Wednesday, October 26, 2016

2016 Saskatchewan municipal elections today

Voters in Saskatchewan's urban municipalities and odd-numbered rural municipalities head to the polls today to vote in local elections across the province's 16 cities, 146 towns, 260 villages and 154 of the province's 296 rural municipalities to elect new mayors and councils. Additionally, voters will also be voting in school board elections to elect school trustees for Saskatchewan's 28 school divisions (of which 19 are public, eight are Catholic and one is French). Since the last elections in 2012, Saskatchewan's municipal elections are now held every four years instead of three.

Here is a look at the elections in Saskatchewan's three largest cities:


The most exciting mayoral race in the province will be in the province's largest city of Saskatoon. There are three main candidates running for mayor, and polls are showing a close three-way race between them. The front-runner is mayor Don Atchison, who has been mayor of the city since 2003. Atchison, an outspoken conservative, could squeak out a victory thanks to a split in the vote on his left between his main two rivals: city councillor Charlie Clark and businesswoman Kelley Moore. Clark, who has NDP connections, is the more progressive of the candidates, and represents the city's most left wing ward, Ward 6, which covers the Downtown and Nutana neighbourhoods of the city. Moore on the other hand is running on a more centrist platform, highlighting fiscal responsibility and sustainable planning in her platform. Both Mainstreet Research and Insightrix have released recent polls of the race, and show contradictory results. Both pollsters show Atchison with the lead; Mainstreet gives Atchison 38% and Insightrix has him at 35%. Both pollsters differ on who is in second place, though. Mainstreet has Clark in second place at 33%, while Insightrix has Moore in second place, just one point behind Atchison at 34%. Mainstreet puts Moore further behind at just 25%, while Insightrix has Clark in a close third place at 30%. These contradictory poll numbers mean that it will be difficult for anti-Atchison voters to pick a candidate if they want to get rid of the mayor. On the other hand, it may trigger centrist Moore supporters to vote Atchison to stop Clark.

Main mayoral candidates in Saskatoon
The 2012 election in Saskatoon was also an exciting race, but between just two main candidates: Atchison and public servant Tom Wolf. Wolf, a public servant, ran on a pragmatic centre to centre-left platform. Atchison squeaked out a narrow five-point victory over Wolf, and the two candidates split the city's ten wards, with each candidate winning five. Atchison won the five suburban wards located on the southern, eastern and northern edges of the city, with his best ward being Ward 9 in the city's southeast corner, picking up 61% of the vote there. Wolf's best ward was Ward 6 in the centre of the city, where he won 60% of the vote. 

Looking at Saskatoon's city council race, there are three wards which will have open races with no incumbents: Ward 6 (Charlie Clark's seat), Ward 8 and Ward 9. The incumbent in Ward 8 was Eric Olauson, who was elected in the provincial election earlier this year for the Saskatchewan Party. The incumbent in Ward 9 is Tiffany Paulsen who had run for the Liberal Party in the 2004 federal election. The ward map for 2016 has changed slightly, as the city has annexed some new territory.

Map of Saskatoon's 10 wards


Unlike the race for mayor of Saskatoon, the mayoral election in Regina has been more of a snooze-fest. One-term incumbent mayor Michael Fougere is set for a landslide election, as is customary for popular mayors heading into their second elections. The conservative-leaning Fougere had been a long time city councillor representing Ward 4 in the southeast corner of the city. He was first elected as mayor in 2012 with just 42% of the vote, thanks to a split in the progressive vote between candidates Marian Donnelly and Meka Okochi. Fougere won seven of the city's ten wards en route to his re-election, while Donnelly won the remaining three. The seven wards that Fougere won are all located in the city's more conservative-leaning suburbs, while Donnelly won the city's three inner-city wards. Fougere's best ward (and the only one where he won a majority of the vote) was his home Ward 4, where he picked up 58% of the vote. Donnelly's best ward was Ward 3, which covers the city's Downtown. Donnelly would win 55% of the vote there compared to just 20% for Fougere. Okochi's vote was generally even across the city, and he failed to win any wards.

Main mayoral candidates in Regina
For 2016, Fougere should have no problem winning every ward in the city, if the only poll of the race is to be believed. A Mainstreet Research poll conducted earlier this month showed Fougere way ahead at 73%, while his four opponents are all in single digits. His main opponent will likely be Tony Fiacco, brother of former mayor Pat Fiacco and former Saskatchewan Party candidate. The left wing vote will be split between three candidates: businessman Wayne Ast, perennial mayoral candidate Jim Elliott and former Green Party candidate and topless rights activist Evangeline Gordron. The Mainstreet poll put Fiacco at 9%, Ast and Elliott at 8% and Godron at 2%.

