3617-2023 Adopt a Council Vacancy Policy
BEING A BY-LAW TO ADOPT A COUNCIL VACANCY POLICY FOR THE TOWNSHIP OF AUGUSTA
Passed by Council February 13, 2023
THE CORPORATION OF THE TOWNSHIP OF AUGUSTA
BY-LAW NUMBER 3617-2023
A BY-LAW TO ADOPT A COUNCIL VACANCY POLICY
FOR THE TOWNSHIP OF AUGUSTA
WHEREAS Section 5 of the Act provides that a municipality’s power shall be exercised
AND WHEREAS Council wishes to establish a policy to fill declared Council vacancies,
NOW THEREFORE the Council of the Corporation of the Township of Augusta enacts
1. THAT Council adopts the Council Vacancy Policy.
2. THAT schedule A attached hereto shall form part of this By-Law.
4. THAT all other By-Laws inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.
5. THAT this By-Law shall come into force and effect on the date of passing.
READ a first and second time this 13 day of February, 2023.
READ a third time and passed this 13 day of February, 2023.
Signed by Mayor Jeff Shaver and Clerk Annette Simonian
POLICY: Council Vacancy Policy
DATE ISSUED: February 13, 2023
REVIEW DATE: December, 2026
In accordance with the Municipal Act, S.O. 2001, c.25, when the seat of a member of
council becomes vacant during the term of office, Council may fill a vacancy by appointing a
person who has consented to accept the office if appointed or requiring that a by-election be
held to fill a vacancy in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act.
The purpose of this policy is to provide for an accountable and transparent process for the
filling of Council vacancies which occur during a term of office.
This procedure applies to any Council office declared vacant on Township Council during
the term of Council.
Appointment means the appointment of a qualified individual, by majority vote of Council, to
fill a vacancy on Council for the remainder of the current Council term.
By-election means an election, other than a regular election, held to fill a vacancy on
Council and that is conducted in accordance with Section 65 of the Municipal Elections Act,
1996, as amended.
Candidate means an individual seeking to be appointed to fill a vacancy in the office of
Councillor, having met the eligibility requirements and who has completed the requisite
Clerk means the Clerk or their designate of The Corporation of the Township of Augusta as
appointed by Council.
Eligible Elector has the same meaning as subsection 17(2) of the Act, namely a person:
• who is a resident of the Township of Augusta, or an owner or tenant of land in the
Township or the spouse of such an owner or tenant;
• who is a Canadian Citizen;
• who is at least 18 years old; and,
• who is not prohibited from voting under any other Act or from holding municipal office.
Lot means a method of determination by placing the names of the candidates on equal size
pieces of paper and placed in a container with one candidate name being drawn by the
Nominee means those individuals seeking to fill a vacancy on Council who meet the
eligibility requirements and who have completed the requisite documentation.
Regular Election Year means the year established for a regular municipal election in
accordance with the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, as amended.
Term of Office means the period of time a Member is elected to hold office for which they
are elected in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act, 1996, as amended.
Vacancy means when a seat on Council has become vacant in a manner described in
section 259 of the Act.
Council is required to declare a seat vacant in accordance with the Act. In accordance with
the Act, if a vacancy occurs within 90 days before voting day of a regular ejection, the
municipality is not required to fill a vacancy on Council.
Within 60 days after the day a declaration of vacancy is made by Council according to
Section 263 of the Act, Council shall determine whether to fill the vacancy by by-election or
by appointment in accordance with the Act, subject to:
a) the limitation on filling a vacancy only by appointment (no by-election shall be held) if
the vacancy occurs after March 31 in the year of a regular election set out in Section
65(2) of the Municipal Elections Act; and
b) the restriction on filling a vacancy that occurs within 90 days of voting day of a regular
election in Section 263(5)3. of the Municipal Act.
In making its determination, Council will consider the costs and timelines associated with
filling a vacancy by appointment or by by-election.
The vote to appoint a member to the vacancy shall occur at an open Special Meeting of
The Clerk has the authority to make minor technical amendments to this procedure as may
be required from time to time.
5. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
Any individual filling a vacancy must meet the eligibility requirements of office as outlined
in the Act and the Municipal Elections Act as an eligible elector.
If an employee of the Township of Augusta seeks appointment to Council, the employee
shall give Council written notice, in advance, of his or her intention to take unpaid leave.
