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2021 By-Election

Effective November 18, 2020, Josie Osborne resigned as Mayor of Tofino to serve as a Member of the Legislative Assembly. Effective December 30, 2020, Dan Law and Andrea McQuade resigned as District of Tofino Councillors.

A by-election is scheduled for March 6, 2021, for the Office of Mayor (one to be elected) and Councillors (two to be elected).

NOTICES:

CANDIDATES:

Office of the Mayor – One (1) to be elected

Usual Name Jurisdiction of Residence
J.J. Belanger Tofino, BC
Dan Law Tofino, BC
Andrea McQuade Electoral Area ‘C’ (ACRD), BC

Office of Councillor - Two (2) to be elected

Usual Name Jurisdiction of Residence
Stephen Ashton

Electoral Area ‘C’ (ACRD), BC

Jacky Challenger Tofino, BC
Zak Cross Tofino, BC
Chris Heisterman Tofino, BC
Ali Sawyer Tofino, BC
Cathy Thicke Tofino, BC
Lindsay Whitefield Tofino, BC

WHEN AND WHERE TO VOTE:

  • Advance Vote: Wednesday, February 24 from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
  • General Election Day: Saturday, March 6 from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
  • Mail Ballot: Per Ministerial Order #M016-2021, any eligible elector can choose to vote by mail in ballot. Mail ballots must be received by the District of Tofino before 8:00 pm (PST) on Saturday, March 6, 2021 to be counted (see below for more information).

Eligible Tofino voters will cast their ballot either in advance or on general voting day at the Tofino Community Hall, at 351 Arnet Road, Tofino.

VOTING BY MAIL:

Mail Ballot Voting is available for ALL eligible voters in the 2021 Tofino By-Election.

Ministerial Order M016-2021 allowed temporary legislative adjustments to support a safe by-election during the COVID-19 pandemic, including the expansion of Mail Ballots to all eligible voters.

Application to Vote by Mail: Application to Vote by Mail (PDF)*
*Do not attempt to complete this form in your internet browser. Print the form or download to your computer, complete, save and return using the instructions below. 

Applications can be submitted by email to corporateservices@tofino.ca or in person at Tofino Municipal Hall at 121 Third Street, Tofino, BC during regular business hours, or by mail to:

Attention: Chief Election Officer
District of Tofino
121 Third Street
PO Box 9
Tofino, BC, V0R 2Z0

Who Can Vote by Mail?

All eligible Tofino electors may vote by mail if they are a:

  • Resident elector (you live within the boundaries of the District of Tofino)
  • Non-resident property elector (you live elsewhere in BC, but you own property within the boundaries of the District of Tofino)

Election staff will check the registration status of all applicants to vote by mail. If you are not already registered to vote as a resident or non-resident, an application to register will be sent to you with your Mail Ballot package. The package will contain instructions about what information is necessary.

Requesting a Mail Ballot Package

Qualified electors can request a Mail Ballot package between Wednesday, February 17, 2021 until 4:00 pm on Thursday, March 4, 2021. You must complete and submit an “Application to Vote by Mail” in order to receive a Mail Ballot.  The application form will be found online at www.tofino.ca/elections or at the District of Tofino Municipal Office.

Applications can be submitted by email to corporateservices@tofino.ca or in person at Tofino Municipal Hall at 121 Third Street, Tofino, BC during regular business hours, or by mail to:

Attention: Chief Election Officer
District of Tofino
121 Third Street
PO Box 9
Tofino, BC, V0R 2Z0

Your application must be approved by the Chief Election Officer before you receive a Mail Ballot. If there are any issues with your application, a member of the elections team will contact you. Please note that the eligibility of an elector that received a Mail Ballot can be challenged until 4:00 pm on Thursday, March 4, 2021.

On the application form, you can select the method of delivery for your Mail Ballot package. There are two options:

  1.  You can pick up your Mail Ballot package from the election staff at the Tofino Municipal Hall during regular business hours.
  2.  You can have the Mail Ballot package mailed to you.  Mail Ballots will be sent via Canada Post regular mail.

The last day to submit an “Application to Vote by Mail” and receive a Mail Ballot is March 4, 2020 at 4:00 pm.

The District of Tofino will begin mailing the Mail Ballot packages once the ballots have been printed and received.

