City employee ineligible to run for council

A city employee who wants to run for councillor is ineligible, according to returning officer for Halifax Regional Municipality.
Angela Jones files nomination papers on time, but did not apply for leave from her job, according to the city. (CBC)

A city employee who wants to run for councillor in District 4 Cole Harbour-Westphal is ineligible, according to the returning officer for Halifax Regional Municipality.

Angela Jones did not apply for leave to run in the municipal election — so although she filed her nomination papers on time — Jones cannot be a candidate, Cathy Mellett says.

"It's very clear, under the [Municipal Elections] Act, that she has to request leave in order to run, and that's a very specific requirement, and if you don't request it as of the date of your nomination, you're not qualified," Mellett said.

Angela Jones, who has been a city solitictor for 15 years, says she's already on parental leave and discussed the matter with the returning officer.

"How does someone, who's on a leave of absence request a leave of absence? But I was still willing, if they so wanted on nomination day, and we discussed it further in more depth, and we were both satisfied that I was in compliance," Jones said.

Jones says she has hired a lawyer to appeal the decision in the courts and expects to have an emergency hearing next week.

Election day in HRM is Oct. 20.