipality by November 5, and the applicant will be allowed to make a five-minute presentation to council members at a special meeting to be held on November 10.
The candidate must receive more than half the votes cast by the Council. If someone fails to do it on the first ballot, the applicant with the fewest votes will be removed from the list. The process is repeated until the applicant receives more than 50 percent of the vote.
In the case of a three-way tie, “lot” is used to exclude one of the candidates, names are written on a piece of paper, placed in a container, and the drawn name is excluded from further voting.
In the case of two-way equality, the successful candidate is selected by lottery.
Between now and the special meeting, Ward will be in charge of the neighboring councilors of Kanata North, Hubli and Theresa Kavanagh.