Recall legislation for municipal politicians may have been rejected in Sudbury, but one small northern Ontario community has decided to introduce it.
Jocelyn Township on St. Joseph Island recently passed a bylaw allowing residents to force unpopular politicians out of office. To do that, they would need the signatures of two-thirds of the 500 citizens who voted in the last election.
Reeve Mark Henderson said he thinks the recall bylaw enhances democracy in Jocelyn Township — although he doesn't expect it will ever be used.
"Just because you've got a whip on your buggy, doesn't mean you have to be beating your horse every day," Henderson said.
"The horse knows it's there, that's why they keep going down the road."
Henderson agreed with Sudbury Mayor Marianne Matichuk’s opinion that there should be recall legislation for all politicians in Canada.
However, all 12 Sudbury city councillors voted down Mayor Marianne Matichuk's proposal to allow citizens to recall unpopular politicians.
""People use recall for vengeance," remarked Sudbury Coun. Terry Kett. "They don't like you, well, they're going to get you."
Henderson said he isn't worried about recall being used as a political weapon.
"In a small community — because we're all connected by friendship and family ties — the communication is going back and forth," he said.
"Just because you have a difference of opinion doesn't mean democracy's not working."
Henderson says he hopes other municipalities, as well as the provincial and federal governments, will soon pass recall laws as well.