by Jennifer Lavallee
Morinville News Correspondent
In almost exactly one year, Morinville residents will be joining others from across the province as they elect new local governments in their communities.
Municipal elections are occurring Alberta-wide on Oct. 16, 2017.
Rules outlining how municipalities must run their elections—and guidelines for candidates and voters—are explicitly laid out in a piece of Alberta legislation called, the Local Authorities Election Act (LAEA).
Some changes have been made by the Government to the LAEA since the last election in 2013. For example, candidates must now be registered with the Returning Officer before they can accept any campaign donations.
The Returning Officer for this next election in Morinville is Jennifer Maskoske, the Town’s Legislative Officer. Maskoske explained in an interview, those interested in becoming a candidate can officially throw their name in the hat on Nomination Day, which is Sept. 18, 2017, between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.
“I have not received any calls [yet] on the election,” noted Maskoske, who added she would be making information available regarding the election soon. She also said Candidate Information Sessions would be available in early 2017.
By the end of this year, a Candidate Handbook will also be available on the Town’s website.
Morinville’s Council consists of one Mayor and six councillors. The role of Deputy-Mayor rotates between each of the councillors once during their four-year term.
Over the years, interest appears to be increasing for the seven seats up for grabs in Morinville. In 2013, there were 20 candidates (four vying for the Mayoral position, and 16 for the Councillor positions). This stat compares to 12 in the 2010 election (two for the Mayoral position and 10 for the Councillor positions).