The next municipal election in the town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s is September 28, 2021. Casting a ballot for a Mayor and six Councillors allows residents to participate in electing officials who will make decisions on residents behalf.
- The Returning Officer is Claudine Murray, the Town Clerk, and is responsible for coordinating all aspects of the Municipal Election and is the key contact: [email protected]
- The Alternate Returning Officer is Tracy Simmons, Accounting Clerk, who will perform the duties of a Returning Officer in the event the Returning Officer cannot perform those duties. Contact: [email protected]
The most recent election for Council took place on September 26, 2017. This election determined the town’s municipal governance for the next four years. These are the 2017 ELECTION RESULTS.
The Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s Council is comprised of a Mayor and six Councillors. The vote for Mayor is held separately from the votes for Councillors on Election Day. The successful Councillor with the most votes will be nominated for the position of Deputy Mayor and a vote at the first Council meeting will ratify that position.
Time Commitment of a Councillor
Council holds a Regular Public Council Meeting every two weeks and each Councillor is assigned by the Mayor to be on three committee meetings which meet every two weeks opposite week of Regular Public Council Meeting. Being a Councillor is like having a second job. A Councillor is expected to read the material and be prepared to vote on all issues. This may take approximately 15-20 hours a week. A Councillor may also volunteer to represent Council at meetings of other organizations and at community events.
Nomination day is to be determined.
A resident is qualified to be nominated as a candidate for Council who:
(a) is eligible to vote in an election held under the Municipal Elections Act in the municipality in which he or she is nominated to serve as a Councillor;
(b) is not in arrears of taxes or other charges payable to the municipality; and
(c) is ordinarily a resident for a period of 30 days before the commencement of the nomination period either in the municipality or in an area that on election day is part of a municipality.
A candidate for the office of PCSP Councillor shall be nominated by residents who are eligible to vote. A nomination shall be in writing; shall state the name and civic address of the candidate; be signed by the proposer and seconder, both of whom shall be present together with the candidate who shall also sign signifying his or her acceptance. Note: the requirement to be present may change due to Covid-19 restrictions.
A candidate for mayor shall be nominated in the same manner as a Councillor but shall run as a candidate for mayor only.
A candidate at the time of his or her nomination shall deposit a sum of $10 with the Returning Officer and that sum is not refundable.
The Returning Officer will provide a Candidate Information booklet to take home for reference.
The Returning Officer shall give notice of the names of the candidates, the time of the election and the location of polling booths, by publishing in our local newspaper, in the town hall and in other public places.
Before running for office
To better understand and prepare for the election and potentially the position of Councillor a candidate may wish to consider:
- Attend Regular Public Council Meetings and see how they operate (every second Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.);
- Currently Council meetings are held virtually via Zoom.
- Review a copy of the Council’s strategic plan and annual budget;
- Speak to past Mayors and Councillors; and
- Research areas of importance and become more involved in the activities of the community.
- Develop a platform to run on. A platform consists of the ideas, goals and beliefs a candidate is campaigning for. It lets the voters know what position they have on issues.
When developing a platform you can:
- Do research on prevalent issues;
- Talk and listen to the residents including youth and elders;
- Make only factual statements that you believe in;
- Take a stand on issues, but do not make promises;
- Do not limit yourself to one issue; and
- Commit to standing behind certain community projects and issues.
Candidates are responsible for understanding all legislation concerning elections, including nomination, eligibility, campaigning restrictions, campaign finance and disclosure, election offences and prohibitions at voting stations.
Campaigning is an opportunity to convince voters that you are the best candidate. A campaign usually involves talking and listening to residents, distributing promotional materials, using websites and social media and attending a ‘Meet the Candidates’ forum hosted by the town. Many of the usual campaign practices may be impacted by Covid-19.
Election signs policy is available here and states signs may be erected on or after nomination day on public property.
On election day, a candidate shall not campaign or distribute campaign materials in an area that is less than 30 metres from the entrance to a polling station.
The votes are counted and shared on election night in Council Chambers.
If a recount is held, the notice must not be more than 3 days after the date of the election and the Returning Officer shall commence the requested recount not more than 3 days after receiving that request.
A candidate elected shall, not more than 90 days after the election, file with the Returning Officer a statement with the total amount of the contributions received by him or her and the amount of the contributions donated to his or her campaign by contributors that exceed $100 and the contributors of those amounts.
A Canadian citizen who is 18 years of age or older is qualified to vote at an election where he or she has been ordinarily resident for the 30 days immediately before election day in PCSP.
Note: The following rules shall determine the residency of a person:
(a) a person shall be a resident of the place where he or she lives and sleeps and to which, when absent, he or she intends to return;
(b) residency is not lost by a person who leaves that residence for temporary purposes only; and
(c) the place where a person’s family resides shall be his or her residence unless that person commences and continues to live at some other place with the intention of remaining there, in which case, the person shall be considered to be resident in the place in which he or she intends to reside.
(d) A person shall have only one place of residency.
On or about July 28, 2021 residents can contact the Returning Officer, Claudine Murray at 895-5652, to confirm they are on the voters list. Where the name of a qualified voter does not appear on the list of voters, the Returning Officer shall, upon satisfactory proof of I.D. being provided to her, correct that error by inserting the name.
On election day, a resident whose name does not appear upon the voters list and is qualified to vote may vote upon taking an oath or affirmation in the required form with satisfactory proof of I.D.
Newly Elected Council Members
Council meetings and Committee meetings will be scheduled and commence within two weeks of the election. The Town Clerk will provide an information package for each Councillor to take home for reference and multiple trainings will be provided by the town, as well as by the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Municipalities.
A successful candidate shall sign an oath of office, a conflict-of-interest statement and campaign contribution form.
For details on municipal elections in Newfoundland and Labrador, please visit the following pages and legislation:
- FORMS – https://www.gov.nl.ca/eccm/forms/
- FAQ’s – https://www.gov.nl.ca/eccm/files/training-pdf-faq-municipal-elections.pdf
- Municipal – http://www.assembly.nl.ca/Legislation/sr/statutes/m20-2.htm
- Provincial – https://www.elections.gov.nl.ca/
- Federal – http://www.elections.ca/home.aspx
- Council Handbook 2017
Further details will be posted as they become available.