New by-law amendments were approved that allow Council more flexibility in filling a Council seat vacancy by making by-elections discretionary, regardless of when in a term a Council vacancy occurs.
Previously, a by-election needed to be held if more than 12 months remained in the Council member’s term before the expiry of the member’s term of office.
The amendments provide Council three options:
- Leave the seat vacant;
- Hold a by-election; or
- Allow Council to appoint the candidate who had the most votes of the unsuccessful candidates in the last election for the district in question.
However, if the vacancy leaves Council with less than the minimum number (15) of elected physician members that is required under the Medicine Act, Council must fill at least one of those vacancies so that it is properly constituted.
Immediately following the new by-law’s approval, Council chose not to hold a by-election to fill the current vacancy left by a recent resignation. The member’s term of office would have expired in December 2023. Instead, Council will hold an election for the District 5 seat next year, as part of its regular election cycle.