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Matheson's heading to the polls, byelection set for Aug. 12

The nomination period runs from June 1-28
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BLACK RIVER-MATHESON - More details on the municipal byelection in Black River-Matheson are firming up. 

The township announced the key dates for the byelection today. Residents are heading to the polls on Aug. 12, 2024. 

For people interested in being on the ballot, the nomination period is June 1 to 2 p.m. on June 28. Advance voting is Aug. 1-11. On election day, the polls are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Seven council members will be elected — one mayor and one councillor in each of the six wards. 

In the last election in 2022, all but one of the council positions were acclaimed. With people only voting for one ward councillor, the voter turnout was a dismal 5.95 per cent — with 150 of the eligible 2,605 voters casting a ballot.

The Aug. 12 byelection date is the latest that the vote can happen. 

RELATED: Matheson council kicked out of office, here's what we know so far

On Monday, Minister of Municipal Affairs Paul Calandra dissolved the sitting council. 

Using a section of the Municipal Act that hasn't been exercised since it took effect in the early 2000s, Calandra vacated all of the council seats after it failed to meet quorum for 60 days. With a seven-person council, at least four members must attend for quorum.

A provincial bureaucrat — the ministry's manager of local government and housing — has been appointed to make any decisions that council would make. They must report to Calandra on the 15th and 30th of each month. The minister will post all reports from the appointee on the township’s website.

At least four of the ousted councillors intend to throw their hat in the ring again. 

If online chatter amounts to action, there will be more names on the ballot this year as multiple people have expressed interest in running on social media.