The Town of Qualicum Beach council will need to consider a number of alternatives to inform the public of the close of advance registration for the May 15, 2021 byelection.
Haylee Gould, the town’s deputy corporate administrator, has indicated in a report a print deadline is ‘not practicable’ for traditional notice of the close of advance registration for the byelection to replace Adam Walker, who resigned to become the MLA for Parksville-Qualicum.
A special council meeting will be held on Monday, March 8, 10 a.m. to consider Gould’s recommendation:
• Publishing the notice on the town’s website; and
• Publishing the notice on the town’s Facebook social media page; and
• Posting the notice on the town’s public notice posting boards (located in two locations at Town
• Distributing the notice by email to the town’s newsletter contacts.
Advance registration closes 53 days before general voting day. In this case, that will be March 23 and notice must be posted at least six days, but not more than 30 days, before this date.
Gould indicated in her report that notice under this legislation is required to be circulated in a local newspaper for two consecutive weeks.
Since the chief electoral officer was only appointed on Feb. 24, the town encountered difficulties meeting the deadlines to put ads on the PQB News, which publishes every Wednesday. The town missed the March 3 edition of the newspaper but aims to place notices in the March 10 and March 17 publications.
Section 29 of the Community Charter allows local government to consider alternatives when traditional notice is not practicable. Gould indicated that the Ministry of Municipal Affairs has been informed of the notification timeline issue.
Some Qualicum Beach residents are not happy with town’s staff recommendations.
“Our seniors read the PQB News and are not on Facebook and they don’t tweet,” said Douglas Mackay-Dunn, president of the Qualicum Beach Residents’ Association. “But they do vote.”