Qualicum Beach council has decided to ask residents if they would endorse a proposal to move from four to six councillors.
Staff recommended a question be included to the general municipal election ballot on Oct. 15. Voting is one process the town may apply to obtain public opinion under the Local Government Act.
The question is: “Are you in favour of the Town of Qualicum Beach council increasing in size from four councillors to six councillors, effective October 2026.”
Coun. Scott Harrison indicated since there has been a huge misconception and concerns from residents that the proposal to increase council size would change the town’s designation to city, he asked town staff whether it should be included in the question.
Corporate administrator and deputy CAO Heather Svensen said it was not necessary as staff intends to make it clear in the promotion and advertising the town’s designation would not change if council’s size increases.
Coun. Anne Skipsey made a motion to strike the ‘effective October 2026’ date to ensure council would not be restricted and be able to move forward should there be any legislation changes made by the province.
Svensen said the only reason they included the date was also due to misinformation that the proposed changes would take effect right away.
“We want to make it perfectly clear that it will take effect only at the next municipal elections on 2026 unless the legislation changes,” said Svensen. “We can take it off from here and include that in our promotional material.”
Council voted unanimously on the proposed question.
Staff made it clear that following the Oct. 15 vote, the results of the assent voting public opinion is non-binding. It will be presented to council for consideration. If council votes to increase council size, a bylaw will be required and adopted before April 2026. It will become effective for the October 2026 and the new seven-member council would take office in November 2026.