A new Chief Election Officer has been appointed in Fort St. James to officiate the process to hold a by-election for the position of Mayor. Fort St. James is one of the first municipalities in the province to appoint a Chief Election Officer since COVID-19 was first declared in March this year.
Duncan Malkinson, corporate officer for the district said council’s appointment of a Chief Election Officer sets in motion a “sequence of legislatively required events.”
The district will hold a nomination period for the election and more information about the nomination period will be provided soon, Malkinson added.
“District staff are excited to start work on this integral task, and ensure the public can cast their ballots in a safe way. There will be working guidance provided by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing in order to ensure that this balance is struck.”
“District staff will also consult with the Northern Health Authority and WorksafeBC to ensure that we meet commitments to our staff and the public,” Malkinson said.
The draft schedule has a date of September 26 this year for the election.
New 5-year agreement with the RDBN
The district has entered into a new five-year agreement with the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako which will allow planners at the RDBN to carry out planning work such as zoning on behalf of the district. Duncan Malkinson said the “agreement was presented to council to help district staff build off the expertise of the dedicated staff for that purpose at the regional district.”
Malkinson said almost all planning related work will continue to be performed by district staff. “The agreement permits consultation on some of the more exciting and complex projects expected for the community in the near future, such as a new hospital and RCMP detachment. Additionally, the agreement provides an initial step for district staff to move forward with work on an Official Community Plan renewal with the RDBN.”
Glitches during July 14 Virtual Meeting
Malkinson said the district had some internet interruptions in the office and some difficulty with District Zoom accounts during a regular public meeting on July 14. These glitches prevented the public from being able to access parts of the meeting.
The agenda and minutes from the meeting will be made online. And if any member of the public needs further clarification, the district office will be able to respond to those inquiries.