By-elections in the Towns of Souris and Murray Harbour will be held in the coming months.

A by-election to fill the seat on Souris Town Council, left vacant by Mayor Joanne Dunphy, will be held on March 2, 2020.

A span of over a month is needed from the call for nominations to election day so the process won’t begin until January 31.

The Rural Municipality of Murray Harbour will hold a by-election for one council position on Monday, February 3, 2020.

Nominations for that community’s by-election close on January 17. The seat became vacant in October when councillor Debbie Shea resigned.

In Souris the vacancy was created when Mayor Joanne Dunphy, a former councillor, won the mayoral seat in November.

A change to the election by-law in Souris will take place before nominations open.

The amendment states there will be a nomination deposit of $100 that will be refunded if the candidate files campaign spending disclosure and is elected or receives at least 15 per cent of the votes cast. The previous fee was $10.

Souris councillors agreed the fee hike is a positive change.

“With that amount you are going to get people serious about running,” Councillor Kenny Peters said.

“Having that fee would certainly separate the wheat from the chaff,” Councillor Ian MacDonald said.

“They might just hear $100 and their mind is made up,” Councillor Wanda Bailey added.

Council passed the first reading of the change at the regular meeting on Monday night. A public meeting of the second reading will be held before nominations begin on January 31.

Both seats are for the term of office ending December 6, 2022.

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