ARCHIVED — Order Amending the Indian Bands Council Elections Order (Chemainus)

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Vol. 144, No. 23 — November 10, 2010

Registration

SOR/2010-228 October 22, 2010

INDIAN ACT

Whereas, by Ministerial Order dated December 19, 1960, it was declared that the council of the Chemainus First Nation, in British Columbia, shall be selected by elections to be held in accordance with the Indian Act (see footnote a);

Whereas the First Nation has developed its own election code and a local community electoral system for selecting a chief and councillors;

Whereas conversion to a local community electoral system would better serve the needs of the First Nation;

And whereas the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development no longer deems it advisable for the good government of the First Nation that the council of that First Nation be selected by elections to be held in accordance with the Indian Act (see footnote b);

Therefore, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, pursuant to subsection 74(1) of the Indian Act (see footnote c), hereby makes the annexed Order Amending the Indian Bands Council Elections Order (Chemainus).

Gatineau, Quebec, October 18, 2010

JOHN DUNCAN
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development

ORDER AMENDING THE INDIAN BANDS COUNCIL ELECTIONS ORDER (CHEMAINUS)

AMENDMENT

1. Item 22 of Part I of Schedule I to the Indian Bands Council Elections Order (see footnote 1) is repealed.

COMING INTO FORCE

2. This Order comes into force on the day on which it is registered.

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Order.)

Issue and objectives

The band council of the Chemainus First Nation has requested, through a Band Council Resolution, to be removed from the election provisions of the Indian Act. Further to the development of its own election code and local community electoral system, the First Nation wishes to select its chief and councillors based on its own custom leadership selection process.

Currently, a band holding elections under the Indian Act can seek a change to its electoral system and a conversion to the use of a community election code by requesting from the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development an amendment to the Indian Bands Council Elections Order pursuant to subsection 74(1) of the Indian Act.

The Order Amending theIndian Bands Council Elections Order is of interest to and is limited to the Chemainus First Nation. The conversion to a local community electoral system will serve to build and strengthen the First Nation’s governance autonomy and better address the needs of the community.

Description and rationale

The Order Amending the Indian Bands Council Elections Order, made pursuant to subsection 74(1) of the Indian Act, purports to remove the Chemainus First Nation from the application of the election provisions of the Indian Act.

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada’s (INAC) Conversion to Community Election System Policy allows a band holding elections under the Indian Act to request a change to its electoral system and convert to the use of a community election code. Indian and Northern Affairs Canada must be satisfied that the band has developed suitable election rules, and that the rules and the removal have received support of the community members.

On April 28, 2009, the band council of the Chemainus First Nation held a ratification vote by secret ballot to determine whether a majority of the electorate was in favour of the band being removed from the application of the election provisions of the Indian Act and of adopting the proposed election code. Electors residing off-reserve were allowed to cast their ballot through a mail-in ballot process. The total number of eligible electors was 692. In total, 382 ballots were cast, 259 voted in favour of the election code and 104 voted against the election code, and there were 19 spoiled ballots.

On May 13, 2009, the band council of the Chemainus First Nation submitted a Band Council Resolution requesting that the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development issue an order revoking the application of section 74 of the Indian Act for the band.

As the Chemainus First Nation Election Code and the community ratification process that has taken place are compliant with INAC’s Conversion to Community Election System Policy, the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development no longer deems it advisable for the good governance of the Chemainus First Nation that the chief and council be selected by elections to be held in accordance with the Indian Act. Consequently, the Order Amending the Indian Bands Council Elections Order ensures that members of the Chemainus First Nation can conduct a leadership selection process according to their own values.

There is no cost consequence associated with the removal of the Chemainus First Nation from the election provisions of the Indian Act. Henceforth, the Chemainus First Nation will assume full responsibility for the conduct of the entire electoral process.

Consultation

The Order Amending the Indian Bands Council Elections Order is made at the request of the Chemainus First Nation and its members. The community election code underwent a community ratification process, wherein a majority of the votes cast by the First Nation’s electors were in favour of an amendment being brought to the Indian Bands Council Elections Order and all future elections being conducted in accordance with the aforementioned code.

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada provided assistance in the development of the Chemainus First Nation Election Code, which in turn fulfils Canada’s commitment to strengthening Aboriginal governance.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

Compliance with the Chemainus First Nation Election Code during the conduct of elections and disputes arising therefrom is now the responsibility of the Chemainus First Nation.

Contact

Nathalie Nepton
Director Band Governance Directorate
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
10 Wellington Street, Section 18A
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H4
Telephone: 819-994-6735
Fax: 819-997-0034
Email: Nathalie.Nepton@ainc-inac.gc.ca

Footnote a
R.S., c. I-5

Footnote b
R.S., c. I-5

Footnote c
R.S., c. I-5

Footnote 1
SOR/97-138