If the employee is appointed to office, they will be deemed to have resigned from their
position with the Township immediately before making the declaration of office.
6. METHOD OF FILLING VACANCIES
Council may choose to fill a vacancy with the following methods:
a) Appointing the Candidate who ran for the position that is vacant from the
previous election who received the next greatest number of votes but was
not elected; or
b) An open call for individuals for consideration by Council through a public
appointment process by call for nominees; or
c) In the event of a vacant seat for the office of Mayor or Deputy Mayor,
appointing a current member of Council; or
d) After first considering filling the vacancy by appointment, fill the position by
by-election in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act after considering
the costs and timelines associated with filling a vacancy by by-election.
Council shall pass a resolution directing the method to fill the vacancy.
7. PROCEDURE TO FILL VACANCIES
7.1 FILLING A VACANCY BY APPOINTMENT OF PREVIOUS ELECTION
Within 60 days of vacancy, Council shall declare the seat vacant.
Council may fill the vacancy by appointing a Candidate who ran in the last regular election
but was not elected. The Clerk shall reaffirm the candidate is able, agreeable and meets the
eligibility requirements of office as outlined in the Act and the Municipal Elections Act.
A vote to fill a vacancy on Council by appointment shall occur at an open Special Council
A By-Law confirming the appointment of the successful candidate for the remainder of the
terms shall be enacted and the candidate shall complete the Oath of Office at the next
7.2 FILING A VACANCY BY CALL FOR NOMINEES
Within 60 days of declaring a seat vacant, Council shall appoint a new member by By-Law.
The Clerk shall post a Council Vacancy notice on the Township’s website, social media and
in the local newspaper for a minimum of three (3) consecutive weeks following Council’s
decision to fill a vacancy by appointment and any other notice deemed necessary by the
Clerk. The notice shall indicate Council’s intention to appoint an individual to fill a vacancy
and shall outline the nomination process.
Any individual wishing to be considered for appointment to fill the Council vacancy will
complete and sign the Council Vacancy Appointment Application Form and a Declaration of
Qualification Form provided and approved by the Clerk and will submit the forms to the
Clerk in-person by the date and time established by the Clerk.
Candidate(s) may submit, to the Clerk, a personal statement of qualification for
consideration of Council. Personal statements will be typewritten in a 12 point font on letter
size (8.5” x 11”) paper, shall not exceed two (2) pages in length, and will include the
candidate(s) name and address. Statements that do not meet these requirements will not be
included in any Council meeting agenda or provided to Council by the Clerk. The Clerk will
advise candidate(s) of the deadline for submission of a personal statement.
Any individual wishing to be considered for appointment to fill the Council vacancy will be
required to provide identification to prove his or her identity and qualifying address to the
satisfaction of the Clerk.
A candidate package will be provided by the Clerk to all interested nominees.
It is the Candidate(s) sole responsibility to meet any deadline or otherwise comply with any
requirement of this policy, the Act or the Municipal Elections Act.
All applications shall be considered public documents and will be made available for public
viewing in the same way as a nomination form for a candidate in a municipal election and
shall be available for viewing in the Clerk’s office. The Clerk will create a list of all
Candidates and publicly post the Candidate Listing on the Township’s website. The listing
will be updated as eligible applications are received.
Notwithstanding the requirement of the Procedural By-Law, the agenda for the meeting shall
be set by the Clerk to allow for the orderly proceeding of selecting a Candidate. The agenda
shall include the following:
a) A certified list of all Candidates listed in alphabetical order by last name.
b) Any personal statement of qualification for consideration of Council.
At the meeting, the following shall take place:
a) The Chair will make a short statement of the purpose of the meeting and the general
order of proceedings to be followed.
b) The Clerk will provide to the Chair a list of the names of those individuals who have
indicated, in writing, their interest in being appointed to the vacancy and the Chair will
call for a motion from Council in the following form: “THAT the following individuals,
who have signified in writing that they are legally qualified to hold office and
consented to accept the office if they are appointed to till the vacancy, be considered
for appointment to fill such vacancy.”
c) Candidates will be sequestered in an adjacent room until it is their time to answer the
questions posed by Council. Once a candidate has answered the questions, they
may remain in the Council Chambers.
d) Each of the nominees shall be afforded the opportunity to address Council for a
period of not more than ten (10) minutes. The order of speaking will be determined b
alphabetical order by last name.
e) Each member of Council will be permitted two (2) questions to each Candidate.