Returning Your Mail Ballot

Voters are responsible for ensuring that completed Mail Ballots are received by the Chief Election Officer before the close of General Voting Day as of 8:00 pm on March 6, 2021.

A mail ballot may be returned by one of the following methods:

  1. By mail to:

Attention Chief Election Officer
District of Tofino
121 Third Street
PO Box 9
Tofino, BC, V0R 2Z0

  1. In person by 4:00 pm on March 5th to:

Tofino Municipal Hall
121 Third Street
Tofino, BC

  1. In person at the voting place (Tofino Community Hall) on advanced voting day, February 24th, or general voting day, March 6th, between the hours of 8:00 am and 8:00 pm.

If you are unable to enter the voting place, please call (250) 726-6448 and election staff can meet you by your vehicle in front of the voting place.

What is the Timeline for Voting by Mail?

The timing for mail ballot applications and voting is determined by the District of Tofino Election Procedures Bylaw No. 1204, 2014.

The timeline is also influenced by the candidate nomination process: Ballots cannot be ordered by the Chief Election Officer until after the last day for candidates to withdraw from the election. This means that the municipality may not have custody of ballots until approximately one week prior the opening of the application process for mail ballots. This time is used to ensure the accuracy of ballots, supplies, and voting machines.

Per the Election Procedures Bylaw, applications for mail ballot must be made during the period commencing 7 days before the first day of advance voting and ending at 4:00 pm on the Thursday two days before general voting day. 

Mail ballots must be received by 8:00 p.m. on general voting day. 

To ensure that your mail ballot package is received on time, consider the following options:

  • Submit your application early.
  • Use express post or courrrier to return the package.
  • Drop off the ballot at the Muncipal Hall or on voting days.


2021 District of Tofino By-Election Key Dates:

  • Dec. 16: Appointment of CEO and DCEO
  • Jan. 6: Nomination packages available online and by appointment at DoT Office (121 Third Street)
  • Jan. 12: Advance voter registration deadline for non-resident property electors
  • Jan. 13: Adoption of the provincial voters list and start of voters list availability for public inspection
  • Jan. 19: Candidate nomination period begins (documents to be submitted to the Chief Election Officer)
  • Jan. 29: Candidate nomination period ends & declaration of candidates
  • Feb. 2: Deadline to challenge candidate nominations
  • Feb. 5: Deadline to withdraw candidacy
  • Feb. 6: Campaign period begins
  • Feb. 8: Declaration of election by voting /election of acclaimed candidates
  • Feb. 17: First day to request a mail ballot
  • Feb. 24: Advance Voting Day
  • Mar. 4: Last day to request a mail ballot 
  • Mar. 6: General Voting Day / Deadline to Receive Mail Ballots
  • Mar. 8: Determination of Official Results

STAY TUNED: More information for voters and nominees will become available in the coming weeks via the Westerly News, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, the District of Tofino Email Subscription List, and our website.


Voters

Local government voting rights are granted to citizens on the basis of residency or property ownership. There is no corporate or business vote in local elections. The District of Tofino uses the Provincial Voters List for resident electors; if you are on the list you are not required to register again. 

FAQ - Voters

Am I eligible to vote?

If you are a Tofino resident or property owner, you are eligible to register as an elector if you:

  • are age 18 or older on general voting day;
  • are a Canadian citizen;
  • have been a resident of B.C. for at least six months before you register;
  • have been a resident or have owned property in Tofino for at least 30 days before you register;
  • are not disqualified by law from voting;
  • and, if you are a non-resident property owner:
    • you are not entitled to register as a resident elector
    • if applicable, you must have written consent from the majority of owners to register as the one elector and
    • only one non-resident owner may register per property.
How do I register to vote in a local election?

There are two types of voters with different processes to register:

  • Resident Electors (eligible voters who reside within the District of Tofino).
    • The District of Tofino now uses the Provincial Voters List as the list of resident electors, managed by Elections BC. If you are on the Provincial Voters List, you are not required to register again.
  • Non-Resident Property Electors (eligible voters who own protperty within the District but do not reside here).
    • Non-resident property electors can contact the District Office to confirm their registration on the list maintained by the District of Tofino.

NOTE: Advanced Registration for the 2021 Tofino By-Election has now closed. However, all eligible voters may also register at the time of voting - either in person or by mail.  

