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Resignation prompts byelection in St Pierre

By: Jordan Ross

Posted: 01/3/2019 9:15 AM

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Less than a month after a shorthanded St Pierre council returned to full strength, a resignation has the village gearing up for a byelection.

Francine Roy resigned her seat effective Nov. 23, less than a month after she was acclaimed to a second term in last October’s municipal elections. Roy participated in her final regular meeting of council on Nov. 21.

A nomination period for the resulting Feb. 13 byelection opened yesterday and closes Jan. 8 at 3 p.m.

Roy sold her condominium and no longer resides in St Pierre, Mayor Raymond Maynard explained Monday. Council knew she planned to move but didn’t expect her property to sell so quickly, he added.

"She didn’t know how long it was going to take for her house to sell…that’s why she put her name in for councillor again."

If Roy hadn’t let her name stand last fall, Maynard and Councillor Paul Gauthier couldn’t have formed quorum.

"The (provincial) government would have had to appoint an administrator and the municipal government would cease until there was another election sometime down the road," Maynard said.

Roy joined council in October 2015, the lone candidate to run in a byelection to replace Councillor Brian Martel, who also resigned.

She served on the village’s finance, composting, and Rat River health committees, Maynard said.

Records show St Pierre residents haven’t gone to the polls since 2006. Acclamations determined mayor and council in the subsequent three general elections.

A shortage of candidates last fall meant Maynard, Roy, and Gauthier’s first task was to appoint two more colleagues. They chose Paule Peloquin and Raymond Gagne from a list of names generated by an independent committee.

The Municipal Act doesn’t permit Roy’s seat to be filled in the same manner, though acclamation remains a possibility.

Maynard said that’s unlikely, as the opening appears to be generating interest around town.

"I know of a couple of people that want to put in their names."

He encouraged prospective candidates to seize an opportunity to contribute to the community.

"It’s fun, it’s interesting, it’s challenging. It’s a really good experience, and I encourage anybody to try it."

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