SOUTH BRUCE – David Wood, a resident of Mildmay, thought that everything was in order when he submitted his nomination papers on May 5 for the municipal election.
Then he got a phone call Monday, Aug. 22 telling him there were “clerical errors.” He said he was in Toronto when he received the call from the South Bruce municipal clerk.
“My son and I were just sitting down to breakfast,” Wood said.
He said he was told “he or his agent” could correct the clerical errors by 3 p.m.
“My son took the day off work and drove me back to Teeswater,” he said, noting the corrected papers were filed by 2:30 p.m.
However, at 4 p.m. he received a phone call telling him the municipal clerk had sought legal advice and, on that advice, had made the decision to disqualify him as a candidate. He was also told there’s no formal appeal process.
South Bruce CAO Leanne Martin was contacted, and stated the nomination was rejected “because it did not comply with the Municipal Elections Act.”
The two other candidates for the Mildmay Ward – Audrey Bross and Jeff Goetz – have now been acclaimed, and Wood said he is considering consulting a lawyer.
He said the clerical errors in his nomination papers involved addresses, in one case, a missing postal code.
Wood said that considering his papers had been filed in May, it would have been “due diligence” on the part of the clerk’s office to have a look at them prior to nomination day, Aug. 19. And to drive from Toronto to provide the corrections, only to be told it was for nothing, was more than disappointing. He described it as “unjust” to not allow voters to make the decision about who should represent them.
At present, Wood said he’s looking at his options. He’s been outspoken in his opposition to South Bruce hosting an underground repository for spent nuclear fuel, and said he’ll be continuing with that, perhaps in a more formal capacity.
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times