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HomeNewsGrande Prairie councillor wants more detail on recall legislation

Grande Prairie councillor wants more detail on recall legislation

A Grande Prairie city councillor is concerned that a blanket approach to proposed recall legislation could make it far too simple to spark a byelection.

Bill 204, tabled by MLA for Drayton Valley—Devon Mark Smith, would allow any registered voter in an electoral division to apply for a recall to take place if they reach the threshold of signatures within a reasonable amount of time.

Grande Prairie Councillor Dylan Bressey says the number of signatures is a sticking point for him, as he aruges, if it’s based on the percentage of the population, it could be potentially abused in smaller municipalities.

“If it’s just based on the proportion of voters, in a really small municipality, could someone get recall paperwork done by visiting the coffee shop one morning… I don’t think that’s appropriate.”

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Bressey adds recall legislation is something that he believes can be a useful piece of legislation, but hopes on top of the population variance, they legislate a difference between municipal and provincial politics.

“I don’t think a one size fits all approach works, as in what works great in Calgary won’t work in Grande Prairie, and what works in Grande Prairie won’t work in Sexsmith.”

Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer says the recall legislation is just part of what he calls a robust “democratic reform”, and the issue surrounding the number of signatures is still being discussed.

“There is a committee at the legislature that is reviewing that right now, so, after an election, you shouldn’t be able to go out there and recall someone immediately before they get to work,” Schweitzer says.

“It has been done, and sometimes it’s needed if you somebody who isn’t behaving properly, if you have someone who has broken promises or potentially even crossed the floor… a recall is there to hold people accountable,” he adds.

There is currently no scheduled date for the bill to return to the legislature for a third reading.

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