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City to receive funding to cover referendum vote costs

The City of Grande Prairie will be receiving over $275,000 from the provincial government to help cover the costs associated with referendum questions and senate votes on the same day as the municipal election.

In a letter penned to Mayor Jackie Clayton on August 5th, Minister of Municipal Affairs Ric McIver said holding the referendum the same day as the local election on October 18th will allow for cost savings, and still provide a chance for Albertans to have their voices heard.

City Councillor Dylan Bressey says while he disagrees with using the municipal election to cover provincial and federal matter, he’s happy to see the province pick up the tab.

“The way they’re paying us is really appropriate, there isn’t a lot of red tape involved, they’re just acknowledging there are costs, they’re paying the costs in a no-fuss manner,” he says.

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“It’s very much in the ballpark of what our added costs are, we do need to print more ballots, count more ballots, our workers will be at the polls longer,” he adds.

According to the province, if for any reason the senate or referendum votes are cancelled, the municipality will need to repay any funding provided for cost-covering. Referendum topics in the upcoming municipal elections include equalization payments, daylight saving time, and senate nominee selections. The municipal election is set to take place on October 18th.

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