Clarification: Striking Down of the Referendum Bylaw

Rossland Telegraph
By Rossland Telegraph
November 4th, 2008

Given the large circulation Mr. Carrel’s letter on the 2005 striking down of Rossland’s referendum bylaw is currently experiencing, by email as well as through the medium of this newspaper, we thought it important to publish the following clarifying information, which comes directly from city archives.

According to the minutes of a September 2005 special council meeting (public), BOTH legal opinions ordered by former mayor Les Carter concluded that Rossland’s referendum bylaw would prove invalid “in its present form” if challenged. The bylaw was then struck down by a vote of council.

The following is an excerpt from the minutes:

September 19, 2005 Council Meeting Minutes

Present: Acting Mayor G.E. Granstrom, Councillor K.D. LaFond, Councillor L. Fry, Councillor A.G. Smith, Councillor K.C. Stilling.

Also present: Administrator L.R. McPhee, City Clerk J. L. Richardson, and Engineering & Land Development Officer M. Martin.

Excused: Councillor D.R. Vockeroth

Constitution Bylaw

A September 14-05 report from the City Clerk reporting that at meeting #44-05 of September 12-05 Council considered a September 9-05 report from the Administrator reporting that Council has now received two independent legal opinions addressing the validity of the city’s Constitution Bylaw (Revised 1998). Both opinions conclude that this Bylaw in its present form if challenged would be found by a court of law to be invalid. Council resolved to repeal the Constitution Bylaw No. 1962 (Revised 1998). The Administrator read a public release document, based on information contained in the two legal opinions on the Constitution Bylaw (Revised 1998), into the minutes.

Moved by Councillor Stilling / Seconded by Councillor LaFond. Carried.

The full minutes of this meeting can be found at


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