Last council winner gives Halifax gender parity for the first time

Halifax regional council has gender parity for the first time in history after Patty Cuttell was belatedly declared the winner of District 11 by just 28 votes. 

Cuttell got 1,662 votes (19.6 per cent) to beat Bruce Holland, who got 1,634 votes (19.2 per cent). The new councillor for Spryfield-Sambro Loop-Prospect Road is one of eight women and eight men who will form council, with Mike Savage as mayor.

She said it had been a long night and said she hadn’t heard anything about why it took so long to get the final result. 

“I’m so looking forward to joining one of the most diverse councils in HRM’s history,” she told CBC News Sunday. 

“Women bring a different perspective. I’m an urban and rural planner, so when I look at city building, a lot of times when women aren’t at the decision-making table, things get missed.”

Steve Adams, who represented the district in the last council, did not reoffer and 12 candidates competed for the seat. 

HRM posted the final results of all 30 tables on Sunday afternoon. Cuttell tweeted her thanks shortly after the update. 

Earlier Sunday, Cuttell tweeted that “it’s like waking up in Florida in 2000,” referring to the drawn-out U.S. presidential election that year. 

HRM spokesperson Maggie-Jane Spray earlier said the close race led them to do a manual check on all tables. In 2016, several candidates of close races requested a judicial recount, but that didn’t change the end results.

Holland told CBC News he hadn’t yet decided if he would ask for a recount in District 11. 

“I will be consulting with my election team and will likely have a discussion with HRM’s chief returning officer before deciding,” he said Sunday afternoon.

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