COVID-19 UPDATES FROM THE MUNICIPALITY OF THE COUNTY OF INVERNESS
Municipality of the County of Inverness

Report on Municipal Election

MEMO

To:          Council of the Municipality of the County of Inverness

From:    Dernie Gillis, Chief Returning Officer for the Municipality of the County of Inverness

Date:     November 19, 2020

Re:         Report on Municipal Election for the Municipality of the County of Inverness, held October 17, 2020

I begin by expressing my sincere appreciation to Keith MacDonald, CAO, Tanya Tibbo, Director of Finance, and their very competent and extremely generous staff for their guidance and support during the election. Thank you.

The election itself, as I see it, has three main components: 1. The Electorate; 2. Competent Poll Workers; 3. Suitable Venues in which to work.

This year we had a notable opponent in COVID-19, which threatened to destabilize our election. How we addressed that was all important as well.

The “Electorate” is contained in the preliminary list, as was supplied to us, and updated to June 30th, 2020 by Elections Nova Scotia (“ENS”). From that list we may create a revised list for our use. We cannot alter the preliminary list.

The revised list is graded by the number of voters who are added on Election Day. In our case, 60% or 6,600 total cast their ballots. This is an increase of 10% over previous years. Of that total, 215 were added on election day, or 3.3% of the total vote. These names are then attached to the preliminary list and returned to ENS.

At the provincial Returning Officer meeting on November 9, 2020, many asked the following question:

Why were there so many discrepancies in the preliminary list of electors provided by ENS?

Answer:

  1. The Federal revised List was received by ENS in July, after our list was updated.
  2. Insufficient information received to warrant adding or removing electorate.

Electronic voting (e-voting) was implemented this year to help reduce traffic on October 17, 2020, Election Day. Records will show that this was accomplished by approximately 50%.

We still had to gain the confidence of our communities and assure them that it would be safe to come out to vote and/or work. The Electorate, polling day workers and venue operators were receptive providing we follow Provincial Health Protocols, including (1) Maximum number in venue at one time; (2) Social distancing; (3) Hand and venue sanitizing during the day; (4) One way traffic in and out. In addition, venues were rented for two days, Friday, October 16, 2020 for setup and Saturday, October 17, 2020 for Election Day.

RESULT: 131 Polling day workers were confirmed over 5 Districts, plus one Poll from District #2, for a total of 34 venues, housing a total of 42 Polls. Once we reached this milestone, early to mid September 2020, I felt confident we could do this. We just had to execute.

What followed were Seven training sessions, where workers were briefed on how to run a successful Election, during Covid-19. All materials required were provided during these sessions. Again, thanks to Municipal staff for tracking, purchasing and delivering on these supplies. In addition, A DRO/PC Election Day manual was included.

The daily rate for DRO’s was set at $175.00, while the PC and Guides/Sanitizers received $150.00. The hourly rate was $16.00.

From all reports, the election was a success. No one got sick and from a field of 19 candidates, the people elected or acclaimed 6 Councillors plus two French School Board Representatives (CSAP).

 

Inverness County Council Elects New Warden & Deputy Warden

During the Municipality of the County of Inverness Special Council Meeting held Thursday, November 5, 2020 at the Judique Community Hall, three new Councillors and three incumbents were sworn into office by Justice of the Peace Lynn van de Ven.

This new Council, compromised of Alfred Poirier (District 1), Laurie Cranton (District 2), Bonny MacIsaac (District 3), John MacLennan (District 4), Lynn Chisholm (District 5) and Catherine Gillis (District 6), also elected Inverness County’s new Warden and Deputy Warden.

Councillor Laurie Cranton was elected Warden and Councillor Bonny MacIsaac was elected Deputy Warden. Both Warden Cranton and Deputy Warden MacIsaac were also sworn into their respective offices.

Municipal Council and staff would like to sincerely thank the previous Council for their years of dedication and guidance and look forward to continuing their work.

Inverness County Residents Elect New Council

INVERNESS COUNTY, NS – During the 2020 Municipal Elections, Inverness County residents elected 3 new Councillors and re-elected 1, with 2 other Councillors winning their seats by acclamation. The following Councillors were elected:

District 1:   Alfred Poirier ACCLAIMED

District 2:   Laurie Cranton ACCLAIMED

District 3:   Bonny MacIsaac with 557 votes ELECTED

Gerry Poirier with 217 votes

Jim Mustard with 206 votes

Larry Lariviere with 112 votes

District 4:   John MacLennan with 618 votes ELECTED

Jason Bernard with 265 votes

Christine Dowling with 76 votes

District 5:   Lynn Chisholm with 540 votes ELECTED

Betty Ann MacQuarrie with 394 votes

Thom Oommen with 288 votes

District 6:   Catherine L. Gillis with 737 votes ELECTED

John Dowling with 348 votes

Mary Jess MacDonald with 186 votes

Gerard Gillis with 109 votes

The following candidates were elected as members of the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial School Board:

  • Philippe Haché with 565 votes ELECTED
  • Joeleen Larade with 375 votes ELECTED
  • Leonard LeFort with 341 votes

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Important Update for Electors

The Returning Officer for the Municipality of the County of Inverness provided an Amended List of Electors to the candidates running in the 2020 Municipal Election that displayed the birthdates of the Electors. The List of Electors is a confidential list that is not available for inspection or distribution and is to be used solely by the candidates as a reference guide for campaigning. Upon the conclusion of the election all electoral lists and copies are expected to be returned with an affidavit completed by each of the candidates that confirms they deleted or destroyed any electronic and physical copies. Personal information contained in the list of electors is protected under the Municipal Election Act. The use of this list for any other purpose would be considered a corrupt action under the Act.

