Election Law Amendments and Review Process
2018 Proposed Election Law Amendments
The proposed Election Law amendments are designed to strengthen our election processes by avoiding the ambiguities related to the inclusion of hybrid criminal offences and so any NCN Citizen who has a criminal record for indictable offences will not be able to run for office for 8 years from the date of the conviction or appeal proceedings or conclusion of any jail sentence.
Other amendments are needed to make it easier to conduct the actual election by ensuring flexibility in the dates for the various election steps to take place. As currently drafted it is sometimes difficult because the dates required to do certain things fall on weekends or holidays in the summer.
Amendments are also required to the preparation of the Voter’s list and access to it so that identity theft can be avoided given concerns in today’s world. The 2014 Appeal Committee’s decision also needs to be addressed as we have determined that an e-vote is not possible to meet the Election Law balloting requirements (candidate pictures, Cree syllabics and security features). Therefore, provisions have been added for anyone living more than 50 kilometers from an in-person voting location to request a mail-in ballot.
There are also technical amendments required to make the Election Law consistent with Othasowewin.
Draft versions include:
Election Code Vote Approves All But Two Proposed Amendments
NELSON HOUSE, Manitoba, October 29, 2013: In NCN’s October 28 vote, a total of 439 NCN electors voted to approve all but two proposed amendments to the Election Code. Voters rejected amendments to allow NCN Citizens convicted of a crime to run for office eight years after their conviction, and turned down mail-in ballots. Full details are available in the attached news release. Click to download.
A breakdown of votes cast for and against each amendment are outline in the table on the second page of the Vote Results document. Click here to view the official vote results.
Revote on Election Code Amendments Set for Monday, Oct. 28
NCN Chief and Council and NCN Electoral Officer Joyce Yetman have set Monday, Oct. 28 as the date for a revote on amendments to the election code that were narrowly turned down in the Sept. 12 vote.
Voting Locations Announced
NCN Chief and Council and Electoral Officer Joyce Yetman have announced locations for the Oct. 28 vote. Polls will be open from noon to 8:00 p.m. (The Election Code Newsletter incorrectly indicated polls would open at 8:00 a.m.)
COMMUNITY VOTE LOCATION
Nelson House: United Church
Leaf Rapids: Town Centre
Thompson: Makwa Room, Mystery Lake Hotel
Winnipeg: NCN Office, Suite 300 , 428 Portage Avenue at Vaughn Street. (Power Building)
Election Code Amendments are Important
“These amendments are important as part of our continuing evolution as a self-governing democratic First Nation,” Chief Jerry Primrose said. “These changes, along with a proposed constitution for the First Nation to be reviewed with NCN Citizens this fall, will help clarify and improve our election and referendum processes. Low turnout was also a concern in the last vote, so we need all NCN Citizens to come out and participate in this vote.”
Door-to-Door Consultations Underway to Explain Amendments
Because of rumours and misunderstandings about the amendments before the last vote, NCN has hired community consultants to meet with NCN Citizens before the upcoming vote to explain the proposed changes. NCN Chief and Council are also going door to door in Nelson House to consult, emphasize the importance of the vote and dispel any misconceptions.
Newsletter Provides Additional Information
A newsletter highlighting proposed changes is being circulated to NCN Citizens, or is available for download by clicking on the thumbnail below. Copies of the Current Election Code and the Proposed 2013 Amended Election Code with tracked changes are also available for download below.
Final Vote Results Announced for Amendments to the Election Code
NCN voters reject amendments by six votes
NELSON HOUSE, Manitoba – September 13, 2013 – Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation Electoral Officer Joyce Yetman today announced final results of the September 12, 2013 voting results for amendments to the election code.
A total of 337 electors participated in the vote and there was 1 spoiled ballot. There were 213 votes cast in Nelson House, 77 in Thompson, and 38 in Winnipeg. Of those voting, 161 votes were cast in favor of the package of amendments and 167 votes were cast against the package of amendments. There were 9 rejected ballots.
As the package of amendments was not approved by a majority of NCN Citizens who cast a ballot, there will be no changes to the Election Code (1998, E-1 as amended in 2002 and 2010). Copies of the official results and the current Election Code are available from the NCN Electoral Officer or for download below.
Election Code Amendment Vote
All NCN Citizens are encouraged to participate in the Election Code Amendments Vote, Thursday, September 12, 2013
Election Code Amendment September 12 Vote
COMMUNITY WHERE TO VOTE
Nelson House: United Church
Thompson: Mystery Lake Hotel Boardroom
Winnipeg: NCN Winnipeg Office, Suite 300 (3rd Floor) Power Building, 428 Portage Avenue
Final Information Relevant to the September 2013 Election Code Amendment Vote (Please click to download and read before vote.)
* Please note: “While Chief and Council and the technical team have carefully reviewed the material in this newsletter to ensure all proposed amendments to the Election Code are accurate, Chief and Council reserve the right to correct any errors or omissions prior to the vote on September 12th.” Please download and refer to the ‘tracked changes’ version of the complete proposed election code for the final wording that will be subject to the vote. Text highlighted in yellow in that document indicates sections and/or text that differs from the newsletter version.
Background to 2012-13 Review Process
NCN’s Election Code was first adopted in 1998.
In 2004, an extensive Election Code review process was initiated involving considerable Citizen input. However, no proposed amendments resulting from that review were enacted before the 2006 election for Chief and Council.
In 2010, the Election Code Review process was restarted, driven by the need to remove residency requirements for Members seeking office resulting from the Gull Bay First Nation federal court decisions. Without those changes, the 2010 NCN election could have faced legal challenges.
On June 14, 2010, a General Assembly was held to review and vote on 25 proposed amendments, but only four were approved, and NCN Citizens gave direction that further consultation should take place well before the 2014 election.
Since then, other proposed changes have been added from several sources including the independent observer at the 2010 election, the electoral officer, Chief and Council, staff and advisors.
In late 2012, the current election code review process began with two rounds of workshops held in May and July 2013.
Earlier Information Related to the 2012-13 Election Code Amendment Review Process and Workshops
Information Related to the June 14, 2010 General Assembly to Amend Election Code Set
In preparation for the 2010 election for Chief and Council in August, a General Assembly was held Monday, June 14 (rescheduled from May 31) in Nelson House to review and vote on proposed amendments to NCN’s election code. See notices below:
Information on the proposed amendments is contained in the document below which you can click to download. The document provides side-by-side comparisons of revised clauses with existing clauses, as well as wording for proposed new clauses to be added.
Complete copies of the existing and proposed amended Election Code documents can be viewed or downloaded below.
The General Assembly followed NCN’s General Assembly Protocol can be viewed in the attachment below.
View the ballot prepared in the event a secret ballot vote had been requested by a minimum of 10 attending NCN Members.
Read the newsletter reporting on the June 14, 2010 General Assembly.
Election Code Newsletters Distributed in 2004 and 2005