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Province acclaims only candidate, making Tofino mayoral by-election unnecessary

An order from B.C.'s community minister has voided the need for a mayoral by-election in the Vancouver Island community of Tofino, where one of two candidates had dropped out of the race.

As a result, Josie Osborne has been acclaimed mayor, and Tofino will save the estimated $10,000 to $12,000 cost of holding a by-election.

In a statement, the District of Tofino noted on Friday that it has received the ministerial orders under the Local Government Act.

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The orders were required because pharmacist George Smith dropped out of the race less than 29 days before the Jan. 26 vote, and the act would have forced the community to proceed with it.

Mr. Smith said he dropped out of the race for "personal reasons." That left Ms. Osborne, a former fisheries biologist who now runs the Tofino Botannical Gardens, as the only candidate.

The by-election was called after Perry Schmunk stepped down as mayor late last year to take a job in Vancouver.

Ms. Osborne said she was pleased with Friday's development, and will likely be sworn in as Tofino's new mayor on Tuesday.

"I can't wait to get started," she said, adding that she was thankful the city will not have to spend on an unnecessary by-election. "It's not just the amount of money but the principle of using the money," she said.

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About the Author
B.C. reporter

Ian Bailey is a Vancouver-based reporter for The Globe and Mail.  He covers politics and general news. Prior to arriving at The Globe and Mail, he reported from Toronto and St. John’s for The Canadian Press.  He has also covered British Columbia for CP, The National Post and The Province. More

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