Like other municipalities in Nova Scotia, the Municipality of the County of Inverness is allowing electronic, telephone and in-person voting. The Municipality has made every effort possible to make voting more accessible during this pandemic in order to ensure the health and safety of residents, staff, candidates, and election support workers.

The Municipality is utilizing phone and e-voting systems that have incorporated a rigid validation process and format to ensure the continued integrity and confidentiality of the voting process. Regardless of the release of the birthdates of electors, the Municipality has a multi-step audit process to validate the identity of the elector.

Voting irregularities are always a concern and using a relatively new method of voting, like e-voting, can heighten those concerns. The staff of the Municipality of the County of Inverness are taking the steps required to identify electors during the e-voting, telephone voting and in-person polling processes.

NOTICE: Call for Nominations

Nomination papers for all candidates contesting the following positions in the October 17th, 2020 Municipal Elections are available by contacting the Returning Officer at 902-258-5012 or by emailing dernie.gillis@invernesscounty.ca. For more detailed information regarding qualifications for candidates, nomination papers and district descriptions, visit https://invernesscounty.ca/municipal-elections/

  1. One (1) Councillor for each of the Polling Districts

District #1- Chéticamp, Pleasant Bay & Meat Cove

District #2- Grand Étang/St.Joseph du Moine & the Margarees

District #3- Inverness, Dunvegan & Area

District #4- Lake Ainslie, Whycocomagh & Area

District #5- Port Hood, Mabou & Area

District #6- Judique, Port Hastings, West Bay & Area

  1. Two (2) members of the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial (CSAP) representing all districts in the Municipality of the County of Inverness.

Please note: Nomination papers may be filed with the Returning Officer August 27th, 28th, and 31st as well as September 1st – 4th, 2020 by appointment. Nomination Day is Sept. 8th, 2020, 9:00am – 5:00pm at the Municipal Administrative Building (375 Main Street, Port Hood). Appointments are recommended.

Dated at Port Hood, Nova Scotia this 18th day of August, 2020.

Dernie Gillis

Returning Officer

NOTICE OF (VIRTUAL) PUBLIC HEARING: Proposed Adoption of By-Law for the Municipality of the County of Inverness

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE THAT the Municipality of the County of Inverness intends to consider adopting the following by-law:

By-Law to Authorize Voting by Telephone and Internet for the 2020 Municipal Election

The Municipality accepted First Reading of the By-Law to Authorize the Voting by Telephone and Internet for the 2020 Municipal Election on July 9th, 2020.

The motion to adopt the By-Law to Authorize the Voting by Telephone and Internet for the 2020 Municipal Election will be presented to the Municipal Council for Second and Final Reading at the Regular Municipal Council Meeting, Thursday, August 6th, 2020 at 1:30 pm online.

A copy of the By-Law to Authorize the Voting by Telephone and Internet for the 2020 Municipal Election can be inspected online by clicking here or at the office of the Municipality of the County of Inverness, 375 Main St., Port Hood, NS.

Written or oral presentations (in favour or opposition) regarding the new By-Law to Authorize the Voting by Telephone and Internet for the 2020 Municipal Election

can be made before Council at the Public Hearing to be held:

Thursday, August 6th, 2020

1:00 pm by Zoom Video Conference

375 Main St., Port Hood, NS

Since participation in the meeting will be via an online meeting platform

 please call 902-787-3501 prior to August 6th, and you will be issued a link

with directions on how to participate.

Please also take notice that the Public Hearing will be followed by a regular meeting of Municipal Council at 1:30 pm on August 6th, 2020.

If you have any further questions, please call 902-787-3501.

Call for Municipal Election Support Workers

The Municipality of the County of Inverness seeks Deputy Returning Officers, Poll Clerks and Guides to manage Polling Stations for the 2020 Municipal Election October 17, 2020 within the Municipality in accordance with the Nova Scotia Municipal Elections Act.

Reporting to the Returning Officer:

  • The Deputy Returning Officer or DRO oversees a particular polling station on election day, in accordance with the Nova Scotia Municipal Elections Act. Rate of pay is $175/day.
  • The Poll Clerk keeps a written record of the voting at the polling station, in accordance with the Nova Scotia Municipal Elections Act. Rate of pay is $150/day.
  • The Poll Guides will register voters as they enter polling stations; direct voters to appropriate poll for voting; enforce and maintain social distancing as required by Provincial and Municipal Health requirements, as it applies to COVID-19. Rate of pay is $150/day.

Qualifications:

  • Candidates must satisfy the requirements to vote in the 2020 Municipal Election in accordance with the Nova Scotia Municipal Elections Act.
  • Training will be provided.
  • Experience is an asset.

Apply by September 1st, 2020 by email at dernie.gillis@invernesscounty.ca. For more information, please call 902-258-5012.