Cambridge City Clerk Postpones Ward 7 by-election Due To Covid-19

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Ward 7 by-election Postponed

As the Clerk responsible for the delivery of the by-election in Ward 7 for Cambridge and given the recent development of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, as well as the recent decisions made by our Federal, Provincial and Regional Governments, in the best interest of the community I have made the decision to postpone the by-election for Ward 7 to a future date to be set by Council.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau advised that “all Canadians as much as possible should stay home.” He went on to say that "it's time to take every precaution to keep people safe," and though “these measures are far-reaching, these are exceptional circumstances, calling for exceptional measures.”

In response to the pandemic declaration, all levels of government in Canada have implemented measures, including the temporary closures of businesses and institutions, and the cancellations and suspensions of events involving large gatherings of people. Premier Doug Ford has now declared an emergency in the Province of Ontario pursuant to the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

The decision to postpone the by-election has been made in accordance with the Clerk’s power to declare an emergency pursuant to the Municipal Election Act, Section 53 and in consideration of the province’s declaration of an emergency.

The City of Cambridge’s priority remains the safety of its residents and given the recent collective actions of all levels of government in Canada to protect citizens and prevent the spread of COVID-19, I am confident that this is the right decision.

Respecting the hard work that has gone into candidates’ campaigns, this postponement should not impact their ability to continue to campaign through online platforms and social distancing. We would encourage candidates to follow the guidelines being set by the Region’s Public Health officials and other medical authorities at this time. 

The Clerk’s Office will implement arrangements that seek to maintain the integrity of the election process and, as soon as practicable following the end of precautionary measures, report to Council and seek instructions as to a new Voting Day for the by-election.

All ballots cast on March 7, 2020 at the advance poll will count towards the final ballot count, and all electors are encouraged to keep their voter information notices received in the mail, to bring with them once a new Voting Day has been determined.

The City will continue to work closely with the Region of Waterloo’s Public Health experts to monitor and respond to new developments. For updated information please visit the Region’s Public Health website and the City’s website at link below.

Danielle Manton
City Clerk
City of Cambridge

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