Northeastern Ont. sees feast and famine of election candidates

It's just under a month before nominations close and the municipal election ballots go to the printer.

Number of municipal election candidate varies widely among Sudbury, North Bay, Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie

Ontario's municipal elections will take place on Oct. 27. (iStock)

It's just under a month before nominations close and the municipal election ballots go to the printer.

And while some cities in northeastern Ontario already have a record number of candidates, some hardly have any at all.

There are 11 seats around the North Bay city council table — a mayor and 10 councillors.

But so far, no one is running to be mayor for the next four years, and there are only five names on the ballot for council.

David Tabachnick, who teaches political science at Nipissing University in North Bay, said this was a rough term for city council.

"Constitutents are kind of grumpy and maybe this is the reason why we don't see people jumping into the ring all that quickly."

Tabachnick said some candidates may wait until the September deadline to declare, even though there are advantages to getting out early.

“All too often people go to the ballot box without a great idea about who all the candidates are,” he said.

“They often just fill out the ballot because they recognize people's names. So, putting your sign out early may help."

No shortage of candidates in Greater Sudbury, with eight people looking to replace departing Mayor Marianne Matichuk and 54 names put forward for city council.

That's the most number of candidates since 1997 when, in the pre-amalgamation days, there were a lot more seats up for grabs and more than 100 candidates running.

There were 45 names on the ballot in the last election in 2010.

Elsewhere in the region, there are 26 candidates declared in Sault Ste. Marie, including a majority of the incumbents trying to keep their jobs.

And in Timmins, 14 names have been put into the hat, including three running for the mayor's seat which, like Sudbury, will be open now that Mayor Tom Laughren is stepping away.


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