Restoration of municipal by-elections is a victory for local democracy

The Union of the Municipalities of New Brunswick is celebrating Elections New Brunswick’s announcement that municipal by-elections are being restored to December 2018.

“This is a victory for municipalities and a victory for local democracy. Thank you to Chief Electoral Officer Kim Poffenroth for listening to our concerns and immediately taking action,” said UMNB President Wayne Sturgeon.

In a news release on Friday, October 19, Elections New Brunswick announced that it “has reconsidered plans to postpone municipal byelections until next spring and will now hold them on Monday, Dec. 10. The decision to reschedule the byelections follows discussions with the Union of Municipalities of New Brunswick.”

“This means New Brunswickers get to exercise their democratic right to pick the local men & women who’ll represent them, and municipalities can get back to work building the communities we love,” said President Sturgeon.

President Sturgeon wrote to the Chief Electoral Officer Kim Poffenroth and the leaders of New Brunswick’s political parties on Friday, October 12 2018 asking her to reverse the decision to delay municipal by-elections from December 3, 2018 to May 6, 2019. President Sturgeon met in person with the Chief Electoral Officer on Wednesday, October 17 2018.

“This is an important victory, but it reveals a larger issue: Elections NB isn’t resourced to run simultaneous large-scale elections. But with a minority government, that’s the new reality,” said UMNB Executive Director Margot Cragg. “It’s not acceptable for local democracy to suffer because of minority government. We need to ensure Elections NB has the resources they need to meet these new challenges and ensure strong local democracy for all New Brunswickers.”

The Union of the Municipalities of New Brunswick is a bilingual association of municipalities throughout the province. UMNB works to ensure the priorities of municipalities and their residents are heard.

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For more information, please contact: 

Margot Cragg, UMNB Executive Director, (506) 476-5641, margot.cragg@umnb.ca