Regina City Council has 11 seats, with ten ward councillors plus the mayor. Of the ten wards, just two will have open races with no incumbents: Wards 3 and 6. Of note, Ward 6 has a total of 9 candidates running. The city of Regina annexed some new territory since the last election, and as such the ward map was tweaked slightly.

Map of Regina's 10 wards

Prince Albert

Prince Albert mayoral candidates
In Prince Albert, one-term mayor Greg Dionne is being challenged by Ward 6 city councillor Martin Ring, peace advocate Conrad Burns and former junior hockey player Josh Morrow whose campaign has been criticized for being “Trump” like for its “American-style” incivility. Dionne, who was a city councillor before becoming ways, was first elected to lead council in 2012 when he defeated then-incumbent mayor Jim Scarrow by nearly 1100 votes. Dionne won every ward in the city, doing especially well in the more NDP-friendly wards (1, 2, 3 and 4), which cover the northern and central parts of the city. His best ward was Ward 1, where he won 58% of the vote. His worst ward (and Scarrow's best ward) was Ward 5, where he still beat Scarrow by a 47-44% margin. His worst wards are all located in parts of the city that tend to vote for the Conservatives in federal elections and the Saskatchewan Party in provincial elections.

Prince Albert's city council has nine seats (eight councillors plus the mayor). Wards 6 and 7 have no incumbents running for re-election as Ward 6 councillor Martin Ring is running for mayor and Ward 7 has been vacant since January when its representative resigned for personal reasons. Ward 8 will have no election, as councillor Ted Zurakowski has been acclaimed.

Map of Prince Albert's 8 wards

Polls close at 8pm Central Standard Time in most municipalities. Saskatchewan doesn't have daylight saving time, so there is a 2 hour difference, meaning the polls close at 10pm Eastern.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Medicine Hat--Cardston--Warner federal by-election today

Today marks the first federal by-election of the 42nd Parliament, just as Canada's new Liberal government enters its sophomore year. Voters in the southern Alberta riding of Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner head to the polls to elect a new Member of Parliament, following the death of Conservative MP Jim Hillyer who died last Spring due to cardiomyopathy. Hillyer was first elected to Parliament in 2011 in the neighbouring riding of Lethbridge, and switched to the Medicine Hat riding for the 2015 election when its boundaries shifted to encompass his hometown of Raymond, located just south of Lethbridge. While it pains me to speak ill of the dead, Hillyer's short tenure in Parliament was criticized by even those in his party for his 'poor service of his constituents'. When he first ran for office in 2011, he was criticized for not attending any candidate debates and for embellishing the truth in his campaign literature. It did not matter though, as he was easily elected in both 2011 and 2015 (though in a mostly different riding the second time), due to running in true blue Conservative country: southern Alberta.

Map of the riding
Since the 2015 federal election, the Justin Trudeau-led Liberals have enjoyed a tremendous honeymoon period, and are still polling nearly ten points higher than what they won in the last federal election, witch much of this coming at the expense of the (for all intents and purposes) leaderless NDP. The Conservatives, who are also leaderless, have not been hurt by The Liberal honeymoon, as they are polling at about what they won in 2015. Trudeau remains a very popular figure across the country, and even has a large swath of adoring fans in southern Alberta. While he is still mostly detested in that corner of the country, a rally he attended two weeks ago in Medicine Hat attracted nearly 2000 people.


Map of Medicine Hat neighbourhoods

Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner can be found on the southern and southeastern boundary of Alberta. It is shaped like a backward “L”, with Saskatchewan on the east, and Montana on the south. In the west, the riding begins at the Belly River, and wraps around the Lethbridge area and Taber County, ending at CFB Suffield in the north. While the riding appears to be rural, and many have claimed it is, this is a misnomer. The City of Medicine Hat dominates the riding, as it is home to nearly two thirds of the riding's population. The rest of the riding is mostly empty ranching land, or oil and gas wells. Other than Medicine Hat, the riding is home to a few smaller communities, such as Cardston, Magrath, Raymond and Bow Island, while the Medicine Hat suburb of Redcliff is the riding's second largest city or town. The riding is also home to Canada's largest Indian Reserve (second largest in population), Blood #148, a Blackfoot reserve which is home to over 4000 people. The people in Blood #148 will be voting in their second federal by-election in just over two years, as they were previously located in the riding of Macleod which had a by-election in June 2014.


