Six Nations by-election

The by-election to fill the seat vacated by former councillor Wendy Johnson is set for Sept. 3.

Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Council announced the date at Monday’s General Finance meeting, with a nomination date set for Aug. 6 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the band office.

The by-election is being held after the sudden and unexpected departure of Johnson, who is taking an a new job opportunity she said she couldn’t pass.

Some confusion arose when Coun. Helen Miller said elected council was not supposed to be involved in the by-election by setting dates, saying only the Chief Polling Officer should be setting the dates for nominations and elections.

“We have to be completely at arm’s length with any election. All we do is let the electoral officer know we need to do a by-election and we set a budget. We have to be impartial.”

A vague election code and CPO handbook that don’t expand on by-elections were to blame, said Tammy Martin, chief of staff.

“Council does have the responsibility to set the dates because council is also required to provide the CPO with the voters’ list and in order to get the voters’ list it does require the dates to be confirmed through a BCR (band council resolution),” said Martin. “There’s also some time requirements. There isn’t a lot of discussion on by-elections (in the election code and CPO handbook).  It mostly speaks to the general elections so that’s kind of a void so there is some discretion in there in whether or not council wants to have an advance poll, given that it’s to fill one seat. The community has been made aware that there is a vacancy. I think those work quite efficiently.”

Council moved to accept those dates.

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