Nova Scotia

Kings County election results overturned

A judge has overturned the results of two seats in October's municipal election in Kings County.

2 districts affected after case ended up in court

A judge has overturned the results of two seats in October's municipal election in Kings County.

Rick Ackland and Jim Windsor have successfully challenged the decision to keep them off the ballot.

The returning officer rejected their candidacy as councillors after their nomination papers were accepted. They were told they couldn't run because they served on volunteer boards and received small stipends.

"The electoral officer took that to mean that they were county employees and should have taken a leave of absence before running," said the CBC's Blair Rhodes.

In a Kentville courtroom Friday, Justice Gregory Warner said the returning officer and municipality did not show procedural fairness when they failed to give the rejected candidates a chance to respond to their rejection from the race.

Also, the judge pointed out that sitting councillors who sat on both volunteer boards were not asked to take leave before they reoffered.

Justice Warner said serving on volunteer boards does not satisfy the definition of "holds office" under the election act.

Ackland and Windsor launched the legal action along with a citizen – Nancy Saul-Demers.

The results for Districts 8 and 11 have now been overturned. Council will look at the ruling in January, and planning will begin for the byelections.

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