Council Vacancy Policy Consultation

Consultation has concluded

The Council Vacancy Policy is intended to help guide the process in the event a vacancy on Council occurs in the future.

The current review of vacancy policy options was directed following a recent appointment process.

What are the available options to fill a vacancy?

Council may choose to fill a Council vacancy by way of a by-election, or by appointing an eligible individual. The Municipal Elections Act, 1996 (the Act) does not prescribe regulations to assist Council in determining which method is appropriate.

If a by-election were to be chosen, the process is largely set out in the Act, with prescribed dates for a nomination day and voting day. The candidate receiving the most votes would be declared elected to the vacant seat.

If an appointment process was chosen, the Act prescribes when the appointment must be made but it does not provide guidance on the precise process used in determining who or how the appointment will be made by Council.

Have your say

In addition to engagement opportunities available on Connect Oshawa, the community is invited to:

  • attend a Public Open House on Wednesday, October 18 between 6:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. in the Committee Room at City Hall where staff will provide a brief presentation and be available for questions and discussion.
  • complete the survey in-person at Service Oshawa.

Feedback can be provided until Wednesday, October 25, after which it will be summarized and presented, along with a recommended Council Vacancy Policy, to a Public Meeting held by Council at 6:30 p.m. on November 15, 2017 in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

Please note you do not need to register to address Council at this meeting.

The Council Vacancy Policy is intended to help guide the process in the event a vacancy on Council occurs in the future.

The current review of vacancy policy options was directed following a recent appointment process.

What are the available options to fill a vacancy?

Council may choose to fill a Council vacancy by way of a by-election, or by appointing an eligible individual. The Municipal Elections Act, 1996 (the Act) does not prescribe regulations to assist Council in determining which method is appropriate.

If a by-election were to be chosen, the process is largely set out in the Act, with prescribed dates for a nomination day and voting day. The candidate receiving the most votes would be declared elected to the vacant seat.

If an appointment process was chosen, the Act prescribes when the appointment must be made but it does not provide guidance on the precise process used in determining who or how the appointment will be made by Council.

Have your say

In addition to engagement opportunities available on Connect Oshawa, the community is invited to:

  • attend a Public Open House on Wednesday, October 18 between 6:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. in the Committee Room at City Hall where staff will provide a brief presentation and be available for questions and discussion.
  • complete the survey in-person at Service Oshawa.

Feedback can be provided until Wednesday, October 25, after which it will be summarized and presented, along with a recommended Council Vacancy Policy, to a Public Meeting held by Council at 6:30 p.m. on November 15, 2017 in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

Please note you do not need to register to address Council at this meeting.

CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
  • Why is this consultation taking place?

    about 1 year ago

    The purpose of a Council vacancy policy is to help guide the process should a future vacancy occur on City Council.Council directed staff to develop a policy to guide Council in filling future vacancies.  Public input will be incorporated into the policy that will be considered by Council at a public meeting scheduled for November 15, 2017.

  • What is the purpose of a Council Vacancy Policy?

    about 1 year ago

    The purpose of a Council vacancy policy is to help guide the process should a future vacancy occur on City Council.

  • When does a vacancy occur?

    about 1 year ago

    While most vacancies occur due to the death or resignation of a Member, there are a couple of different ways they may happen:
    • The Member is no longer qualified to hold office (e.g., the Member no longer reside, or own or rent property in the City);
    • The Member does not take their oath of office after a regular election or by-election;
    • The Member misses three (3) consecutive months of Council meetings without being permitted to do so by Council;
    • The Member is appointed to another seat on Council;
    • The Member has been removed from office by a Court; and,
    • The Member forfeits their office under the Act, or other applicable legislation.

  • What must Council do when a vacancy occurs?

    about 1 year ago

    According to the Act, Council must do two things:
    1. Declare the seat vacant; and,
    2. Fill the vacancy by by-election or appointment.

  • When must a vacancy be filled?

    about 1 year ago

    A vacancy on Council must always be filled, unless it occurs within 90 days of Voting Day in a regular municipal election year.  If the vacancy occurs between March 31 and 90 days before Voting Day in the year of an election, Council can only fill the vacancy by appointment.

  • Does the Act tell Council when a vacancy should be filled by by-election or by appointment?

    about 1 year ago

    No, the Act does not specify the method that must be used to fill a vacancy.  It is up to Council to determine which method should be used.

  • Are there any criteria Council must consider when filling a vacancy?

    about 1 year ago

    No, the Act is silent on what Council must consider when determining how a vacancy should be filled.  However, Council may wish to take into consideration, among other things:
    • the time since, or until, the next regular election;
    • representative needs of the City;
    • financial and staff resource impacts;
    • any input provided by the public; and,
    • any other considerations that may be appropriate in the circumstances. 

  • How can I provide my feedback?

    about 1 year ago

    • Online: you can provide your thoughts online using Connect Oshawa, the City’s community engagement portal;
    • In Person: an open house will take place in the Committee Room at City hall, 50 Centre St. S., from 6:30 to 8:00 pm on October 18, 2017.  Staff will provide a brief presentation and offer attendees the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback directly to staff.
    • On Paper: surveys are available at Service Oshawa for those who would prefer to complete the survey on paper.
    Feedback will be received until Wednesday, October 25.