Mayor Lee Brain talks about his vision for Prince Rupert at the Hays 2.0 event on April 25, 2018. He will be the city’s mayor by acclamation. (Marc Fawcett-Atkinson / The Northern View)

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

Without contest, Prince Rupert’s mayor will serve a second term by acclamation – just one of the city leaders across the province who won’t be needing to campaign.

Mayor by acclamation is not uncommon for the 2018 election. Across cities, districts, villages and towns there are 36 candidates who will automatically become mayor, according to CivicInfo BC, a non-profit that collects its data from local Chief Election Officers.

Out of the 162 B.C. municipalities, 35 regions will have a candidate named as mayor without any challengers, or 22 per cent. On that list, 26 candidates are incumbents.

“Running for elected office is expensive and potentially humiliating. Rational candidates avoid contests against incumbents because these contests are much harder to win,” Michael Brydon said, who is both a professor at the Beedie School of Business at Simon Fraser University, and on the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen. After three terms he’s not running for re-election, and when the news broke he said six new candidates submitted for his seat.

Another political expert, Jason Morris, a political science lecturer at the University of Northern B.C., said he expected the number of mayors by acclamation to be higher due to changes in the term length to four years, from three years previously, and new restrictions on party financing. But “that hasn’t seemed to be the case,” he said.

READ MORE: Mayor runs unchallenged in Prince Rupert

“The large number of mayors that will be acclaimed in the coming civic elections on October 20 would suggest a lack of competition in many communities and as well the possibility, on the campaign trail, for less diverse views to be represented that can be later worked into social policy,” Morris said.

On Facebook, Brain addressed “Rupertites” about being named their mayor.

“Although I’ve been acclaimed, I want folks to know that this only further motivates me to kick it up a notch to spark major change and transformation in Prince Rupert.”

Formally, Brain will be acclaimed the end of Friday, Sept. 21, after the challenge and withdrawal period.

“You’ll be hearing more from me during this campaign period, but for now, I just want to thank everyone for their support, guidance and for sharing their concerns with me over these past four years. Listening is how I plan, design and implement a vision/path/way forward for our community,” Brain said in his post.

In the 2014 elections, Prince Rupert had four mayoral candidates and a 45.5 per cent voter turnout. Terrace had two mayoral candidates and a 31.6 per cent voter turn out. But with no race for the top spot, there is concern that if the mayor’s position is sorted before the elections voter turnout could be even lower.



newsroom@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

bc election

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

WASHOUT: Slide at Soda Creek MacAlister Road makes road impassable

Next update on DriveBC is expected on Monday, March 30 at noon.

Quesnel’s new Digital Today team ready to offer free digital marketing support to businesses

Digital Today members have taken a 12-week Digital Marketing Bootcamp through Community Futures

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Ranch Musings: COVID-19 and ranching

Columnist David Zirnhelt passes on resources for ranchers

Quesnel home builders win Excellence Award

Icon Homes wins the Canadian Home Builders’ Association award for Best Custom Home under $500K

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

Most Read