Except for about a 9% Aboriginal population, the riding is overwhelmingly White. But despite this, the riding does have some interesting cultural and ethnic demographics. The riding has the highest ethnically German population in the country, with 36% of people claiming it. Germans immigrated to southern Alberta in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and have long since been integrated into the country. Still though, 7% of residents indicate German as their first language in the census. This makes German the riding's #2 language, and some rural areas in the central part of the riding have large numbers (over 40%) of German speakers. After German, the riding is also home to significant populations with English, Scottish and Irish backgrounds. 10% of the riding claims some sort of Aboriginal background, most of this being Blackfoot. Blackfoot is the native tongue of about 1% of the riding.

The riding also has an interesting religious makeup, as it is home to Canada's largest Mormon population. Over a quarter of the riding is considered “Other Christian”, with much of this is Mormon, which was also the religion of Jim Hillyer. Mormons began settling the western part of the riding in the late 19th Century, and built the first Mormon Temple outside the United States in Cardston in 1887. Hillyer's hometown of Raymond was also settled by Mormons. The “other Christian” group also includes a sizable Mennonite population who are the descendants of some of the early German settlers to this region. In total, 72% of the riding is Christian, including 21% being Catholic, and 10% being United Church. Over one quarter of the riding has no religion.

The riding is poorer than the province as a whole. The median income is about $30,000 compared to $36,000 for all of Alberta. The average income is $40,000 which is over $10,000 less than the provincial average. While the riding has a reputation for cattle ranches and oil and gas extraction, the dominance of City of Medicine Hat in the riding has resulted in the leading industries in the riding being health care and social assistance, retail trade and construction.


A riding known as “Medicine Hat” existed all the way from 1908 until the most recent redistribution before last year's election. Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner was originally going to be named just “Medicine Hat”, but the addition of the Cardston and Warner areas, which have not traditionally been lumped in with Medicine Hat in one riding meant that a name change was preferred.

From 1905 when Alberta joined confederation until 1908, Medicine Hat, then a town of 3000 people, was located in the riding of “Alberta (provisional district)”. In 1908 a riding called “Medicine Hat” was first created. This first Medicine Hat riding included a large swath of southeastern Alberta, including Lethbridge (then a home to 2000 people). In the north, the riding extended as far as (but not including) Hanna and as far as Strathmore in the west. Subsequent redistributions shrunk the riding down further, with a new Lethbridge riding being created in the west. The Cardston and Warner parts of the current riding of Medicine Hat—Cardston--Warner were usually located in the Lethbridge riding, but the Warner area was added to Medicine Hat in the 1966 redistribution but was removed once again in 1987, joining back with the Lethbridge riding. In the 2013 redistribution, the Cardston area was added to the riding for the first time since the 1908 redistribution and the Warner area was also added back to the riding. Both of these regions were previously in the Lethbridge riding. The 2013 redistribution also brought in the Blood 148 Indian Reserve which was previously located in the Macleod riding. To compensate, the Medicine Hat riding lost Taber and Newell Counties (which includes Brooks) to the new riding of Bow River. These counties have traditionally been part of the Medicine Hat riding, and this region had been continuously part of the riding since 1976. Also in 2013, the riding lost a small strip of territory in the far north of the riding (between the Red Deer River and the Suffield Air Force Base) to the new riding of Battle River—Crowfoot. 

MPs for Medicine Hat and Medicine Hat--Cardston--Warner
In its early days, the riding was competitive for the Liberals and even was won by the Progressive Party in 1921. However, following World War II, right wing parties have won every single election in Medicine Hat except for the first Trudeaumania in 1968. That election was an anomaly though, as the riding's MP, Bud Olson had switched from the quickly dying Social Credit Party to the Liberals, and was elected thanks to the splitting of the right wing vote between the SoCreds and the Progressive Conservatives. Olson had only beat his Tory opponent by 200 votes, and was shown the door in the next election when the Social Credit vote collapsed and Progressive Conservative candidate Bert Hargrave won. The Tories held the seat from that point on until 1993 when the Reform Party won the seat for the first time. Reform became Canadian Alliance which merged with the Progressive Conservatives in 2003 to form the Conservative Party and the Conservatives have won this seat ever since.

