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Q1. Who can vote?
Q2. Where can I vote?
Q3. When can I vote?
Q4. What do I need to bring with me when I come to vote?
Q5.  What are acceptable pieces of ID for voting?
Q6.  I’m away on voting day, can I still vote?
Q7. How can I vote by mail?
Q8. Are the results of this referendum binding?
Q9.  How many individuals need to vote in order for the project to go ahead?
Q10.  What happens if the question doesn’t pass:
Q11.  Can more than one person per property vote?
Q12. I rent a property within the proposed service area can I vote?
Q13. My spouse and I own property within the proposed service area but live elsewhere in BC, can we both vote?
Q14. I own property in the proposed service area but live outside of BC, can I vote?
Q15. I am the holder of a registered lease of a property in the proposed service area with a lease term of 60 years with 2 twenty year renewals.  Am I eligible to vote?
Q16. I am not eligible to vote because of the rules, how can I make my opinion known?
Q17. Can I advertise in support or opposition to the referendum questions? 
Q18. What are the rules for determining residency?


Q1. Who can vote?

A.  You can vote if you are:

  • A resident elector -  anyone residing in the household in the proposed service area (including renters/tenants) and is:
    • 18 years of age or older on voting day (September 17, 2016);
    • a Canadian citizen;
    • a resident of B.C. for at least 6 months immediately before you register to vote;
    • a resident of the proposed service area for at least 30 days immediately before the vote; and
    • not previously disqualified by law from voting.
       
  • non-resident property elector - an individual that owns property in the proposed service area, but lives elsewhere, and is:
    • 18 years of age or older on voting day (September 17, 2016);
    • a Canadian citizen;
    • a resident of B.C. for at least 6 months immediately before you register to vote;
    • a registered owner of property in the proposed service area for at least 30 days immediately before the vote; OR the holder of a registered lease of a property in the proposed service area for a term of at least 99 years (see question #15 to determine if your lease meets the requirement); and
    • not previously disqualified by law from voting.

Note for non-resident property electors: If there is more than one registered owner of the property, only one of those individuals may, with the written consent of the majority of the owners, register as a non-resident property elector.  A property does not qualify for a non-resident vote if it is owned by a trust or corporation.

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Q2. Where can I vote?
A.  On Saturday, September 17, 2016, you can vote between the hours of 8 am and 8 pm at: 

  • Alpine Lodge, (Marmot level), #1 Strathcona Parkway, Mount Washington, BC

An advanced vote will also be held on Wednesday, September 7, 2016, between 8 am and 8 pm at: 

  • CVRD boardroom located at 550B Comox Road, Courtenay.

Mail ballot voting is also available by contacting the CVRD in person, by phone at 250-334-6000 or by email at administration@comoxvalleyrd.ca.

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Q3. When can I vote?
A. You can vote at Alpine Lodge, (Marmot level), #1 Strathcona Parkway, Mount Washington, BC from 8 am to 8 pm on Saturday, September 17, 2016.

  • There will also be advance voting on Wednesday, September 7, 2016 between 8 am and 8 pm, at the CVRD boardroom at 550B Comox Road, Courtenay.
     
  • Mail ballot voting is also available by contacting the CVRD in person, by phone at 250-334-6000 or by email at administration@comoxvalleyrd.ca

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Q4. What do I need to bring with me when I come to vote?
A.  A voter must produce two pieces of identification. At least one must show their signature and one must show their actual residential address. Photo ID is not required.  Non-resident property electors will also be required to provide proof of ownership (ex.  a state of title certificate or 99 year lease agreement - see question 15 to determine if your lease meets the requirements) and if there is more than one registered owner of the property, written consent from the majority of the property owners to permit the non-resident property elector to vote on their behalf.

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Q5.  What are acceptable pieces of ID for voting?

A.

  1. BC driver’s license
  2. BC identification card issued by the Motor Vehicle Branch
  3. BC services card (note: where the driver’s license and care card are combined, that is treated as one piece of ID)
  4. An Owner’s certificate of Insurance and Vehicle License issued by ICBC
  5. A social insurance number card
  6. A tax notice
  7. A credit card or debit card
  8. A firearm permit
  9. A utility bill such as a hydro bill, telephone bill, natural gas bill, water bill or cable bill, showing residential address.

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Q6.  I’m away on voting day, can I still vote?

A.  An advanced opportunity will be held on Wednesday, September 7, 2016 between 8 am and 8pm, at the CVRD boardroom at 550B Comox Road, Courtenay. Mail ballot voting is also an option if you plan ahead (See question #7).

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Q7. How can I vote by mail?
A.  Qualified electors may vote by mail if they:

  • have a physical disability, illness or injury that affects their ability to vote at another voting opportunity; OR
  • expect to be absent from the regional district on voting day and at the times of all advance voting opportunities. 

An “application to vote by mail” may be obtained by contacting the CVRD in person, by phone at 250-334-6000 or by email at administration@comoxvalleyrd.ca. Packages will be sent out on or about August 9, 2016.  In order to be counted, mail ballot votes must be received by the chief election officer no later than 8 pm on Saturday, September 17, 2016.

