As mentioned briefly in last week’s Leader, some Driftpile Cree Nation members aren’t happy with the way the Dec. 20 election of chief and council was conducted. They want it redone and have a petition going around in support of that.
“It’s been received very well,” says April Isadore, one of the proponents. “It’s got well over 250 signatures.”
This may sound like the project of a sore loser (Isadore was one of many unsuccessful candidates for council in the election), but Isadore says not so.
“It’s nothing personal. There’s no ill feeling about who’s in there now. I’m objecting to the process.”
In particular, the process of handling mail-in ballots was badly handled, she says.
“There’s evidence of incompetence.”
For example, the ballots were “not being sufficiently distributed.”
Handling the election was an outside agency called One Feather Mobile Technologies Inc. It’s a B.C. firm that touts its expertise in digital services in aid of elections, banking, membership registration and more.
Well, they didn’t get this election right, says Isadore, and she’s heard of at least one other case from the area where the management of the voting is being questioned.
The petition will be part of a formal appeal of the election, which Isadore says will be (might already be, by now) submitted to the relevant federal authorities. If it’s accepted, “they’ll investigate the process,” she says. If there’s enough evidence that the election was flawed, a new one could be ordered.
It has happened before, and not that long ago. The 2018 Bigstone Cree Nation election, for example, was overturned by an arbitrator, due to irregularities in the voting. The upshot of that was a new election, two months later. It had dramatic results, with the person elected chief in October out of a job in December. The same thing happened to three of the newly elected councillors.