Council is holding a byelection to replace Scott Forsyth (third from right). Photo by John Boivin

UPDATE: Rossland by-election to be postponed

Votes delayed to allow municipalities to focus on coronavirus strategy

UPDATE: The provincial government has moved to delay the Rossland by-election that was scheduled for April 4.

It was one of four scheduled votes — two other by-elections and a referendum — that have been posteponed to “help ensure residents are not required to gather in polling stations and will free up local government resources to focus on dealing with the impact of COVID-19”.

“I know that local governments are working hard to keep their communities safe and protected during this pandemic,” said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson. “… After consulting with our public health officials and local governments, I have signed a ministerial order postponing by-elections and referendums in these communities so they can focus on protecting their residents.”

The cities of Victoria and Rossland had by-elections set for April 4, and Lytton had a by-election set for April 25. Kamloops had a referendum scheduled for April 4.

Rescheduling the byelections and referendum will be done in conjunction with public health officials and Elections BC.

ORIGINAL STORY: The coronavirus pandemic may delay the selection of a new city councillor in Rossland.

City election officials have asked the province to let them put off the by-election scheduled for April 4.

“In light of the recent announcements from the provincial & federal governments regarding provisions to limit the spread of COVID-19, the ability to hold a fair and accessible by-election within the City of Rossland is compromised,” says a release from the city’s chief returning officer, Alison Worford.

“Therefore, this morning, staff forwarded correspondence to [the province] to authorize the cancellation or postponement of the City’s scheduled by-election until the COVID-19 pandemic is declared over.”

The release says the minister responsible is considering the request, and “we will provide an update once this decision has been made.”

The by-election was called in January after the resignation of first-time councillor Scott Forsyth.

Three people have declared their candidacy for the position.

Check the City of Rossland’s webpage for the most current information regarding the status of the scheduled by-election at www.rossland.ca.

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