Register at the Polls:
If you decide to register on voting day (or advance voting day) please bring two pieces of identification (ID). The ID must show your residential address and one of them must have your signature.

And, if you're a non-resident property elector, you must also have written consent from the majority of owners to register as the one elector (if applicable) and bring proof of ownership of real property within the District.

Register by Mail:
Mail Ballot Packages for unregistered voters will contain registration forms to be submitted with your ballot.

What are the rules for non-resident property electors?

Only one non-resident property elector may vote for each property.

In other words, if two or more individuals own a single piece of property, the majority of the owners must designate one owner, in writing, as the non-resident property elector for that property. In this instance, a completed Consent of Registered Owners for Non-Resident Property Elector Registration form must be submitted before registration can take place.

You may only vote as a non-resident property elector for one piece of property in any municipality, regional district or school district regardless of how many properties you own.

In other words, even if you own two pieces of property in one municipality, you may vote only once.

What if I own property in Tofino but someone else is living there? 

The person living on the property may qualify as a resident elector because they are a resident of Tofino.

As a non-resident property owner, you are also eligible to vote for the property, but you will need the written consent of the majority of other owners.

Does Tofino have Mail in Ballots?

Yes. The District of Tofino Election Procedures Bylaw No. 1204, 2014, was amended in 2020 to provide for Mail in Ballots. 

The availability of Mail Ballot Packages will be advertised to the public once a list of candidates is finalized. Applications will be available online and at the District Office, and packages will be mailed as soon as possible.

It is the responsibility of voters to ensure their package is returned by the end of General Voting Day in order to be counted.

Do I need to bring ID in order to vote?

If you appear on the list of registered electors, it is not necessary to produce ID at the time of voting.

Please contact Elyse Goatcher-Bergmann, Chief Election Officer, at elysegb@tofino.ca or 250-725-3229 ext. 610 to confirm your registration status.

If you are registering to vote on the day of voting, you must have two pieces of identification (ID). The ID must show your residential address and one of them must have your signature. If your ID doesn’t show your residential address, you can make a solemn declaration as to your residence. The voting clerk will have the form you need to make that declaration.

Suggested types of identification:

  • British Columbia Driver's Licence
  • BC Identification Card issued by ICBC
  • BC Services Card
  • Canadian Passport or Citizenship Card issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada
  • Social Insurance Number card issued by the Government of Canada
  • Secure Certificate of Indian Status (Status Card)
  • Birth Certificate
  • Firearms Possession and Acquisition Licence
  • BC Services Card or BC CareCard or BC Gold CareCard
  • Debit or Credit Card Statement issued by a savings institution
  • Mortgage statement
  • Property Tax Notice issued by the District of Tofino
  • Utility Bill (for electricity, natural gas, telephone or cable service)

Note: Electronic documents (e.g. e-bills) and electronic scans of a paper document are acceptable. Hand-written information on a document is not acceptable.

I live on First Nations reserve lands. Can I vote in a local government election?

Eligible electors who live on a First Nations reserve can vote in local government elections; however where you vote depends on whether the reserve is located within the boundaries of the District of Tofino or in the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD).

I moved here two weeks before General Voting Day. Can I vote?

No, you must have resided in the District of Tofino for 30 days to be eligible to vote.

Can someone who has a physical disability or other difficulty receive assistance in voting?

Yes, a solemn declaration will be required and election officials are able to assist you with voting. Check with an election official at the time of voting.

How many people can I nominate to run in the local election?

A person entitled to make a nomination may subscribe to as many nomination documents as there are persons to be elected to fill the office for which the election is being held.

Candidates

RESOURCES FOR CANDIDATES:

The Reference Materials package includes important links and key kegislation; guidelines for official agents and scrutineers; "Candidate's Guide to Local Elections in BC" (booklet from the Province); "Guide to Local Elections Campaign Financing in BC for Candidates" (booklet from Elections BC); election and political signs fact sheet.

For all advertising and campaign finance questions, candidates must contact the Local Elections Campaign Financing team at Elections BC (do not contact District Election Officials):

  • Phone: 1-855-952-0280 (Mon-Fri, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PST, toll-free in Canada and the United States)

  • Email: lecf@elections.bc.ca

Provincial legislation sets out the nomination process, public access to nomination documents, how candidates may run their election campaigns and conduct election advertising as well as campaign financing recording and disclosure rules and certain campaign financing restrictions.