Note: In the event of a postal strike, it is the applicant’s responsibility to obtain the mail ballot package (i.e., pay for courier service to pick up your mail ballot package from CVRD and deliver the completed forms and ballot to the CVRD or have another individual pick up the mail ballot package for you and deliver it to you to fill out and bring the completed forms and ballot back to the CVRD)

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Q8. Are the results of this referendum binding?
A.  If a majority of ballots are cast in favour of the bylaws, the board may adopt the bylaws to establish the Mount Washington resort community fire protection service.

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Q9.  How many individuals need to vote in order for the project to go ahead?
A.  The legislation stipulates that a majority of ballots cast in favour of the bylaws authorizes the board to adopt the bylaws. There is no minimum number of voters required to provide the board with the authority to adopt the bylaw, provided a majority of ballots are cast in favour.  A majority is 50 per cent of the ballots cast plus one.

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Q10.  What happens if the question doesn’t pass:
A.  If voters do not support the question in the referendum, then the board cannot proceed with adopting the service establishment bylaws and a fire protection service on Mount Washington would not be established.

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Q11.  Can more than one person per property vote?
A.  Yes. There is no requirement that a person own property in order to vote if they live in the area. Resident electors (those who reside in the proposed service area) may vote if they meet the other voting requirements. See the answer to question 1 for more information about voting requirements.

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Q12. I rent a property within the proposed service area can I vote?
A. Yes. A resident voter is anyone residing in the household in the proposed service area (including renters/tenants). Resident electors (those who reside in the proposed service area) may vote if they meet the other voting requirements. See the answer to question 1 for more information about voting requirements.

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Q13. My spouse and I own property within the proposed service area but live elsewhere in BC, can we both vote?
A.  No, someone that owns property in the service area but lives elsewhere in BC is a non-resident property elector.  Under the rules for non-resident property electors, if there is more than one registered owner of the property, only one of those individuals may, with the written consent of the majority of the owners, register as a non-resident property elector and vote in the referendum.  It is also important to note that a property does not qualify for a non-resident vote if it is owned by a trust or corporation.  For more information on requirements to vote as a non-resident property elector see question 1

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Q14. I own property in the proposed service area but live outside of BC, can I vote?
A.  No, non-resident property electors must reside in BC, see question  1

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Q15. I am the holder of a registered lease of a property in the proposed service area with a lease term of 60 years with 2 twenty year renewals.  Am I eligible to vote?

A.  No, according to case law, the term “renewal” in a lease denotes a new lease, not an extension of the original lease term, therefore the lease as a whole is not considered to be a 100 year lease and therefore does not meet the requirement that the lease be for a term of at least 99 years.

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Q16. I am not eligible to vote because of the rules, how can I make my opinion known?
A.  Options include becoming an advertising sponsor (see Q17) or discussing your voting preferences with other owners who are eligible voters.

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Q17. Can I advertise in support or opposition to the referendum questions? 
A. Yes. Election advertising of this type is referred to as non-election assent voting advertising; however, there are rules that must be followed for individuals or organizations that wish to publicly show support or opposition to the referendum question.

An individual or organization that wants to transmit non-election assent voting advertising must register with Elections BC before conducting the advertising. 

Non-election assent voting advertising is any transmission of a communication to the public during a non-election assent voting proceedings period that promotes or opposes, directly or indirectly, a particular result in the referendum.

Examples of this type of advertising includes

  • Signs, billboards, posters
  • mailing inserts, bumper stickers, branded clothing, branded objects, displays
  • Exhibitions and public address announcements
  • Newsletters, brochures,
  • emails or other advertising media which are sent to the public
  • Telephone calls, text messages and voice mail messages sent on a commercial basis or sent using an automated system (e.g., robocalls)

An individual or organization that wishes to transmit non-election assent voting advertising regarding the referendum must register with Elections BC before conducting the advertising and following the referendum must submit a financial disclosure to Elections BC (one page document if less than $500 is spent on advertising).

Elections BC has produced a guide for Local Non-election Assent Voting Advertising Sponsors in BC

Q18. What are the rules for determining residency?

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  1. Below are the rules for determining residency as stated in Section 67 of the Local Government Act:

 67  (1) The following rules apply to determine the area in which a person is a resident:

(a) a person is a resident of the area where the person lives and to which, whenever absent, the person intends to return;

(b) a person may be the resident of only one area at a time for the purposes of this Part;

(c) a person does not change the area in which the person is a resident until the person has a new area in which the person is a resident;

(d) a person does not cease being a resident of an area by leaving the area for temporary purposes only.

(2) As an exception to subsection (1), if

(a) a person establishes for the purposes of attending an educational institution a new area in which the person is a resident, and

(b) the new area is away from the usual area in which the person is a resident,

the person may choose for the purposes of this Part either the usual area or the new area as the area in which the person is a resident.

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