The 1993 election was the last to see the winning candidate receive less than 60% of the vote, and was the last time the Liberals won more than 20% of the vote. The riding usually votes overwhelmingly for the main right wing candidate, and only sees somewhat competitive elections when the right wing vote is split. In recent elections, the true battle has been for second place. In 2015, the Liberals finished second with 18% of the vote. In both 2008 and 2011 the second place party was the NDP which won 11% and 13% respectively.

Political geography

Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner is a very, very Conservative riding. Except for the Blood 148 Indian Reserve, every single poll voted Conservative in 2015. Even in the city of Medicine Hat. And outside of the Blood 148 reserve, every single poll has voted Conservative in every single election since the Conservative merger in 2013. And most polls are won by quite large amounts.

The rural areas of the riding are much more Conservative than Medicine Hat itself. All of the rural counties in the riding gave Hillyer at least 80% of the vote in 2015, and only three rural towns did not give him at least 80% of the vote. Home to a large number of Mennonites and Mormons, Cardston County, in the riding's far west was the best municipality for Hillyer, where he won 89% of the vote. His worst municipality was Medicine Hat, where he still won 64.5% of the vote. However on the Blood Reserve, he won a minuscule 2.5% of the vote. There, the NDP (despite finishing third in the overall vote) won 62%, with the Liberals coming in second with 34%. Medicine Hat was the best municipality for both the Liberals and the NDP who won 22% and 9.5% of the vote respectively.

Within the city of Medicine Hat itself, Hillyer's best neighbourhood was Saamis Heights, a newer suburb on the city's south side, where he won 73% of the vote. Hillyer's worst neighbourhood was the Downtown, where he won 47% of the vote. Downtown Medicine Hat was the best neighbourhood for the NDP's candidate, who won 18% of the vote. The best neighbourhood for the Liberal candidate was the Southeast Hill / South Flats area, on the south side of downtown, where they won 31% of the vote. 

2015 federal election results by community

Overall, the best poll for the Conservatives was poll #170, which covers the community of Leavitt, south of Cardston. Leavitt is a Mormon village in Cardston County, which was founded by Thomas Rowell Leaveitt, who had fled the United States after a crackdown on polygamy laws. Hillyer won 94% of the vote there, with just ten people voting for all of the other parties combined. On the other end of the spectrum, there were three polls on the Blood Reserve where Hillyer won a grand total of zero votes (polls #148, #149 and #150). These polls cover the northeastern half of the reserve, and are close to Lethbridge.

Google Streetview photo of Leavitt, Alberta
Google Streetview photo of the Blood Reserve

When it comes to federal elections, voters in the Medicine Hat area are very inelastic. That is, they tend to not change their votes too often, even when the rest of the country is. Despite the Conservatives losing a lot of support across the country in 2011, they actually gained a swing 0.1% in the riding. The Liberals did see an uptick in support, receiving a swing of 6.8%, but this pails in comparison to the 21% national swing they won. Overall, the two party average swing to the Liberals was 3.3%. The Liberals saw the biggest swings in their direction in Medicine Hat and in the Blood Reserve. The Conservatives saw some reasonable swings in more rural areas, and especially in Cypress County. 

In the last provincial election, the election results were not as homogeneous as in past federal elections. The NDP orange crush was big enough to not only win a few polls outside of the Blood reserve (which they won by nearly 90% of the vote), but an entire riding: Medicine Hat, which covers the northern and central parts of the city. Within the Medicine Hat provincial riding, the NDP won the central part of the city, while the Wildrose won the more suburban parts, and the PCs won a few polls in the Norwood and Meadowlands neighbourhoods. Outside of Medicine Hat and the Blood First Nation, the NDP did not win any polls. Most of the rural polls voted for the Wildrose Party, except for a few scattering polls that the Tories won.

Historically, the provincial riding of Cardston-Taber-Warner which overlaps the western third of the Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner riding has been very favourable to right wing third parties. In the 2004 provincial election, it was the only riding to vote for the Alberta Alliance (which later became the Wildrose Party), which helped give that party the credibility which led to its future success.