Nomination packages for those interested in running for office will be available from the District Office at 121 Third Street by asking to speak with the Chief Elections Officer (Elyse Goatcher-Bergmann).  Elector Organization Endorsement packages will also be available during this time. 

FAQ - Candidates

Can I run for office?

To be eligible to run for local government office, a person must have been a resident of BC for at least 6 months before filing their nomination documents.  They do not have to live or own property in the District of Tofino.

In addition, a person must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older on General Voting Day
  • Be a Canadian Citzen
  • Not be disqualified under the Local Government Act or any other enactment from being nominated for, being elected to or holding office, or be otherwise disqualified by law

A person is ineligible to run for office if they:

  • Have been convicted of and sentenced for an indictable offence and are in custody
  • Have been found guilty of an election offence, such as intimidation or vote-buying, and are prohibited from holding office
  • Are judges of the Provincial Court, Supreme Court or Court of Appeal
  • Are involuntarily confined to a psychiatric facility or other institution
  • Have been disqualified for specified reasons such as failing to file a candidate disclosure statement in a previous election, failing to make an oath of office, or failing to attend local government meetings in the manner and frequency required by the Community Charter
  • Have been otherwise disqualified from being nominated for, elected to or holding office under the Local Government Act, Community Charter, Local Elections Campaign Financing Act or any other enactment or law
Do I have to live in the District of Tofino to run for Council?

No.

Can I be both a local government representative (Mayor, Councillor, electoral area director, islands trustee or school trustee) & a Member of the Legislative Assembly or Member of Parliament?

Yes, however there is a considerable amount of time involved in filling any of these offices; you may choose to do just one.

Can I run for office if I work for the District of Tofino?

No, there is a specific restriction against both working for, and holding office in, the same local government.  However, if you were to take a leave of absence from your job, you could run in the election.  If elected, you would have to resign your job.

What are the rules around campaigning, advertising and financial disclosures?

The District's Chief Election Officer cannot answer questions related to campaign financing, discolure statements, or election advertising rules as these are under the mandate of Elections BC.  

Candidates or their agents must be familiar with the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act (LECFA) and its requirements. The Act is available online at BC Laws www.bclaws.ca. You can also refer to Elections BC’s guides for candidates available online at: www.elections.bc.ca/lecf

Contact the Local Elections Campaign Financing team at Elections BC:

  • Phone: 1-855-952-0280 (Mon-Fri, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. PST, toll-free in Canada and the United States)
  • Email: lecf@elections.bc.ca
How many people need to nominate me to run for office?

The minimum number of nominators is two, but it’s wise to have more in case it turns out that one of them is not an eligible nominator.

Do I have to pay a fee to run for office?

No. The District of Tofino does not charge a fee to file nomination documents. 


2019 By-Election Results

Official voting results for the 2019 By-Election held Saturday, November 2, 2019, are presented below. The candidate receiving the highest number of valid votes for the position of Councillor was declared elected for the remainder of the 2018-2022 term.

Councillor (One Elected)
Dan Law

View: Declaration of Official Results (PDF)

Additional Statistics:

Estimated Turnout - 2019 By-Election

Estimated Eligible Voters:

1422

Total Ballots Cast:

604

Number of New Registrants:

100

Estimated Turnout:

42%

Estimated Turnout - 2008 to 2018 General Local Elections

2018 (929 ballots cast/1422)

65%

2014 (519 ballots cast/1,417)

37%

2011 (729 ballots cast/1,209)

56%

2008 (513 ballots cast/1,066)

48%


2018 Local Election Results

Official voting results for the 2018 General Local Election held Saturday, October 20, 2018 are presented below. Candidates receiving the highest number of valid votes for the position of Mayor and the six Councillor positions were declared elected.

 
Mayor (One Elected)
Josie Osborne
 
Councillor (Six Elected)
Tom Stere
Britt Chalmers
Andrea McQuade
Al Anderson
Duncan McMaster
Dorothy Baert


Looking for other election results? Civic Info has listed the results in all BC municipal elections.Visit: www.bc.localelections.ca


Resources


Contacts

Manager of Corporate Services
Elyse Goatcher-Bergmann
(T) 250-725-3229 ext. 610
(F) 250-725-3775
(E) egoatcher-bergmann@tofino.ca