Procedural error leaves Coulter on the sidelines

Chilliwack school trustee Dan Coulter was sworn into office prematurely which had him watching from the sidelines at Tuesday's board meeting

Tuesday’s school board meeting was almost a comedy of errors.

After being prematurely sworn into office last week, newly elected Chilliwack school trustee Dan Coulter had to sit out of Tuesday’s board meeting.

But was that also a mistake?

According to section 137(1) of the Local Government Act, a candidate cannot be given their oath of office until the nine-day period for a judicial recount has passed following the official release of election results.

The City released the results on Dec. 2, which meant the earliest Coulter could be sworn in is Dec. 12.

“We did not realize this at the time, so we gave him his oath at the board meeting immediately following the election,” on Dec. 3, said board chair Walt Krahn.

City officials notified the school district of its mistake Tuesday.

But they, too, were mistaken.

According to section 135 of the Local Government Act, where no application for judicial recount has been received, a trustee who’s been declared elected may take the oath of office on the 10th day after the close of general voting.

There was no application for recount.

That means Coulter could have been sworn in at Tuesday’s meeting given the election closed Nov. 30.

“Byelections don’t happen often; this is new territory for us,” said Krahn. “In the zeal of getting rolling, sometimes things may go amiss.

“But we had to err on the side of caution.”

And so, Coulter spent the three-hour meeting not sitting around the table with fellow trustees, but watching from the sidelines in the public viewing area – not able to vote or even comment on the proceedings.

He said, while initially disappointed, it wasn’t a big deal.

“It’s one meeting,” he said. “I’ll be sitting in on a lot of meetings.”

Coulter will officially retake the oath on Dec. 13.

Just Posted

Garrison store going to new heights for children’s charity

Save-On Foods employees raising cash for BC Children’s Hospital, by throwing managers from airplane

Tourism Chilliwack brings home industry award of excellence

Sto:lo Welcome Figures carving project outside the Visitor Centre loomed large in the win

UPDATE: Dying days for 25-bed mental health facility on Chilliwack/Abbotsford border

Closure of Mountain View criticized by NDP in opposition but hasn’t reversed Fraser Health decision

B.C’s Indigenous tourism sector takes centre stage in Chilliwack

One-day workshop will look at ways to embue the industry with authenticity

IIO seeks witness in Dodge Ram who may have seen fatality after Taser incident in Chilliwack

Second police watchdog release of vehicle images asking for driver/occupant to make contact

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

Two killed, dozen hurt in French supermarket hostage-taking

French counterterrorism prosecutors are taking charge of the investigation into the shooting of a police officer in southern France

Canadian women move to No. 4 in FIFA world rankings

Canadian women match all-time high, move back to No. 4 in FIFA world rankings

Supreme Court rules former Stephen Harper aide guilty of influence peddling

A one-time senior aide to former prime minister Stephen Harper has been found guilty of influence peddling by Canada’s highest court.

Annual inflation rate rises to 2.2% for its fastest pace since fall 2014

Statistics Canada says the consumer price index in February was up 2.2 per cent compared with a year ago

B.C. drug smuggler pleads guilty in U.S. court

Shuswap man admits to using helicopters to transport marijuana and cocaine across the border

Canucks find scoring touch in 5-2 win over Blackhawks

Four Vancouver skaters have two points apiece in victory over Chicago

‘Not well thought out:’ Arizona family slams B.C. speculation tax

American family spends half the year in vacation home on Vancouver Island

Family of B.C. wildfire victim wants better emergency preparedness for vulnerable people

Williams Lake’s David Jeff “fell through the cracks”

Most Read