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LETTER: Rejecting a byelection sets dangerous precedent

Okotoks council is failing in its duty by not holding a byelection to fill vacant seat.

Dear Editor, 

We have learned that Okotoks council has written to Minister of Municipal Affairs Ric McIver requesting an exception to the rule that a byelection be held since Cheryl Actemichuk's seat has become vacant more than 18 months prior to the next election. 

There are still 19 months until the next election. 

Firstly, the residents of the Town of Okotoks have not been properly consulted on this matter. The decision to forego a byelection directly impacts the democratic rights of the town’s citizens, and therefore, their voices must be heard. 

By circumventing the established process without seeking input from the community, council is failing in its duty to uphold transparency and accountability. 

Secondly, allowing council to arbitrarily reject a byelection sets a dangerous precedent. Democracy thrives on the principle of fair representation, and by denying citizens the opportunity to elect their representatives in a timely manner, council undermines this fundamental principle. Such a decision would erode public trust in the democratic process and breed cynicism among the electorate. 

Furthermore, holding a byelection is not merely a formality, but a crucial mechanism for ensuring that the interests and concerns of the community are adequately represented. Each member of council plays a unique role in shaping the future of Okotoks, and it is essential that vacancies are filled through a democratic and transparent process. 

In conclusion, I urge you to uphold the integrity of our democratic institutions by printing a fair story representing both sides of this issue. It is imperative that the voices of the residents be heard, and that decisions regarding their representation are made in a manner that is fair, transparent and accountable. 

I hope you will show some responsible journalism and investigate this matter urgently so a story can go to press as soon as possible. 

Amanda Brown 


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