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Danielle Smith says she would consider changes to recall legislation

On Saturday’s episode of her radio program Your Province Your Premier, Danielle Smith says she would consider changes to the province’s recall legislation.

During the episode, Landon Johnston, the man behind the recall petition against Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek, called in saying there are “loopholes” and “gaps” in the legislation.

Alberta’s government introduced recall legislation in 2021.

It states that an Albertan may apply to their municipality’s Chief Administrative Officer for a petition to recall the municipal official they feel is not upholding their responsibilities.

If approved, the applicant has 60 days to gather signatures from eligible voters comprising 40 per cent of the population of the municipality or ward.

The recall legislation has come under the spotlight recently after a Calgary resident, Landon Johnston, decided to pursue the recall of mayor Jyoti Gondek because he didn’t think she was doing a very good job.

According to the terms of the legislation, Johnston must obtain over 500,000 verified signatures from Calgary voter-eligible residents by next Thursday to recall the mayor.

Speaking with CTV News last week, Johnston said the number of names required on a recall petition is unrealistic.

“I’m going to see it through, and now that is the fight for the people that have told me they have a voice, but it’s not being heard,” Johnston said.

Recall petition organizer Landon Johnston at Calgary City Hall collecting signatures to recall Mayor Gondek.

‘THIS CITY IS IN SHAMBLES’

On Saturday, Johnston told the premier he’s been trying to contact Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIvor for the past 55 days regarding his concerns.

“Not one single person has contacted me and it has been very stressful because this city is in shambles,” said Johnston.

Smith responded, saying she is committed to looking into possibly changing the legislation.

“It’s an extremely high bar to try to get the number of signatures, because you have to get 40 per cent of the population which would be 500,000 signatures and so we know that we need to make some modifications,” said Smith.

However, she added she cannot change legislation when there is an active petition.

Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

Smith said she hopes to get direction from somebody who has gone through the recall petition process, including Johnston.

“I just don’t want to interfere until the signature date is over, but once that’s over I really would look forward to getting some input from somebody who’s gone through the process about what we need to do to change the legislation. So, I’ll give you my commitment Landon. Happy to talk to you once that 60 days is up.”

The last time he spoke to CTV News, Johnston had said about 42,000 had been counted so far, and that he had thousands more waiting to be added to the tally.

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