Residents urged to call councillors as clerk introduces new tactic

REGINA – Following the latest actions of the City Clerk, residents who signed the petition for a referendum on the privatization of the wastewater treatment plant are asked to phone or email their City Councillor.

“The City Clerk is going to unprecedented lengths to invalidate signatures,” says Jim Holmes of Regina Water Watch.  “City councillors need to hear that every petition signature counts.”

New reports have surfaced of inappropriate telephone calls and messages from the City Clerk’s office that exceed the legal test of signatures under the law, and put into question who is left out in being contacted by the clerk. This attempt follows what has been several attempts by the City Clerk to roadblock the petition by requesting the provincial government up the legal threshold while signatures were still being collected, and the unilateral decision to invalidate signatures that do not have the year as part of the date despite the limited 90-day collection period and no specific date requirement under the law.

“The latest tactic by the City Clerk goes beyond the scrutiny conducted in a general election, and reported threats to remove names from the petition are totally unreasonable,” says Holmes.

The City Clerk, the official responsible for determining if a petition is “sufficient” under The Cities Act, will produce a report next week on how many petition signatures the clerk considers valid, and whether there are enough signatures deemed valid to force a referendum vote.

Take Action: Call your City Councillor: Make your signature count

Regina Water Watch delivered 24,232 petition signatures to city hall on June 20, 2013, collected between March 22 and June 20, 2013.  The minimum threshold to force a referendum vote under the law is 19,310 signatures.