North Saanich voters will head back to the polls for a byelection to replace Brett Smyth, who resigned after calling the mayor “Mr. Hitler” in a council meeting.
The byelection will be held on July 8, 2023 with an estimated cost of $50,000.
Staff recommended that the byelection either be held before the summer period, which the date suggested was July 8, or after on Oct. 14 or 21.
Details on the North Saanich byelection will be released at the April 24 council meeting.
Smyth resigned his seat on council after he called Mayor Peter Jones “Mr. Hitler” after Jones shut down his line of questioning in a March 20 council meeting.
In an interview with CHEK News on March 27, Jones says he is disappointed that this led to Smyth’s resignation.
“I don’t know if that was the only reason why he resigned,” Jones said. “He’s got over four years experience on council, when we, the majority of councillors including myself, are new, we needed his experience, and that experience is now lost, which is a pity…I do wish he had stayed and not resigned, but it’s done now. So we have to follow through on the processes that are in place.”
Smyth said in his resignation letter the decision was not easy to make.
“It has not been an easy decision, but one made necessary, but not specifically, in light of my off‐handed comment at a recent Council meeting,” Smyth said in his resignation letter. “I would have preferred a more positive environment at the Municipal Hall but when all voices are not respected, then it is difficult to practice the patience required of an elected official.”
This was Smyth’s second term, after he was first elected in 2018, then re-elected in 2022.