Our View: Recall rules needed for local leaders

There’s no way for the public to remove a councillor or mayor between elections.

Councillor Kim Richter found herself in an unusual position this year. Immediately after being censured by her fellow councillors, she faced the will of the voters.

The voters decided that the censuring, warranted or not, wasn’t important enough to keep her out of office, and she was easily re-elected.

But that underlines an important point – council has a method to provide a (mostly symbolic) punishment to its members between elections.

The voters do not.

There is literally no mechanism right now for either councils or the public to remove a mayor or councillor in between elections – which have now been extended from every three to every four years.

Most famously, former councillor David Murray of Pitt Meadows was convicted to sexual assault in 2017. He refused to quit during his trial, and only pressure from his former colleagues convinced him to quite – four days after he was convicted.

In B.C., we have the ability to recall our MLAs, though it is a steep hill to climb. We can force a referendum on legislation, as with the unpopular HST.

But the voters have no mechanism to give a councillor the boot between elections, whether their actions are minor or, as in Murray’s case, deeply disturbing.

The provincial government has the power to change this, and to put recall powers in the hands of local voters. Victoria should give citizens more power over their local governments. If it’s good enough for MLAs, why not councillors?

– M.C.

Just Posted

Langley chamber of commerce CEO named executive of the year by Canadian chamber

Colleen Clark has nearly 25 years of experience in the chamber network

Spartans make it four in a row

Langley-based TWU womens soccer team keeps Alberta rivals scoreless

VIDEO: Rock and gem show a smashing good time in Aldergrove

Club marks 60 years with weekend show and sale

VIDEO: A moment to remember during day three of the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday in Langley

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Over 200 Hotel Georgia hospitality workers join ‘open-ended strike’

Unionized workers at Hyatt Regency, Westin Bayshore and Pinnacle Harbourfront have also walked out

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

Hiker rescued after spending night on Crown Mountain

North Shore Rescue spotted the woman by helicopter over Hanes Valley

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Iconic 90s TV show ‘Friends’ celebrates 25th anniversary

The iconic, decade-long television show aired its first episode 25 years ago today

Most Read