Above: Election signs were already popping up around town on Monday, shortly after the close of nominations – this one on vacant land across from the Westwinds development on 100 Street.
by Colin Smith
With the close of candidate nominations at noon today, the 2021 municipal general election campaign is officially underway.
On Monday, October 18, Morinville residents will elect the mayor and six councillors to serve a four-year term.
Incumbent Mayor Barry Turner is seeking another term. However, unlike the 2017 election, which saw Turner elected by acclamation, this year he faces two challengers, Simon Boersma and Shane Ladouceur.
Five of the six members of the past council are also seeking reelection, the exception being Lawrence Giffin.
Candidates for councillor are Jenn Anheliger, Rebecca Balanko, Nicole Boutestein, Stephen Dafoe, Wayne Gatza, Sarah Hall, Alan John Otway, Scott Richardson, Maurice St. Denis, Erin Vollick and Ray White.
Local separate and public school trustees are also up for election this fall.
Noreen Radford and René Tremblay were reelected by acclamation to the Board of Trustees of Greater St. Albert Roman Catholic Separate School Division, Ward 2, which includes Morinville, Bon Accord, Carbondale, Cardiff, and Namao, north of Hwy 37.
Nominations also closed at noon today for Sturgeon Public Schools trustees, including, Ward 5, Morinville. Sturgeon returning officer Liliana LeVesconte has yet to release the candidate list, citing the Local Government Elections Act, which allows publication of the names to take place up to 48 hours after the closure of nominations.
When at the polling booth voters will receive ballots for two referendum questions determined by the Government of Alberta, to which they can vote yes or no.
The first question is: Should section 36(2) of the Constitution Act, 1982 – Parliament and the government of Canada’s commitment to the principle of making equalization payments – be removed from the constitution?
The other question is: Do you want Alberta to adopt year-round Daylight Saving Time, which is summer hours, eliminating the need to change our clocks twice a year? The answer to this second question will be considered binding by the provincial government.
Electors will also be asked to vote for candidates seeking to be nominees for filling future vacancies related to Alberta in the Senate of Canada.
Senate nominee candidates are: Erika Barootes, Conservative Party of Canada; Rick Bonnett, Independent; Pam Davidson, Conservative Party of Canada; Duncan Kinney, Independent; Doug A. Horner, Independent; Mykhailo Martyniouk, Conservative Party of Canada; Jeff Nielsen, Independent; Karina Pillay, Independent; Chad Jett Thunders Saunders, Independent; Sunil Sookram, Independent.
Contact information for the candidates is available at https://www.elections.ab.ca/senate-and-referendum/senate-candidates/who-are-the-senate-candidates/.
The names of the three candidates elected will be put forward by the Government of Alberta for consideration by the federal government, but there is no requirement that they be selected for the senate.
In the previous four senate elections, nine senate nominees have been selected. Of these, five have received appointments to the Senate of Canada.
On Election Day the Morinville Community Cultural Centre, 9502 -100 Avenue, is the designated polling station. The polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Advance polls will be held Saturday, October 9; Wednesday, October 13; Thursday, October 14; Saturday, October 16, with varying hours.
Other voting opportunities include institutional voting stations, special ballots and home visits by deputy returning officers.
Further information, including voting eligibility and identification requirements, as well as candidate contact information, is available from the Morinville returning officer at Census and Elections, St. Germain Place, 10125-100 Avenue, Morinville. Alberta, Canada T8R 1L6, Phone 780-939-4361, Fax 780-939-5633 or by email at email email@example.com. Website: https://www.morinville.ca/en/town-hall/election.aspx.
In the last Morinville Municipal General Election, October 16, 2017, 1,449 of the estimated 6,185 eligible voters cast a ballot, a 23% turnout.
While Barry Turner became mayor-elect by acclamation, Rebecca Balanko was elected to the council with 855 votes, Nicole Boutestein received 1,063, Stephen Dafoe, 1,084, Lawrence Giffin, 650, Sarah Hall, 821, and Scott Richardson, 999. Unsuccessful candidate Neil McDougall received 531 votes.
We will have our weekly Candidate Question article starting later this week.