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Nova Scotia electoral officer drops Preston byelection complaint investigation

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s chief electoral officer says her office is dropping a formal investigation launched during the campaign ahead of last month’s provincial byelection in the riding of Preston.

Dorothy Rice called in the RCMP after the Liberals ignored an order to remove campaign signs and materials that suggested a plan was in the works to establish a waste dump in the riding.

Rice made the move after the governing Progressive Conservatives filed a complaint on July 28, saying the Liberal material wrongly asserted that Premier Tim Houston was doing nothing to stop the plan.

In a statement today, Rice says that after further consideration of the original complaint she’s decided to discontinue the investigation and she has also advised the RCMP of her decision.

Rice says the matter is considered “concluded” and she won’t be making further comment, although she will make recommendations for legislative change regarding the regulation of election advertising in a report on the byelection expected in the coming weeks.

Progressive Conservative Twila Grosse won the Aug. 8 byelection, taking a seat that had been held by the Liberals for most of the last 20 years.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 8, 2023.

The Canadian Press