The nomination cut-off day for the 2018 municipal election finally arrived. Nomination closed on July 27 (Friday) at 2 pm. All the anticipation, second guessing, and anxiety come to an end. In Markham, many intriguing questions on who are the candidates and where are they running in this election were answered as the nominations closed.
In Markham, the total number of candidates contesting for Mayor, Ward Councillors, and Regional Councillors is 72. This represents the largest number of contestants ever recorded in the City's election history. The following is a breakdown of these (candidate) numbers:
市长：5个候选人；区委员 - 12个候选人（竞选4个职位）；1号选区:8个候选人；2号选区：6个候选人；4号选区：4个候选人；5号选区：13个候选人；6号选区：5个候选人；7好选区：10个候选人；8号选区：4个候选人。
Mayor- 5, Regional Councillors – 12 (for 4 positions), Ward#1 – 8, Ward#2 – 6, Ward#3 - 5, Ward#4 - 4, Ward#5 – 13, Ward#6 – 5, Ward#7 – 10, and Ward#8 – 4.
For the longest time, incumbents were holding their collective breath waiting for the incumbent Mayor (Frank Scarpitti) to make his move. Many expected him to go for the York Regional Chair position that was to be publicly elected for the first time. This scenario will open up the Mayoral position for a few of the existing Regional and Ward Councillors to try and in turn opening up their own positions for newcomers.
For his part, the Mayor kept them in suspense while sending up smoke-screens suggesting that he will indeed proceed to compete in the York Regional Chair position. He waited until the day before the deadline to put his name into the registry for the Mayoral position, delaying others to either reaffirm their commitments to races or to change their directions for other positions.
Existing York Regional Chair (Wayne Emmerson) then announced that he will drop out of the race. Many, including myself, expected Regional Councillor Jim Jones to immediately enter the race for the York Regional Chair and fight it out with the 2 other candidates who are outsiders to Regional politics.
On the night of the 26th, Ontario Premier Doug Ford suddenly announced the cancellation of public voting for the York regional Chair and Peel Regional Chair where the previous Ontario PC leader Patrick Brown is contesting. York Regional Chair Wayne Emmersion subsequently re-entered the race again, hoping to be elected by the small circle of 20 York Regional Council members without going through an expensive campaign that would have cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Up until the final day for nominations, the Markham Mayoral race only had one name in it – that of the incumbent (Frank Scarpitti). Two incumbent Regional Councillors and one ward councillor gave up their ambitions when Frank Scarpitti declared his intentions to run as Mayor again. Many residents were thinking that this may end up in an acclamation situation where Frank will be declared a winner without the need for a campaign. Four names were added to the list on the final day. None of these other candidates ever ran for Mayor in previous elections.
Given the latest situation, the following may still unfold after the October municipal election:
Assuming that Frank Scarpitti is successful in becoming Markham's Mayor again, he will then run for the York regional Chair in November and likely to be “appointed” by the York Regional Council members. The vacated position of Mayor in Markham will be filled in accordance with the “Council Vacancy Policy”.
The most likely scenario will be a by-election after the appointment of a member of Council as a temporary replacement. If other Council member(s) enter the by-election and successfully elected as the Mayor, further by-elections will be triggered to replace the winning member. This may look like a vicious circle but it is also a reality.
Next time, we will go through the Regional Councillors and Ward Councillors situation for each ward to get an idea of what is happening to the future make-up of Markham's City Council.
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