The Cumberland Ward by-election has been put off until fiurther notice. During their regular meeting on Thursday, March 25, city council deferred a decision on when and how to fill the seat left vacant by the departure of former ward councillor Stephen Blais in order to allow city solicitor Rick O'Connor time to come back with a report on the matter.
Under normal circumstance the city would have 60 days to either hold a by-election of appoint a someone. O'Connor plas to use those 60 days to put together a report which is little more than an exercise to buy time while the city, and more importantly the residents of Cumberland, are dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.
According to O'Connor the latest the city could hold a by-election under his interpretation of the section of the Ontario Municipal Act that deals with filling vacancies is August 31. He based his interpretation on communications he's had with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs which indicated the Ministry had full faith in the city to fill the seat under the current legislation.
During discussion of the issue several councllors expressed their desire to eventually hold a by-election no matter how long it takes, rather than needing to appoint someone.
In the interim, the needs of the residents living in the ward will be divided between three councilors.
Osgoode Ward councillor George Darouze will look after the rural part of Cumberland Ward including Cumberland Village, Navan, Sarsfield and Vars; Innes Ward councillor Laura Dudas will look after the urban part of the ward south of Innes Road in Avalon; and Orléans Ward Coun. Matt Luloff will look after the the urban part of the ward north of Innes Road in Cardinal Creek, South Fallingbrook and the section of Queenswood Heights between Innes Road and Des Epinettes.
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