Thorold council notebook: Remembrance Day updates, reopening the city, online voting

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Plans for Remembrance Day, the cost of reopening the city and a look at upcoming elections were just some of the items discussed at the Nov 2. Thorold council meeting.

MAYOR'S REPORT ON REMEMBRANCE DAY

In his opening remarks, Mayor Terry Ugulini thanked town staff and members of the legion for their presentation of the first poppy as part of the poppy campaign outside city hall on Oct 29.

Ugulini announced the community remembrance parade originally scheduled to be held at Thorold’s Memorial Park on Nov 7., will not be held this year due to the COVID-19 restrictions. However, the Remembrance Day ceremony on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. at the park’s cenotaph is still set to proceed.

“Those unable to attend the ceremony, are asked to stop wherever you are and observe a moment of silence at 11 a.m. to honour the fallen and thank all who have served,” Ugulini said.

REOPEN THOROLD AT A COST OF MORE THAN 60K

With new provincial guidelines and the province inching toward reopening, Thorold is following suit.

Council voted in unanimous favour of spending approximately $60,000 to reopen public works and community services facilities with provincially legislated COVID-19 regulations as well as spending an additional $2,000 on for the purchasing of security ID cards and other equipment.

CONCERNS ABOUT INTERNET VOTING IN SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION

With the upcoming school board and municipal elections in 2022, council discussed the possibility of opening online voting for the residents.

Following the review of a report on the subject of online voting systems, Coun. Carmen DeRose called the report “very biased” and stated concerns of voter fraud and information security, stating: “I feel that the only true democratic way to vote is in person, showing ID. That is my opinion and I stand by that.”

Council then deliberated on the matter. Town staff suggested that voter fraud was not of any higher risk online than it was in person and that other municipalities also used online voting systems and that online voting was a more accessible option and would increase turnout.

Council voted in favour of using online voting in the future, with Ugulini, councillors Nella Dekker, John Kenny, Fred Neale, Ken Sentance and Victoria Wilson voting in favour and councillors DeRose, Jim Handley and Anthony Longo voting against.

Moosa Imran is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter for Niagara this Week, covering municipal affairs and community news in north Niagara. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.

Moosa Imran, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News

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