London, Ont. –
With newly elected London West MP Arielle Kayabaga moving to Ottawa soon, it leaves her Ward 13 seat on London city council vacant.
However City Hall already has wheels in motion to fill the void and possibly the seat.
“In anticipation of all contingencies the ever-ready clerks in our office have put together a number of options,” says London Mayor Ed Holder. “The seat will be declared officially vacant and then we will consider the options like anything from a byelection to appointing someone to leaving the seat vacant.”
The seat could also be given to the man who came in second to Kayabaga in the last municipal election, John Fyfe-Millar.
“It has been a passion of mine, I would absolutely take it,” says Fyfe-Millar. “I’ve wanted this job for a minimum of seven years, I ran in 2014, came second, I ran in 2018, came second and I personally believe I’m a logical choice.”
In 2014 city council did appoint a former politician who didn’t plan on running again to fill a seat. This after former mayor Joe Fontana stepped down due to criminal charges. Councillor Joni Baechler was appointed mayor and her ward was given to the late Russ Monteith.
The matter now goes to the Corporate Services Committee and the next meeting for that is slated for October 12. However council could decide to make a decision sooner.
“Personally I don’t think there’s an appetite for a byelection simply because we just had an election,” says Holder. “I just don’t see that the electorate justify nor could I justify the expense of putting people through that.”