George Doubt and Al Drummond were in the public gallery at City of Powell River Committee of the Whole on Tuesday, January 15.
Doubt would have been in a council seat if not for his election to the sixth and last seat in the October 2018 general election being annulled by a BC Supreme Court judge. A petition was filed by Drummond to have the election declared invalid based on voter irregularities.
Drummond lost to Doubt by two votes, 1,766 to 1,764. The court found four ineligible ballots and since the difference could have decided the outcome, ruled Doubt’s election invalid.
City clerk and chief electoral officer Chris Jackson recommended a byelection be held on either Saturday, March 30, or Saturday, April 6. He said it will be conducted like any civic election: open to any Powell River resident who wants to declare candidacy, allowing for mail-in ballots and having advance polls.
Jackson said he estimates the cost of the byelection to be $45,000.
Meanwhile, with Doubt no longer a councillor, his portfolios stand vacant. Mayor Dave Formosa said he would put forward names to assume the responsibilities at the regular council meeting on Thursday, January 16
Councillor Rob Southcott will be taking on most of the vacant portfolios, including the key position as finance committee chair and one of two municipal director positions on the qathet Regional District board.
Formosa is recommending councillor Cindy Elliott be Southcott’s alternate on the regional board. Maggie Hathaway will take over the tourism file.