Court proceedings in a challenge to the Oct. 20 Kings County election will go ahead on Dec. 10.
Jim Winsor and Rick Ackland - along with Black River Lake resident Nancy Saul-Demers – applied Nov. 7 to have elections in two county districts overturned. The two men dispute their disqualification by returning officer Heather Archibald after it was discovered both served on municipal boards or committees.
Under the Municipal Elections Act, employees and members of municipal boards and commissions who receive payment must take a leave of absence before seeking nomination in an election.
In Supreme Court in Kentville Dec. 6, Judge Gregory Warner dismissed a motion to separate the questions of whether the candidates were eligible and whether the returning officer had the jurisdiction to remove them from the ballot once nominated - as well as whether or not the election should be overturned – as one matter.
“Disputed elections are matters of public interest, and because if the court leaves anything unresolved, it probably isn’t going to satisfy the requirements of a full airing of how the Municipal Elections Act applies to the processes that went on,” Warner said. “I think it would be in the public interest to air all the issues and not just some of them.”
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Winsor, who was nominated in District 11, served on the municipal trails committee and Ackland, who was nominated in District 8, served on the board of Grand View Manor.
Archibald disqualified the pair Oct. 5 after a third candidate – Peter Jackson, who was running in District 2 – realized he was ineligible and brought the issue forward. Jackson is not challenging the decision.
Lawyer David Daniels is representing the applicants; Douglas Lutz is representing the county’s chief administrative officer, Bob Ashley, and Archibald; Daniel Weir is representing District 8 Coun. Dale Lloyd, who was also named in the application. Ted Palmer, a candidate in District 8; former District 11 Coun. Eric Smith and current Coun. Gary Connolly are representing themselves.