NEWS

Replacing Holyday: byelection or appointment?

08/26/2013 06:31 EDT | Updated 10/26/2013 05:12 EDT
Should Toronto city council hold a byelection or simply appoint a new councilor to fill the seat vacated by Doug Holyday’s election to Queen’s Park?

That’s the question councillors will answer at a special meeting scheduled for 9:30 a.m. today.

Holyday, who served as Ward 3 councillor and Rob Ford’s deputy mayor, won a byelection in the provincial riding of Etobicoke-Lakeshore on Aug. 1.

Some councillors say holding a byelection in Ward 3 — at a cost of about $225,000— is a waste of money because it will come so close to the general municipal election set for October 2014.

On the other side of the debate is Mayor Ford, who has pushed for a byelection over appointment, saying “you can’t put a price on democracy.”

Council has a non-binding policy that requires a byelection if a council vacancy occurs before Nov. 30 of the year preceding a regular election.

If council opts for a byelection, Ward 3 voters will head to the polls on Nov. 25.

If the appointment route is chosen, council members will elect Holyday’s replacement at an Oct. 10 council meeting.

That vote would follow a round-by-round voting format similar to party leadership races, with last-place candidates dropping off the ballot until one candidate gets a majority.

Anyone eligible to vote can declare themselves a candidate in the appointment process.

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