M’Chigeeng asking members to vote opinion on fixing election day on Labour Day Saturday

Referendum to be held during powwow weekend

M’CHIGEENG—M’Chigeeng First Nation band members will be taking part in a referendum later this month to see whether the general election day in the community will be changed and held during the Labour Day weekend.

“In accordance with the M’Chigeeng First Nation election code 2005, notice is hereby given to the M’Chigeeng First Nation membership that a referendum will be held for the purposes of changing the general election day to the Saturday of the Labour Day weekend in September,” a M’Chigeeng website explains.

On June 2, M’Chigeeng council made a decision to approve a referendum on the M’Chigeeng First Nations custom election code 2019 that will formally include a specific section in the M’Chigeeng First Nation custom election code 2019 to state, “M’Chigeeng First Nation general election shall be held on the Saturday of the September Labour Day weekend in the voting year,” Ogimaa Kwe Linda Debassige wrote in a letter to the community members.

Labour Day weekend is when M’Chigeeng First Nation holds its annual powwow with a large attendance of both local and non-local band members.

Ogimaa Kwe Debassige explained, “this decision was based on membership expressing the desire to have the general election return to the Saturday of the Labour Day weekend in a voting year. Currently, the general election occurs at the end of March in a voting year. To ensure this change is completed in a proper, transparent and legal way, a referendum and vote by the membership is required.”

The referendum question will read, “Do you approve the amendment of the M’Chigeeng First Nation custom election code 2019 to state that M’Chigeeng First Nation general election shall be held on the Saturday of the September Labour Day weekend in the voting year? yes or no.”

The referendum will take place on August 13 between the hours of 10 am and 5 pm at the M’Chigeeng First Nation community complex. All votes/ballots will be counted immediately following the close of the polls.

“All eligible members will be given the opportunity to vote in the referendum by way of mail-in ballot or in person at the referendum poll,” it was explained.