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CBRM council selects Ivan Doncaster as new deputy mayor

CBRM councillors Ivan Doncaster and Amanda McDougall share a laugh while awaiting the results of a council vote for the election of the next deputy mayor. Doncaster won the secret vote and assumes his new duties on Nov. 1 when he replaces Coun. Eldon MacDonald, who has already served the maximum of two consecutive one-year terms. The veteran councillor and former steel worker may also serve as interim mayor should CBRM Mayor Cecil Clarke resign the office. Clarke is one of five candidates vying for the leadership of the Nova Scotia PC Party. The Tories select their new leader on Oct. 27.
CBRM councillors Ivan Doncaster and Amanda McDougall share a laugh while awaiting the results of a council vote for the election of the next deputy mayor. Doncaster won the secret vote and assumes his new duties on Nov. 1 when he replaces Coun. Eldon MacDonald, who has already served the maximum of two consecutive one-year terms. The veteran councillor and former steel worker may also serve as interim mayor should CBRM Mayor Cecil Clarke resign the office. Clarke is one of five candidates vying for the leadership of the Nova Scotia PC Party. The Tories select their new leader on Oct. 27. - David Jala

Doncaster could also serve stint as interim mayor

SYDNEY, N.S. — Veteran councillor Ivan Doncaster has been elected as the CBRM’s new deputy mayor.

Doncaster, who represents the predominantly rural District 7, was the choice of the majority of councillors who took part in Monday’s secret ballot vote to replace District 6 (Sydney) Coun. Eldon MacDonald, who was ineligible to run again as he has served the maximum two consecutive one-year terms as deputy mayor.

The only other councillor to be nominated for the position was District 8 representative Amanda McDougall, who was the first to congratulate her council colleague after Mayor Cecil Clarke unveiled the result. McDougall was nominated by Coun. Kendra Coombes, while Doncaster’s name was put forth by Coun. Jim MacLeod.

“I have a lot of good colleagues around the table that I’ll be calling on for some help — we have a good staff here who will guide me along the way,” the 73-year-old Doncaster said following the vote.

The former steelworker, who spent 34 years with SYSCO in Sydney, has plenty of experience around the council table. He served on the Cape Breton County council from 1985 until Cape Breton Regional Municipality amalgamation in 1995. Doncaster then served as a CBRM councillor until 2004 before returning to city hall in 2012. He was re-elected in 2016.

According to the province’s Municipal Government Act, the deputy mayor “shall act in the absence or inability of the mayor or in the event of the office of mayor or warden being vacant” The MGA goes on to explain that when the mayor is absent or unable to fulfil the prescribed duties, or the office is vacant, then the deputy mayor assumes the mayor’s power and authority.

Related:

• Clarke ready for Nova Scotia PC leadership convention

But whether Doncaster will assume the mayor’s chair, if only for a limited time, depends on what happens on Oct. 27 when the Nova Scotia PC Party selects its next leader.

Mayor Clarke is widely considered to be one of the frontrunners of five candidates vying for the position. But, while he has yet to reveal his course of action should he win the Tory leadership, he has dropped hints that he would likely resign, given the leader’s obligation to meet with all 51 constituency associations.

However, there is nothing in the MGA that would prevent Clarke from staying on as mayor. The only stipulation is that an MLA is disqualified from council and must resign within 30 days of his or her election to the legislature.

Doncaster will assume the role of deputy mayor, which includes an extra $5,000 per year, on Nov. 1.
 

david.jala@cbpost.com

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