Lakes District News asked the provincial government if a mayoral candidate can be married to someone employed by the municipality, and if that creates a conflict of interest.
According to the provincial government, there is currently nothing in the legislation that prohibits an individual from running as a mayoral candidate while a spouse is employed by the municipality.
The community charter provides conflict of interest rules for local government elected officials who have a financial or another interest in a matter to be discussed and voted on. An elected official may not remain or attend any part of a meeting during which the matter is under consideration, participate in discussions, vote or exercise influence on this matter.
If there are concerns that an elected official is in a conflict of interest and has failed to follow the charter process, then 10 or more electors of the municipality may apply to the Supreme Court of B.C. for an order to address this issue under section 111 of the charter.
Burns Lake’s by-election will take place on Dec. 10, 2016 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the village office. Advance polls will be held on Nov. 30, 2016.
Burns Lake residents interested in running for the mayor or councillor positions have until Nov. 4 at 4 p.m. to submit an application.
In the meantime, council can still function with three members. However, if any other councillors choose to resign at this point, this would result in a second by-election, costing the village approximately $5000.