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.
Candidates received Invitation 7 on October 3, 2022 and were asked to forward their responses by October 11, 2022.
Responses were received from 18 candidates (54.5%) (see RSVPs at a glance).
On September 22, 2022, The County Foundation released the 2022 Vital Signs Report for Prince Edward County. VitalSigns is a national program, led by community foundations, and coordinated by Community Foundations of Canada, to leverage local knowledge, measure the vitality of our communities, and support action towards improving our collective quality of life. The VitalSigns Report and VitalSigns Data Bank are organized around nine themes.
Against this background, for of these themes, candidates were asked to choose any one of these themes and outline a course of action that Council should consider to reinforce successes and/or address challenges identified in the VitalSigns Report.
Table 1 identifies the themes chosen by 17 candidates:
|Good health & well-being||3||17.7%|
|Transportation & mobility||1||5.8%|
|Safety & justice||0||0.0%|
The Municipal Act requires Council “to ensure the accountability and transparency of the operations of the municipality.” s. 224(d.1) The Act provides “If a member present at a meeting at the time of a vote requests immediately before or after the taking of the vote that the vote be recorded, each member present…shall announce his or her vote openly and the clerk shall record each vote.” s.246(1)
As part of a Strategic Initiative to review all of its policies and by-laws, Council recently reviewed the Procedure By-law for conducting its meetings. In the course of that review, Council adopted a Transparency and Accountability Policy in June 2022. While the Policy does not require recorded votes, there has been a noticeable increase in members’ requests that votes be recorded.
Against this background, candidates were asked to rate their level of agreement (Strongly disagree | Disagree | Neither disagree or agree | Agree | Strongly agree) with the proposal that “Council should adopt a Procedure By-law that requires that all members’ votes on motions be recorded.” Candidates were also asked to explain their level of agreement with the proposal.
Table 2 presents the numbers and percentages of candidates’ ratings:
|Proposal||Strongly disagree||Disagree||Neither||Agree||Strongly agree|
|Council should require that all members’ votes on motions be recorded.||1||3||4||5||5|
Table 3 categorizes candidates’ ratings as Not in favour, Neither, and In favour of the proposal:
|Proposal||Not in favour||Neither||In favour|
|Council should require that all members’ votes on motions be recorded.||4||4||10|
Diversity, equity and inclusion
I’d promised other voters to pass along some of their questions. So, candidates were asked to share examples of how they’ve been trying to learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion. What have been the biggest changes in their thinking? How are they applying what they’ve learned in their work in the County?
All candidates provided some sort of response.
As usual, everyone is encouraged to read the candidates’ unredacted responses to Invitation 7.