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School district election cancelled due to pandemic

Minister cancels byelection for Hope area due to “special circumstances” created by public health emergency

The school district in the Hope, B.C., area has become the province’s first pandemic electoral victim as Victoria May 26 cancelled a byelection to replace a deceased board trustee.

The byelection for the Fraser Cascade School District 78 was needed in order to fill the vacancy created by the death of Hope educator and school board trustee John Koopman on May 5. He was one of three trustees representing Hope and Silver Creek.

Minister of Education Rob Fleming said in Ministerial Order M-171 that he believes that the COVID-19 pandemic constitutes a “special circumstance” under the Local Government Act. As a result, Fleming’s order said, in order to achieve the purposes of a election it was necessary to cancel it.

The ministry has not said when a new vote might happen.