‘Ask and you shall receive’ was the message sent recently by Councillors in Uxbridge, as they voted by the narrowest of margins to go ahead with the recount in Ward 1.
The race to represent Ward 1 was the closest in the township during the recent municipal election, with just 22 votes proving the difference, as Pam Beach wrestled the job away from Bev Northeast, who had held the position since 1991.
With no threshold for triggering a recount present in the Elections Act, it was up to Uxbridge Councillors to decide what to do in terms of the recount. Although, the matter could have also been taken to Ontario Superior Court, such as was the case in 2010 when Larry O’Connor was eventually found to have edged Terry Clayton by a mere three votes in the race for Mayor in Brock Township.
In that case, the original margin was six votes - nearly four times less than the current race in Uxbridge’s Ward 1 - yet, Councillors have made the choice to proceed with the recount. The decision is made all the more confusing when the comments from Township Clerk Debbie Leroux that she “doesn’t expect any change” are added into the mix.
For someone who has served on Council for as long as Ms. Northeast has, it must be a difficult reality that the voters have chosen a new voice to represent them, and she is well within her rights to request a recount, no matter how slim the chances of a change in result may appear.
However, just because you ask council for it, shouldn’t mean you automatically receive it. A price tag of approximately $8,000 for one councillor’s peace of mind seems awful steep for a municipality and a Council that goes to such great lengths to account for every dollar spent in its annual budget.
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