Reversal of M’Chigeeng elections could be overturned in court

New election process on hold

M’CHIGEENG—Members of the M’Chigeeng First Nation were left bemused Monday with the announcement that the new elections ordered by the band’s appeals committee were being placed on hold pending a legal challenge.

“The election has been postponed,” confirmed Appeals Committee Chair Isadora Bebamash when contacted late Monday afternoon. “The appeals committee has retained legal counsel. We don’t understand all of the legal language involved in this kind of thing, so the appeals committee has hired a lawyer to help us sort through everything.”

The September 9 band election results had been overturned by the M’Chigeeng Appeals Committee when it was determined that the band list used in the election was not congruent with the official list comprised under the band’s membership rules and that a number of electors and candidates were ineligible to vote or run in the election under the strictures of the band’s custom election code.

An appeal challenging the appeals committee decision was filed in Toronto on Monday, October 16 and the hearing of the notice of motion is scheduled in that city for November 7.

Until the status of the election appeal has been clarified, the band council elections slated for December 16 have been cancelled.