Town of Witless Bay

Town of Witless Bay


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Public Notice

Posted by Chris Herridge on November 9, 2016 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Municipal By-Election Report

Name # of Votes

Murphy, Maureen 319

Paul, Fraser 226

Dunn, Michelle 163

Belbin, Derek 067


Events surrounding the adjournment of By-Election of October 18, 2016

This is to inform the residents of the events that lead to the adjournment of the By-Election of October 18th.


Following nomination day on September 27, the office began receiving complaints from community members contesting the residency of one of the candidates. The Department of Municipal Affairs called the office to inform me that they were also receiving calls relating to a residency issue of a candidate.

Municipal Affairs discussed the requirements for eligibility relating to residency, and advised me, as a Returning Officer, that I was obligated to consider information I was receiving. I informed all who questioned me as to why I accepted the nomination form from someone not living in Witless Bay, that the Municipal Elections Act requires that a Returning Officer obtain sufficient identification from a candidate if there is uncertainty, and that I had done what was required of me. I also consulted with Municipal Affairs during this process to inquire if there was anything further a Returning Officer must do in circumstances like this. I was told there was nothing, that due diligence was done.

On October 17th, just prior to the office closing for the day, I was served with a Supreme Court of NL petition naming the Town of Witless Bay and the Minister of Municipal Affairs as respondents, challenging the residency of one of the candidates. Because this issue was now a legal matter, I immediately forwarded it to the Town's lawyer, asking his advice. Considering the timing of receipt of the document, the lawyer, Stephen Penney advised that it would be prudent for me to adjourn the by-election scheduled for 8 a.m. the next morning in order to review and assess the Court petition. The adjournment of a by-election is legal under Section 8 (3) of the Municipal Elections Act.

Following a review from the Department of Municipal Affairs, and in consultation with the Town's lawyer, I have now been directed to proceed with the by-election.

The responsibility of a Returning Officer is extremely challenging. There is very little legislation pertaining to guidelines for us to follow, and absolutely nothing in this particular instance which I've had to experience with this by-election. Municipal Affairs said that this one is "breaking new ground." That is not only worrisome, but unacceptable in a municipal world where we are guided by Provincial Acts and Regulations. Add the presence of a court action to this mix and there is only one option and that is to refer the matter to legal counsel.

For my part, as a Returning Officer working on behalf of this community, I regret that the candidates, residents, and council had to go through this, however, I absolutely do not regret the action I was forced to take. Had I made one wrong call on my own with no legislation in place to protect me, this could have been detrimental to the good people of this community. On a final note, I'd like to wish good luck to the candidates in this upcoming by-election on Tuesday.

Information on Proxy Voting

Urgent Notice From NL Power

Posted by Chris Herridge on March 31, 2014 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Public Notice:

March 2014

All Municipalities:

At Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (Hydro) and Newfoundland Power, one of our top priorities is to ensure the safety of employees, contractors and the public. We are working to continue raising awareness among those who work around power lines and reminding them to take precautions to ensure the safety of themselves and others.

It is important to understand that contact with power lines is extremely dangerous and can be fatal. We are asking for your help in promoting this safety message to all contractors and heavy equipment operators. It is critical they are aware of the dangers associated with electricity and to take the appropriate precautions when working around power lines. By taking the time to locate and ensure adequate clearances from overhead and underground power lines before beginning work, electrical contacts and a potential fatality can be prevented.

Working around electricity requires your complete attention. Accidents can be prevented with proper planning, worksite evaluation and keeping safe distances.

As a leader in your community, you can help us promote this important message.

You are encouraged to bring this matter to the attention of your municipal council, and ask them to deliver this message to their constituents. If power line contacts do not stop, it is only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed.

For more information on working safely around electrical equipment, please visit or You can also contact Paul Smith, Hydro’s Manager of Health, Safety and Environment at [email protected] or John Curran, Director of Health, Safety and Environment at Newfoundland Power at [email protected]


Darren Moore - General Manager
Transmission and Rural Operations
Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro

Sean Lacour
Manager, Operations
Newfoundland Power Inc