With the aim of increasing voter turnout in the upcoming municipal election, candidates for Mayor and Ward Councilor in Prince Edward County are being invited to share their thoughts on a wide range of issues once a week.
The County’s official list of certified candidates includes 4 candidates for Mayor and 29 candidates for Ward Councilor (13 offices in 9 Wards). Eight incumbents are seeking re-election, including the Mayor and 7 Councilors.
Responses to Invitation 4 were received from 21 candidates (63.6%), including 2 candidates for Mayor (50.0%) and 19 candidates for Ward Councilor (65.5%) (see RSVPs at a glance).
Candidates received Invitation 4 on September 14, 2022 and were asked to forward their responses by September 19, 2022. Candidates’ responses were published here and on Facebook on September 21, 2022.
Pecuniary conflicts of interest
Against the background provided in Invitation 4, candidates were asked to identify any pecuniary conflicts of interest that they might need to declare. Twelves candidates (57.1%) anticipated having no pecuniary conflicts of interest. Five candidates identified potentail pecuniary conflicts of interest relating to their own or a family member’s business; three of these businesses involved STAs.
Amending Council’s Code of Conduct
Candidates were asked to rate their agreement with two amendments to Council’s Code of Conduct to address other conflicts of interest. Table 1 presents the numbers and percentages of candidates’ ratings:
|Amendment||Strongly disagree||Disagree||Neither||Agree||Strongly agree|
|The County should adopt a Council Code of Conduct that addresses non-pecuniary conflicts of interests.||0||3||3||7||8|
|The County should adopt a Council Code of Conduct that addresses the pecuniary conflicts of interests of a family member who is not a parent, spouse or child.||1||3||3||7||7|
Table 2 categorizes candidates’ ratings as Not in favour, Neither, and In favour of the amendments:
|The County should adopt a Council Code of Conduct that addresses non-pecuniary conflicts of interests.||3||3||15|
|The County should adopt a Council Code of Conduct that addresses the pecuniary conflicts of interests of a family member who is not a parent, spouse or child.||4||3||14|
Difficult-to-answer questions from voters
Candidates were asked to identify the most difficult-to-answer question that they’ve been asked in their campaign and to explain why the question was the most difficult-to-answer. Eight candidates identified no such question. Other candidates identified questions covering a wide range of voters’ concerns. Only two questions related to the same issue: water rates.
As promised, we posed one other voter’s question to the candidates:
“On October 21, 2020, Council voted unanimously to deny a rezoning application from Picton Terminals to bring in container and cruise ships. If presented with a similar vote today, who would you vote (deny or approve)? Why?”
Fourteen candidates indicated that they would vote to deny the rezoning application, one candidate would vote to approve, and six candidates would need to deliberate with more information.
As usual, everyone is encouraged to read the candidates’ unredacted responses to Invitation 4.