The province has given the Village of McBride the go-ahead to continue with its remaining council members until a by-election can be held.
Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Peter Fassbender has signed a Ministerial order giving the the two council members the power of quorum until the community can hold a by-election to replace the empty seats on council. However, the order also asks the mayor and other remaining council member to refrain from making long-term decisions for the community during this time and to focus on issues needed to keep the municipal government functioning.
“It is unfortunate the community has found itself in the situation of being without quorum on their village council,” Fassbender said in a statement released on Thursday. “However, the ministry is taking all necessary action to help McBride move forward. We recognize that a number of serious concerns have been raised within the community, and this is why restoring stability is my immediate priority.”
In addition to the Ministerial order, Fassbender has outlined several other provisions for the village to follow, including appointing a chief electoral officer (CEO) and deputy chief election officer to run the by-election, which must fall on a Saturday and take place within 80 days of the appointment of the CEO.
The province is also bringing in, and paying for, a municipal advisor to help stabilize the municipal government and consult with the community to develop strategies for successful government going forward. The provincial inspector of municipalities will also be visiting the village to meet with council and staff as well as the municipal advisor.
In an interview today, Fassbender said he’s also been in communication with local MLA Shirley Bond.
“She’s equally concerned that we bring stability to the community. It’s important to do that and so our objective is to do everything we can to do that, to assist in any way we can.”
Fassbender says he’s hopeful that the items from the Ministerial order will help the community move forward.
“It is imperative that there is a clear path to order and good government so that community members interested in stepping forward as candidates in the by-election will have confidence in their road ahead,” Fassbender said.