What’s on the CBRM’s Shopping List?

Given my love of resource materials, it’s a wonder I haven’t discovered the Nova Scotia Tender Notices website before now — it’s where, “as defined in the Nova Scotia Public Procurement Act, all public sector entities in Nova Scotia are required to post their tender notices.”

So what is the Cape Breton Regional Municipality in the market for, this fine summer? Here are two highlights from the list of currently “open” tenders:

Hosted Live Video Streaming Council Meeting

The tender was issued on 9 August 2016, closes 8 September 2016 and the review of proposals should be complete by 22 September 2016.

The CBRM requires a “Hosted” Live Video Streaming Management System (LVSMS) to broadcast live video streaming of the CBRM Council meetings. The desired LVSMS will also create and manage video/audio archives of the meetings and archives for public access in an efficient and user-friendly way, thereby enabling residents to view live broadcasts and recorded Regional Council meetings on demand, at their convenience, via the Internet.

A very important requirement of the new system is that it “Allow for the creation and management of archives.” I know this is very important because it is listed not once but twice under “requirements.” Excitingly, for those of us who consult the video archive frequently, the new system must also provide the ability to do key word searches.

Full details here.

Election Ballots

The tender was issued on 9 August 2016, closes 18 August 2016 and the ballots are to be delivered no later than 30 September 2016 (the election, you’ll recall, is on 15 October 2016).

The CBRM is ordering 95,000 ballots, numbered consecutively from 000001 to 95,0000, for the election of mayor (and I now have a new item for my bucket list: mark ballot number 000001 in a municipal election).

CBRM electoral districts map

Source: CBRM website.

It is ordering another 96,000 ballots (8,000 per district) for the 12 councilor elections; 96,000 ballots (8,000 per district) for the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board elections; 15,000 for the election of an African Nova Scotian member to the school board and 15,000 for the election of one member to the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial (CSAP).

The tender specifies the colors of the ballets (white for the mayor, pale blue for the council, etc ), the weight of the paper to be used (70 lb Offset or equivalent), the number per book (50 for mayor, councilor and regional school board) and every other detail you can imagine because elections – in case you forgot – are really, really important.

The winning contractor will be notified what names to print on those ballots late Wednesday 14 September 2016 or early the next morning, after the deadline for declaring has passed.

“The number of names on the ballots will vary – anywhere from two (2) to ten (10); therefore, ballots will be different sizes.”

Given the CBRM’s population as of 2011 was 97,000, I thought I’d ask the Returning Officer (Municipal Clerk Deborah Campbell) about the actual number of electors in the CBRM and the need for extra ballots. She told me:

There are approximately 83,000 voters on the Preliminary List of Electors, which is based on the most recent Provincial List of Electors from Elections Nova Scotia. We will be carrying out official revisions to the List during the month of August, and with recent changes to the NS Municipal Elections Act (the Act), will be able to continue to make additions and corrections to the List up to October 2, 2016. Thus the actual number on the “Revised” List of Electors that will be used on Election Day will be different.

Section 65 of the Act states that “… the returning officer shall cause to be printed ballot papers in sufficient quantity to supply all polling stations.” Based on past practice in CBRM, we typically order an additional 10-15% more ballots than the number of electors on the voters’ list. The reasoning for this is that we have to be prepared for every eligible voter to vote on election day, plus people who appear at a polling station to vote who are not on the list of electors.

I realize this may seem excessive, but my understanding from printing companies is that the bulk of the cost for this type of project is the initial setting of the printing plates for the ballots, thus the cost of the extra 10-15% would not be significant.

Printing extra ballots?

Somewhat more expensive than printing precisely enough to cover everyone on the electors’ list.

Having enough ballots to go around on election day?


Just ask the voters of St. Louis County, Missouri.

Full details on the ballot tender here.