Update: According to a Nov. 7 press release from Rick Ackland, Jim Winsor and Kings County resident Nancy Saul-Demers, an application to have elections in Kings County Districts 8 and 11 was filed in Supreme Court Nov. 7.
By Kirk Starratt
A Supreme Court challenge to the disqualification of two Kings County council candidates is expected to be filed this week, says Rick Ackland.
Ackland, one of the two disqualified candidates involved in the challenge, told the Kings County Register Nov. 4 that the application would be filed in Kentville. Joining him in the application is Jim Winsor and an unnamed Kings County citizen, who Ackland says came forward expressing a desire to challenge the disqualifications.
If successful, the legal challenge could potentially nullify election results in their respective districts, 11 and 8, necessitating another election.
“I’m really surprised by the number of people who come and say nice things,” Ackland said.
Ackland described the citizen support as the endorsement of a wish to clean things up in Kings County municipal politics. He said competence is required above all else and wonders what will happen if people get so disenfranchised with the state of democracy that it becomes a repellent to wanting to run for office or vote.
Ackland, who was running in District 8, and Winsor, who was running in District 11, were disqualified by the returning officer for failing to resign from positions as citizen appointees on municipal committees and boards for which they received a small stipend prior to filing nomination papers to run for county council. Winsor served on the municipal trails committee and Ackland on the board of Grand View Manor.
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Ackland maintains Grand View Manor, a senior citizens home in Berwick, is governed by the provincial Department of Health and Wellness and is not a creature of the county. Ackland said he didn’t even know about the stipend when he volunteered to serve as a citizen appointee.
“I feel compelled to do it,” he said of the legal challenge, although says the decision to do so wasn’t made easily or lightly.
“It was something we considered deeply,” Winsor added.
“We had to see if there was a good case to be made.”
The third candidate who was disqualified, Peter Jackson in District 2, is not involved with the legal challenge. He was disqualified for failing to resign from the municipal planning advisory committee.
Gary Connolly defeated incumbent Eric Smith in District 11, where Winsor was running prior to his disqualification, and incumbent Dale Lloyd defeated Ted Palmer in District 8, where Ackland was running.