Judicial recount set for Monday following tie vote for mayor in Peachland

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Judicial recount set for Monday following tie vote for mayor in Peachland

first_imgPEACHLAND, B.C. – When Harry Gough had a chance to speak with the provincial court judge overseeing his race to serve as mayor of the small community of Peachland, B.C., he had an idea to run past her.If breaking his tie with incumbent Mayor Cindy Fortin comes down to a blind draw of two “identical” papers with the candidates names on them — could both names be his?“She didn’t think that was a great idea,” he said, laughing. “I don’t know why.”The race in the lakeside community of about 5,000 people in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley is drawing attention for the unusual possibility that the mayoral tie could be broken by drawing lots — a process similar to drawing a name from a hat.How to settle election ties varies across the country. Prince Edward Island moved to a lot draw for local elections after its previous “coin toss” system fell out of favour, but it still decides provincial-level elections by heads or tails. Most provinces break ties with a byelection, with some exceptions such as New Brunswick, where the returning officer casts the deciding vote.Even ahead of the potential lot draw in Peachland, the race has been rife with twists and turns.Both candidates said the community appeared to be divided largely on a single issue: the existing council’s approval of a five-storey development along the town’s main artery of Beach Avenue, which was previously zoned for three storeys. While Fortin said it will mean positive new commercial activity in the downtown core, Gough said it represents a slippery slope that could see the beach and lake views obscured by development.On election night last week, Gough was at a restaurant with friends when his son ran in to tell him that he had won by a single vote.“Truly none of us believed him, we thought he was pulling our leg,” Gough said.Meanwhile, Fortin was at a friend’s house with her campaign team and a few other friends when she received the news that Gough had won with 804 votes against her 803.“I received a text and read it and I thought, ‘what?’” she said. “I knew immediately that it would probably come down to a recount, that the citizens of the town deserved a recount if it was a one-vote difference.”Three days after the election, Polly Palmer, the district’s chief election officer, said that a verification of the ballots revealed a tie of 804-804 between Fortin and Gough. An election official had reported that one ballot was not properly fed when a voting machine jammed.Palmer applied for a judicial recount and the provincial court judge gave it the green light on Friday.The ballots will be counted by hand on Monday and both Fortin and Gough plan to watch.If the tie stands, the town’s bylaw points to the process of drawing lots, as described in B.C.’s Local Government Act.The names of each candidate are to be written on separate pieces of paper, as similar as possible to one another. The papers are then folded in a “uniform manner” and placed in a container that is sufficiently large to allow them to be shaken, the act says.The court will pick an independent individual to draw the name.Both candidates said they prefer the idea of a “runoff election,” which is a second option identified in the act, if the tie is confirmed on Monday.Fortin said when council reviewed the town’s election bylaw in May, it had some concerns about how the mail-in voting process works, but didn’t think to debate the lot-draw option. She said that may change in the future.“Since this has happened, I think perhaps some communities will be looking at this — including our own, I hope — and changing it for future elections so that there’s a runoff election,” she said.“It should be the citizens of Peachland making a decision — not someone pulling a name out of a hat.”— By Amy Smart in Vancouverlast_img read more

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WNBA Players Wont Back Down from BLM Protest After

New York Liberty protests in support of Black Lives Matter (Fox Sports)In a defiant move Thursday, members of three WNBA teams refused to take questions about basketball at a post-game press conference in protest of a fine given for wearing black warmup t-shirts. Atlanta Black Star reported the WNBA fined the New York Liberty, Phoenix Mercury and Indiana Fever $5,000, and their team members were charged $500 each.The basketball stars wore their uniform-approved Adidas Black t-shirts that read #BlackLivesMatter and #Dallas5 – but the messages did not comply with the league’s guidelines which state uniforms must not be changed in any way. The hashtags are meant to honor the shootings done by and against police. League president Lisa Borders commended their “engagement and passionate advocacy for non-violent solutions to difficult social issues” but expected teams to comply with uniform guidelines.At the press conference Thursday afternoon following the New York Liberty and Indiana Fever’s matchup at New York’s Madison Square Garden, The Washington Post reported the players would not answer questions regarding the game or basketball but were willing to discuss social issues.LIVE on #Periscope https://t.co/Cc4rbHOROL— Excelle Sports (@ExcelleSports) July 21, 2016“We really feel like there’s still an issue here in America,” Liberty player Tanisha Wright said. “And we want to be able to use our platforms, we want to be able to use our voices, we don’t want to let anybody silence us in what we want to talk about. So you guys can ask away about anything that’s happening in society.”“It’s unfortunate that the WNBA has fined us and not supported its players,” she added.Fever forward Tamika Catchings also confirmed her team would not answer questions about their 82-70 game win or the sport itself. She mentioned the blackout was a group decision.“I think, no matter what our success is on the court, basketball is just that — it’s just basketball,” the 2012 WNBA champion said. “And there’s a whole other world outside of that, and it’s way more important than what we do.”“What’s most upsetting is the way it was handled,” Indiana Fever point guard Briann January told ESPN. “You have a league that is 90 – if not above 90 – percent African-American and you have an issue that is directly affecting them and the people they know and you have a league that isn’t willing to side with them.”Phoenix Mercury forward Mistie Bass pointed out the WNBA’s praise of team actions in support of the Orlando Shooting last month, which included wearing t-shirts.I would hope the league would feel the same way about our desire 2 use this platform 4 the recent tragedies! #taboo pic.twitter.com/agtKlYovOu— Mistie Bass (@A_Phoenix_Born) July 21, 2016Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks, who has been encouraging athletes to be social activists, also supports the protest.“I don’t see no reason to fine them,” he told ESPN. “If anything you should want to support them. I don’t know details, but don’t see a reason to fine them.” read more

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TCI Tourism Arrivals Cruise tourism up Air arrivals down

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:#cruisetourismupairarrivalsdown, #magneticmedianews, #TCItourismarrivals Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppTurks and Caicos, August 2, 2017 – Providenciales – There is double digit growth for tourism in the second quarter of 2017, when compared to the same period last year and the spike comes from cruise ship arrivals.   While Grand Turk enjoyed having 53,000 more visitors for April, May and June this year, overnight figures dropped, slightly by 3,215.The TCI Tourist Board released the figures this week and the show air arrivals, were down 2% particular in the month of June where the drop was by 9% when compared to 2016.    Top 10 markets for the Turks and Caicos according to the report, Canada, Italy, France, Germany, the UK, other European countries, Brazil, the Caribbean and still leading the way as a source tourism market… the United States of America.The bigger concern though is that the TCI, though still a leading destination is after two quarters for 2017 trending down.  Overall, the country is with a 44% decrease in visitors to our shores.#MagneticMediaNews#cruisetourismupairarrivalsdown#TCItourismarrivalslast_img read more

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