After the results rolled in, Bob Sweet was re-elected Mayor. He shakes Dan Criger’s hand, the man who was his political rival during the 2018 election. (Photos by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
Candidates and their families were at the municipal offices until 11:30 p.m. on Oct. 22, eagerly waiting for the ballots to be counted. They watch as CAO/Clerk Dan Scissions inputs the results. (Photos by Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)
New councillor, Deputy Mayor for Town of Petawawa
By Patricia Leboeuf
Posted on Thursday November 1, 2018
After an eventful election, the municipal landscape in Petawawa is mostly unchanged.
Bob Sweet remains Mayor of Petawawa with 2,257 votes to mayoral hopeful Dan Criger’s 1,485.
Incumbents James Carmody (1,663), Tom Mohns (2,037), Murray Rutz (1,826), Theresa Sabourin (1,940) and Gary Serviss (2,132) also kept their seats. Serviss received the highest number of votes amongst the councillors, earning him the title of Deputy Mayor.
New to the table is Matthew McLean (1,642) who will replace veteran politician of more than two decades Treena Lemay (1,491).
“She will be missed,” said Sweet. “There is valuable knowledge and innovations that Treena brought to the table.”
Despite their efforts, candidates Jason Burgoyne (1,510), Brent Daechsel (947), Marie-Philip Landry (1,469), Maria Morena-Church (1,143), and Dominic Newman (1,460) were not voted in.
“Hats off to all the candidates who put their name forward to run for office,” Sweet said. “It is a huge ... responsibility to put your name forward as I know.”
As well as the traditional door knocking and signposting, the campaign was also waged online. This was new territory for some of the candidates who may be more or less uncomfortable with the inner-workings of social media.
“We dealt with something that many of us were unfamiliar with,” said Sweet, “and that is the internet initiative. It was uncharted waters, certainly for myself.”
Moving to the virtual world was beneficial overall, however. As municipal staff hoped, using the electronic voting system did encourage more people to vote.
In 2014, Petawawa had the lowest turnout in Ontario with 15.81 per cent. This year the number almost doubled to 29.35 per cent.
“I think that electronic voting has proven itself to be the way to go,” said CAO/Clerk Dan Scissions. “We attracted so many more voters this time.”
There was a glitch, however that pushed the voting deadline forward. An extension was granted until 8 p.m. on Oct. 23 when voters were unable to cast their ballot in the late evening on voting day after a surge of Internet traffic overwhelmed the system.
They weren’t alone.
After 6 p.m. on Oct. 22, 51 Ontario municipalities experienced a slow down of the system. It was confirmed after analysis that Dominion Voting System placed an unauthorized limit on incoming voting traffic that was roughly 1/10th of the system’s designated bandwidth. The slowness prevented many voters from using the system and many municipalities responded by extending their voting deadlines.
“Dominion regrets the challenges that our system load issue posed for both election officials and voters alike in today’s elections,” stated a press release. “We appreciate the public’s patience in resolving this matter. We want to assure Ontario voters that we will work to ensure this problem does not occur in future elections. It is important to note that at no time was the integrity of the system at risk of compromise, or in any way insecure.”