The next MP for Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner will likely be Conservative candidate Glen Motz, who is a retired Medicine Hat police officer. Motz is a social conservative, who became a police officer after following “God's call”, and has a bachelor's degree in religious education. His main opponent is Liberal candidate Stan Sakamoto, a Medicine Hat businessman who is credited as being the first Japanese-Canadian to be born there. Despite a Justin Trudeau rally in Medicine Hat that attracted 2000 people, it would be a huge surprise if Sakamoto could pull this off. Despite going NDP in the provincial election, Medicine Hat is a fairly conservative city, and the rural part of this riding is about as conservative as it gets.

Let's not forget there are other candidates running as well. The NDP is running Bev Waege, who was the party's candidate in Cypress-Medicine Hat in the 2015 election, but was not swept up in the orange wave, finishing third. The Greens are not running any candidates, but look for the Christian Heritage Party candidate (and leader) Rod Taylor to do well here- and by that I mean possibly finish ahead of the NDP. The Libertarians are also running a candidate, as is the Rhinoceros Party.

While I predict the Conservatives will easily win this by-election, I predict the Liberals will win a few polls in central Medicine Hat. They will also likely win the Blood 148 Reserve back from the NDP, as they did in the 2014 Macleod by-election (albeit with comically low turnout). We'll see just how well they do when the polls close at 8:30 Mountain Time (10:30 Eastern).

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Nova Scotia municipal elections today

Today is election day across Nova Scotia's 51 municipalities, as voters go to the polls to elect new mayors, councils and members of the province's eight school boards.

Since the last election held in 2012, the province has reduced the number of municipalities from 54 to 51. This is because on April 1 2015, three municipalities were annexed by their surrounding municipalities. Bridgetown was annexed by the County of Annapolis, Springhill was annexed by the County of Cumberland and Hantsport was annexed by the District of West Hants. The topic of amalgamations and annexations of municipalities in the province continues to be a heated debate as municipalities must wrestle between shrinking tax bases and providing adequate services. A flashpoint in this debate came earlier this year when voters in Pictou County rejected the idea of amalgamating the county's municipalities in a plebiscite by a 66%-34% margin.

Map of Nova Scotia's 51 municipalities


Nova Scotia's municipalities can be divided into three types: Regional Municipalities, Towns and Municipal Districts/Counties. Nova Scotia hasn't had any incorporated cities since a series of amalgamations in the 1990s. There are three Regional Municipalities in the province, including the two largest municipalities, Halifax and Cape Breton. These are unlike the Regional Municipalities in Ontario, for example, in that there are are no lower levels of government in those areas. They are quite large in size, having been created out of the former counties that existed in their place. Each of the three regional municipalities are headed by a mayor, elected at-large and have a number of councillors elected from “districts” (usually called wards in other provinces).

The second form of municipalities are towns, which are very small in geographic size compared to the regional municipalities and the counties and municipal districts. There are 27 towns in Nova Scotia. Each are headed by mayors, elected at-large and have a number of councillors.

The final form of municipalities are the counties and municipal districts. The only difference between counties and municipal districts are that the municipal districts are generally smaller than the counties, having been created out of counties themselves. However, their form of government is much the same. There are nine county municipalities in Nova Scotia and 12 municipal districts. All but two of these jurisdictions are headed by wardens, while the remaining two (Lunenburg District and Colchester County) are headed by mayors, elected at large. In this election, Kings County will elect its mayor for the first time, ditching the old warden-council system. Municipalities with the warden-council system have the wardens elected from among the elected councillors by the councillors themselves. Each county and municipal district are divided into a number of districts from which their councillors are elected.

 Elections in major municipalities



Mayoral candidates
 In the Halifax Regional Municipalty (recently re-branded as just “Halifax”), Atlantic Canada's largest city, the result of today's mayoral election is a foregone conclusion. Mayor Mike Savage, the former Liberal MP for Dartmouth—Cole Harbour (2004-2011) has finished his first term as mayor of the city, and will likely enjoy being re-elected into a second term in the same fashion that most mayors are re-elected in Canada for their second terms, that is in a large landslide. He is only being challenged by one opponent, businesswoman Lil MacPherson who is challenging the centrist mayor from his left. She is the owner of a local organic restaurant. Only one poll of the race was conducted, back in the summer, showing Savage had a commanding 85%-15% lead over MacPherson.

