That's Life - March 17, 2021

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to each and everyone of you. May the day of Wednesday, March 17 begin with a big bowl of Lucky Charms.

Here’s a few Irish quotes to start your day. “There are only two kinds of people in the world, the Irish and those who wish they were”.

Now, cover your wife’s ears if you read this out loud. “Here’s to our wives and sweethearts, may the two never meet!”

Now, if you are Irish, vaguely related to anyone Irish or if you just enjoy a good meal, I suggest tucking into a bowl of hearty Guinness stew. And don’t forget to wear green.

As 2021 is a year for Municipal Elections and Election of School Trustees, we’re going to start hearing more about Bill 52.

Bill 52 is all about holding elected officials accountable throughout their term.

Bill 52, the Recall Act, would allow Albertans to initiate a process to remove and replace elected officials including MLA’s, Municipal Officials and School Trustees, during their term.

Under the proposed Recall Act, recall of an elected official becomes an option 18 months after the respective provincial, municipal or school board election. An eligible Albertan could begin the process to have their MLA recalled by applying to the Chief Electoral Officer. In the case of municipal officials, the Albertans would need to notify the Chief Administrative Officer of the municipality. For school board officials, they would apply to the secretary of the relevant school board.

The Albertan would then have 60 days to gather signatures from 40 percent of eligible voters in their constituency for MLAs. For elected municipal officials, the Albertan would need signatures from electors that represent 40 per cent of the population in the municipality or ward. For school board trustees, the Albertan would have 120 days to gather signatures from 40 per cent of eligible voters in that school district or ward.

If the recall petition for an elected municipal official is successful, the elected official is removed once the petition is presented at the next council meeting. If the recall petition for a school board trustee is successful, they would be removed from the board. The board would then decide if a byelection is necessary.

Introduction of the Recall Act fulfils a government platform commitment to “introduce a Recall Act based on the provisions contained in the B.C. Recall and Initiative Act, which allow voters to remove their MLA and force a byelection if 40 per cent of eligible voters in a constituency sign a recall petition no sooner than 18 months after an election.” The Recall Act is also based on a private member’s bill introduced by Devon-Drayton Valley MLA Mark Smith, and adopts recommendations made by the Select Special Democratic Accountability Committee following public consultations on recall and initiative held in 2020.

Quick Facts: • Election Alberta would need to verify the signatures to determine if a recall petition for an MLA is successful. • There will be limits on how much Albertans and third parties, like political action committees, can spend on promoting or arguing against a recall petition and recall vote. These limits will be set in regulation.

Please note that the nomination period for the 2021 General Election began on January 1, 2021 and runs until 12 pm on Nomination Day.

Election Day is Monday, October 18, 2021. Nomination Day is Monday, September 20. The term is four years.

For more information on Election 2021, call your town, village or county office. If you love your community consider running.

That’s Life.