Responses from the Candidates shall be limited to a maximum of two (2) minutes per
In the event that there is more than one Candidate, upon hearing all the submissions of
the Candidates, Council will proceed to vote as follows:
a) Candidate names will be displayed on the monitor in alphabetical order, in the
Council Chambers by the Clerk.
b) Each Member of Council will be provided with a ballot by the Clerk with their name on
it listing all Candidates in alphabetical order.
c) Each Member of Council will cast their vote on the ballot and sign their name
d) Members of Council will cast their vote for one (1) Candidate only.
e) The Clerk will collect the ballots, place the ballots of all Members of Council in a
container and randomly draw the completed ballots.
f) When a ballot is drawn, the Clerk will publicly announce the name of the Member of
Council whose vote it is and announce the Candidate in which they voted for.
g) The Clerk will tabulate and announce the results.
h) The Candidate who receives the votes of more than one half of the number of
Members of Council present and voting shall fill the vacancy.
i) If the Candidate receiving the greatest number of votes cast does not receive more
than one-half the votes of all voting members of Council, the Candidate or
Candidates who received the fewest number of votes will be excluded from further
consideration. The vote will be taken again by the Clerk and, if necessary, more than
once, excluding in each successive vote the Candidate or Candidates who receive
the fewest number of votes. This process will be repeated until the Candidate
receiving the greatest number of votes has also received more than one-half of the
votes of the voting Members of Council.
j) Where the votes cast are equal for all remaining Candidates and if:
• There are three or more Candidates remaining, the Clerk will by Lot select one
such Candidate to be excluded from the subsequent voting.
• If only two (2) Candidates remain, the tie will be broken by selecting a
Candidate by Lot, as conducted by the Clerk.
Upon conclusion of the voting, the Clerk will note the Candidate receiving the votes of more
than one-half of the number of the voting Members of Council or the Candidate selected.
The appointment of the Candidate will be made by By-Law. A By-Law confirming the
appointment will be enacted by Council.
The Clerk will administer the Declaration of Office required by subsection 232(1) of the Act,
at the meeting where the appointing By-Law is enacted by Council, or as directed by
7.3 FILLING A VACANCY BY INTERNAL APPOINTMENT FOR THE OFFICE OF
MAYOR OR DEPUTY MAYOR
Council shall declare the seat of the Mayor or Deputy Mayor to be vacant in accordance with
the Municipal Act and may decide to appoint an existing member of Council to the seat.
Upon the decision to fill the vacant seat internally, any Member of Council wishing to be
considered for appointment to the vacancy shall advise the Clerk in writing and by
completing and signing the Council Vacancy Appointment Application Form provided by the
Clerks office by 12:00 Noon on the Wednesday prior to the meeting.
If there are no members of Council who advise that they wish to be considered for
appointment to the vacancy, Council may fill the vacancy using another method to fill the
The vote to appoint a current Council Member to the position of Mayor or Deputy Mayor
shall occur at an open Special Council Meeting. The current councillor wishing to fill the
vacant seat may vote.
The appointment of the Candidate shall be made by By-Law. A By-Law confirming the
appointment will be enacted by Council.
The Clerk will administer the Declaration of Office required by subsection 232(1) of the Act,
at the meeting where the appointing By-Law is enacted by Council.
A Councillor vacancy created due to filling the Mayor or Deputy Mayor’s seat internally shall
be filled in accordance with the provisions of this Policy.
7.4 FILLING A VACANCY BY BY-ELECTION
Within 60 days of declaring a seat vacant, Council shall pass a By-Law to fill the vacancy by
A By-election shall be held in accordance with the Municipal Elections Act.
The Clerk or designate shall be responsible for conducting any By-election in accordance
with the Municipal Elections Act and all applicable policies and procedures.
Council is responsible for the adoption and application of this policy.
Where appropriate, the Clerk (or designate) shall be responsible for the administration of
and applicable procedures of this policy.
Where a situation occurs that is not otherwise accounted for in these procedures, the Clerk
shall recommend an alternate process to Council, which Council may adopt with a simple
9. POLICY ADMINISTRATION AND REVIEW
This policy will be reviewed every four years or as required based on revisions to corporate
practices or Provincial legislation.