 Savage won the 2012 race in a much more crowded field, but still by a decent margin, winning 58% of the vote, ahead of challengers Tom Martin (20%) and Fred Connors (18%). Three other candidates ran as well, each winning about 1% of the vote. Savage won all 16 districts in the city, doing the best in his native Dartmouth, while doing worse in the more rural parts of the city and in the inner-city. His strongest district was Harbourview-Burnside-Dartmouth East (District 6) where he won 69% of the vote, while his worst district was Spryfield-Sambro-Prospect Road (District 11) on the Chebucto Peninsula, where win won 45% of the vote. This was retired police officer Tom Martin's strongest district, where he won 27% of the vote. Activist and businessman Fred Connors' strongest district was Peninsula North (District 8) in the inner-city, where he won 27% of the vote.

Map of Halifax's 16 council districts

On regional council, four of the city's 16 districts have open races, that is the incumbent in those seats have decided to retire instead of running for re-election. The four districts are District 1 (Waverley-Fall River-Musquodoboit Valley), District 5 (Dartmouth Centre), District 8 (Peninsula North) and District 12 (Timberlea-Beechville-Clayton Park West-Wedgewood). There will be no elections in District 3 (Dartmouth South-Eastern Passage), District 4 (Cole Harbour-Westphal), District 15 (Lower Sackville) and District 16 (Bedford-Wentworth) as the incumbents there have been acclaimed.

Cape Breton 

Mayoral candidates
The mayoral race in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality will be a re-match of the 2012 election between Cecil Clarke and Rankin MacSween. Clarke served as the MLA for Cape Breton North from 2001 to 2011 for the Progressive Conservative Party before being elected mayor in 2012. MacSween is the head of a community economic development agency.

In 2012, Clarke defeated MacSween by a 59%-38% margin with three minor candidates winning the remaining 3%. I was lucky to be sent the results by district by the region's elections office, though the results by district may be a bit misleading, as over half of all voters voted in advance and did not have their votes recorded by district. Nonetheless, of those voting on election day, Clarke won all but one district in the region. He was especially strong in the Sydney Mines and North Sydney areas (Districts 1 and 2), which cover the provincial riding he represented. The one district he lost was District 11, which covers the New Waterford area. MacSween won the district by just 0.7% of the vote. The New Waterford area has historically been a very strong region for the NDP in provincial elections.

Cape Breton's 12 council districts

Cape Breton has a 12 seat municipal council, which only saw a minor boundary change since the last election. Every seat in the region will see a contested race, and four districts will have open races, including District 10 where disgraced former Liberal MLA Dave Wilson is running.

Kings County

Main mayoral candidates
The third largest municipality in Nova Scotia is actually Kings County, located on the Bay of Fundy in the Annapolis Valley. It includes the communities of Greenwood, Kingston and New Minas just to name a few. The county is seeing its first ever mayoral election, as it has switched from having a warden-council system to a mayor-council system. County warden Diana Brothers has opted to run for re-election in District 5 instead of running for mayor. Running for mayor of the county are four candidates: Rick Ackland, Dick Killam, Peter Muttart and Laurie Porter. Muttart is a county councillor representing the Port Williams area. Killam has also sat on council in the past, as has his wife. Rick Ackland is a retired lawyer who ran for a council seat in 2012, but had his candidacy disqualified. Porter does not appear to have an active campaign.

King County's 9 council districts (new map for 2016)

In addition to ditching the position of warden, the county has also reduced the number of council districts from 12 to nine, reducing the size of council from 13 members to ten. Due to a number of retirements on council however, no district is seeing more than one councillor run against each other.

Colchester County

Mayoral candidates
 The province's fourth largest municipality is Colchester County, which is in the northern part of the province, stretching from the Bay of Fundy to Northumberland Strait and completely surrounding the Town of Truro. Among other communities, it includes the villages of Bible Hill and Tatamagouche. Bob Taylor has been the county's mayor since 2008 and was re-elected by acclamation in 2012. Taylor is a Liberal, having run for that party in the 2006 provincial election in the riding of Colchester North. Unlike in 2012, Taylor is not running unopposed for the mayoralty this time. Councillor Christine Blair has entered the race against Taylor. She represents District 1 on council, which covers the Bible Hill and Brookside communities.

Colchester County's 11 council districts

Colchester County has 11 districts on council, most of which will not be seeing elections as their incumbents have been acclaimed, or in one case (District 1), a non-incumbent was the only candidate to offer. Elections will only occur in two districts: District 2 and District 11.

Those are the four biggest municipalities, but there are other races being held right across the province of course. Polls close at 7pm Atlantic time (6pm Eastern).