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North Vancouver school board vice-chair resigns

Byelection is in the offing after first-term District of North Vancouver trustee Devon Bruce quits
Devon Bruce school trustee
North Vancouver school district trustee Devon Bruce has resigned from the Board of Education, triggering a by-election.

Voters in the District of North Vancouver will be heading to the polls soon to choose a new school trustee in a byelection after trustee and vice-chair Devon Bruce resigned from the North Vancouver Board of Education this week.

Board of Education Chair George Tsiakos announced at Tuesday night’s public board meeting that Bruce had submitted his resignation on Monday.

Tsiakos said Bruce had given increasing work commitments with the North Shore Connexions Society as the reason for his decision to resign.

Bruce could not immediately be reached for comment.

Bruce was elected as a first-time trustee for a four-year term in the last municipal election held in October 2018.

A former educational assistant, Bruce ran under the banner of the Building Bridges Electors Society, which aimed to improve representation of younger people in local politics and focused on issues like housing affordability and transportation.

He was one of several new trustees elected in the last election, including current board chair Tsiakos, and trustees Kulvir Mann and Mary Tasi Baker.

Bruce, who became vice-chair of the board in December, did not attend Tuesday’s public meeting.

The resignation means a byelection for a new trustee to sit for the one and a half years remaining in the four-year term will take place among voters in the District of North Vancouver.

No date for the byelection has been set yet.

In response to questions from trustees, schools superintendent Mark Pearmain said the cost of the byelection will be funded out of the school district’s operating budget.

“I expect the cost to be probably fairly significant,” he said, “based on the fact that we’re in COVID. And there’s obviously different parameters that we’re going to have to follow.”

Pearmain told trustees more details will be provided at an upcoming board meeting.

Under the School Act, a byelection must be held any time a trustee resigns, unless the resignation happens in the same calendar year that a regular election will be held.

A chief election officer must be appointed within 30 days and that person must then set a date for a byelection no later than 80 days after that.