Election complaint in town of Trenton investigated by police

·2 min read

Police confirm they are investigating a complaint lodged by the returning officer in Trenton, N.S., concerning last month's municipal election in the town.

"We can't say who is being investigated because we are in preliminary stages," said Const. Ken MacDonald with New Glasgow Regional Police, which also serves Trenton.

The returning officer, Josephine MacDonald, said she cannot comment at this time.

But sources tell CBC News the complaint involves Peter Boyles, a Pictou County councillor who was acclaimed in the October election. His half-brother, Don Hussher, ran for mayor of Trenton and beat incumbent Shannon MacInnis by 62 votes.

The sources said Boyles helped some seniors in a Trenton nursing home e-vote with his phone.

Boyles admitted to CBC News he did allow a couple of people to use his phone because they were having problems "getting their pound key to work." After reviewing the rules, he said he does not think he did anything wrong.

"All it states is the candidate cannot go around and assist anybody, but it doesn't say anything about anybody else," said Boyles.

After concerns were raised, Boyles said he met with the returning officer and agreed not to assist anyone else for the rest of the campaign.

"That was it," said Boyles. "From then on I gave them the number to call."

According to Section 157 of the Municipal Elections Act, a councillor who is convicted of corrupt practices under the act "ceases to be a councillor."

Boyles and the rest of the Pictou County council have already been sworn in. The mayor and council for Trenton are scheduled to be sworn in next Tuesday.

The warden of Pictou County and the CAO of Trenton would not comment on the situation.

CBC News also emailed Hussher, the mayor-elect for Trenton, but he did not respond.