Toronto clerk cancels French-language public school trustee election

The election for one of Toronto’s French-language public school trustees next week has been cancelled, the city clerk announced Wednesday.

In a press release, City of Toronto Clerk John D. Elvidge said the vote for Viamonde Ward 3 School Board Trustee was overturned after it was determined that one of two candidates was not eligible to hold office.

“The election for this office will not be held on October 24, and a by-election will be held instead,” the city said.

According to the city’s election website, two candidates have registered to run in Ward 3: Amina Bibi Bhaiyat and Joseph Frasca. The city noted that there were 3,700 voters in that downtown neighborhood, which includes Spadina-Fort York, University-Rosedale, Toronto-St Paul’s, Toronto Centre, Toronto-Danforth and Beaches-East York.

The candidate in question has not been nominated, but the city has declared that the individual is not a French language rights holder, which is required by the Education Act.

The qualities required to be a francophone school counselor are to have French as the first language learned and still understood or to have attended a French-language school in Canada or to have children who have attended or are attending a French-language school in Canada.

Under the Municipal Elections Act, an election is void if a certified candidate becomes ineligible to hold that office, and another candidate would be elected by acclamation.

“The ballots for Election Day have already been printed and cannot be changed in time for Monday’s election. On election day, French-language public school voters will be instructed not to mark their ballot for the position of school board trustee for the Conseil scolaire Viamonde (Ward 3-Centre),” the city said.

“The election for this position will be voided on ballots cast on Election Day, as well as those already cast in advance voting and mail-in voting.”

The Conseil scolaire Viamonde has 14 schools in Toronto and is represented by three administrators. The races for the other two were declared after only one candidate ran in each ward.

It’s unclear when the byelection will take place, but the city said information will be sent to voters as soon as possible.

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