Updated Dec. 6, 10:40 a.m.
Court proceedings in a challenge to the Oct. 20 Kings County election will go ahead on Dec. 10. In Supreme Court in Kentville Dec. 6, Justice Gregory Warner dismissed a motion to separate the two issues and hear both together. The case has recessed for the day.
A request for the court to void the election in Kings County Districts 8 and 11 is being heard by Justice Warner in the Kentville Justice Centre this morning.
“We are asking the court to determine that the Returning Officer exceeded her jurisdiction when she revoked my candidacy and Rick Ackland’s candidacy and removed our names from the ballots,” said Jim Winsor, one of the applicants. Section 48 (3) of The Municipal Elections Act says “A returning officer shall not reject a nomination paper after he has signed the receipt on the nomination paper.”
Rick Ackland, one of the applicants and a retired lawyer said, “When it comes to section 48 of the Act, the law is clear and case law is clear with the precedent set in the recent Jones case in Halifax and the earlier MacKinnon case. There is due process to be followed here.”
Lawyer David Daniels volunteered his services for this case. He explained his involvement saying, “It’s important that those in authority follow the law. This is especially important when poor decisions can adversely impact the functioning of democracy, as was the case here." Daniels noted that when a lawyer works without a fee, it’s calledpro bono publico – literally “for the public good.” “I strongly believe that voiding the election results in Districts 8 and 11, and holding an election in accordance with the law, is in the public’s interest.”
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“All we want is democracy, in the form of fair and reasonably administered elections,” said Nancy Saul-Demers, one of the applicants. “We have faith in the legal system and we’re very grateful that this is moving along briskly. They say justice delayed is justice denied and we’re pleased that’s not happening here.”
On Nov. 7, District 11 candidate Jim Winsor, District 8 candidate Rick Ackland and Black River Lake resident Nancy Saul-Demers asked the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia to void the elections in Districts 8 and 11. They believe the 2012 Kings County election was not conducted in a fair and reasonable manner when the Returning Officer removed names from the ballots just eight days before the first advance poll. If their application is successful, new elections will take place in those two districts.
The Advertiser/Register is staffing the court case and will be reporting on the results throughout the day.