Is there a municipal by-election in Huntsville’s future?

With the announcement last week by Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement that he would not be seeking re-election this fall, a door has opened for Huntsville Mayor Scott Aitchison.

The mayor, in his second term in the town’s top job, has indicated that should Clement decide not to run, he would be interested in becoming the candidate for the riding.

Would Aitchison be able to keep his Mayor’s role while campaigning for a federal seat?

According to Chief Administrative Officer for the Town of Huntsville Denise Corry, he could keep his job during the campaign but would have to resign if he won and wished to be an MP.

“Any member of council sitting on a municipal council is not required to take a leave of absence in order to be a candidate in a provincial or federal election,” Corry confirmed.

By the time the federal election is complete on October 21st, the Huntsville council would still have three years left on its current term. It would then have two options to replace the mayor.

“The policy states there are more or less two options that council can consider,” Corry explains. “ They can fill a vacancy by appointment or they can have a by-election.”

She says once the council determined a replacement was needed they would vote on which method to go with. Typically if there is under a year to go in a term, an appointment would be made, saving the cost of an election. But for more than a year remaining on a term a by-election would be likely.