Residents stepping forward as candidates for municipal election
Tim Brody - Associate Editor
The nomination period has officially opened for the 2018 municipal election in Sioux Lookout and some residents have already put their names forward.
Nomination papers can be picked up at the municipal office during regular business hours.
They can also be downloaded from the Municipality of Sioux Lookout website, www.siouxlookout.ca, under the 2018 municipal election banner.
Municipal manager of corporate services / municipal clerk and returning officer Brian MacKinnon informed, “Candidates and third party advertisers are encouraged to visit the municipal office during designated hours for filing nominations / registrations, as there is a significant amount of information to share with nominees / registrants.
“Information packages have been developed for municipal council candidates, boards of education trustee candidates, and third party advertisers in an effort to ensure nominees/registrants are receiving key information relating to the election process.”
Nominations are open in the Municipality of Sioux Lookout for the offices of: Mayor (Head of Council) - One (1), Councillors At Large- Five (5), and Hudson Ward- One Councillor (1).
Nominations are also open for trustee positions with the Public School Board - One (1), Separate School Board - Two (2), French Public School Board - One (1), and French Separate School Board- One (1).
Nominations run until July 27.
MacKinnon shared, “Times for filing nominations and / or third party advertiser registrations have been established. They are as follows: Monday to Friday, from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. (excluding weekends and statutory holidays) between May 1, 2018 and July 26, 2018, and between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on July 27, 2018 (Nomination Day).
“The times for filing on nomination day are established by statute (Municipal Elections Act); the times for filing during the nomination period (May 1 – July 26) have been established to ensure the highest level of service possible for candidates and third party advertisers.
“By having prescribed times, the Municipality can ensure there is always someone available to receive the nomination and/or registration. If candidates or third party advertisers visit the municipal office to file outside of these times, service may be available, however, it cannot be guaranteed. Additionally, nominations / registrations will not be received on Monday, May 14 as the clerk and acting deputy clerk will be out of the office on other election-related business.”
This year, the Municipality of Sioux Lookout is introducing phone and web based voting.
“2018 marks the first time a council of the Municipality of Sioux Lookout has chosen to use the telephone/Internet alternative voting method. This method was selected by council at its April 19, 2017 regular council meeting,” MacKinnon said.
The Municipality explained on its website, “There are significant efficiencies and cost savings over traditional, and vote by mail elections. Internet/telephone voting provides voter accessibility via vote anytime, anywhere, any place during the voting period. Internet/telephone voting uses an eco-friendly green approach, cutting down on the amount of paper while also being more cost efficient.”
Voting assistance will be provided by the Municipality. MacKinnon explained, “For any eligible elector who is not comfortable with Internet voting or telephone voting on their own, an electronic voting station will be established at the municipal office, with staff on hand to provide assistance, as requested. This support will also be available at the Sioux Lookout Public Library in the community media room, with library staff on hand to provide assistance, as requested. This assistance will be available during regular business hours during the voting period at both locations.
“Additionally, other general public education and awareness initiatives will be undertaken as the voting period draws closer.”
The voting period for the 2018 municipal election is Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. to Monday, October 22, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.
MacKinnon added, “The Municipality is also making arrangements with the following institutions, organizations, and locations to provide on-site support to electors during the election period: William (“Bill”) George Extended Care Facility, Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre, various assisted/supportive housing complexes for senior citizens, and the Nishnawbe Gamik Friendship Centre.
The Municipality of Sioux Lookout, in partnership with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs | Ministry of Housing, will be hosting a candidate and third party advertiser information session on June 12.
The session will include the following topics: role of council and staff, nomination process, financial filing, campaign period, candidate duties and responsibilities, third party advertisers, question and answer period.
There will also be a presentation by the municipal clerk, Nuts & Bolts: The Inside Track on Serving as a Municipal Elected Official.
The session will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion. Registration is required ahead of time.
Anyone interested in attending is asked to call the municipal office at 737-2700 or email email@example.com.
MacKinnon informed that unofficial lists of candidates will be updated, at a very minimum, weekly and will be posted on the municipal elections page (www.siouxlookoutvotes2018.ca). The unofficial list of candidates will also be posted on the TV in the lobby of the municipal office.”
The unofficial list of candidates for municipal council, as of May 3, included Jason Bailey seeking the position of mayor and Ron Bird seeking the position of councillor at large.
For all things 2018 elections, residents are encouraged to visit www.siouxlookoutvotes2018.ca.