Background & Current Update
- On February 28, 2018 the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) circulated to all MNO Community Council Presidents, Senators, and the Executives of the MNO Youth, Veterans’ and Women’s Councils and posted on the MNO website at www.metisnation.org an Information Bulletin on the MNO Policy #2018-001: New Policy On Verification of Candidates for Holding Elected Office within the MNO. This bulletin provided background information, a section on frequently asked questions and a copy of the Policy that was adopted by the Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario (“PCMNO”) during their February Meeting.
- Over the past several months MNO Community Council elections had been placed on a temporary hold and an assessment was done of how many Councils had elections pending or Councils that would be required to hold elections within the next several months.
- It should be noted that MNO Policy #2018-001: Policy on Verification of Candidates for Holding Elected Office in the MNO became effective as of February 3, 2018 and applies to any council appointments that may have occurred since that time.
- There is no longer a temporary hold on MNO Community Council Elections and Councils should feel free to plan and hold elections in accordance with Community Council Charter requirements, Community Council Electoral Code Part B and MNO Policy #2018-001- Policy on Verification of Candidates for Holding Elected Office.
Community Council Elections – MNO Policy #2018-001 Verification of Candidates
- MNO Electoral Code Part B (Community Council Elections) provides the guidance and direction on processes for Community Council Elections.
- Article B4 of Electoral Code Part B details that “Community Councils shall appoint either an electoral officer or an election committee to supervise an election”.
- There are nine provisions within the Community Council Electoral Code (Article B7.3) that must be met in order for a MNO Citizen to be eligible to be a candidate including B7.3 section (d) which states that the Citizen must be “verified according to the process set out by the Registrar as amended from time to time”.
- This policy applies to all PCMNO and Community Council elections that happen after February 3rd, 2018. Nothing in MNO Policy #2018-001 changes, alters or amends the MNO Electoral Code: Part A (Provincial Elections) or the MNO Electoral Code: Part B (Community Council Elections). It only sets out what is required to be “verified” as a candidate for elected office within the MNO based on the definition of Métis that is set out on the MNO Bylaws and explained in the Registry Policy.
- Specifically, MNO Policy #2018-001 details that in order to be “verified,” a MNO Citizen’s Registry file must include the following:
- A completed MNO Registry Application form (current or older versions are acceptable); and
- Documents sufficient to meet the current requirements for Citizenship as set out in the MNO Bylaws and Registry Policy; and
- Up to date contact information (i.e., mailing address, phone number, etc.).
- Upon receiving a written request from a MNO Electoral Officer to confirm if potential candidates meet the verification requirements MNO Registry will review the file and assess as per the details above.
- If a MNO Citizen meets all requirements they can proceed as a candidate in the election.
- If a MNO Citizen does not meet the verification requirements set out above, the MNO Registrar will update the relevant MNO Electoral Officer that the MNO Citizen has not been “verified” for the purposes of being a candidate for an elected position within the MNO. At this time, the MNO Registry will also write to the MNO Citizen stating that they have not been verified and outlining what documentation is required.
- It is important to note that if an individual is not “verified” to be a candidate it does not necessarily mean the individual is not Métis. It simply means that based on the current documentation in that Citizen’s Registry file, the Registrar is not able to verify that the individual meets the MNO’s current definition of Métis.
- If a MNO Citizen is unable to be “verified” as per MNO Policy #2018-001, they continue to be a MNO Citizen but they would not be able to be a candidate in the election. If they subsequently provide the necessary documentation to the MNO Registry to complete their file, they will be “verified” to run as a candidate in a future election.
- The onus is on the Citizen who is planning on running for elected office within the MNO to ensure their Registry file is complete.
Update on Overall MNO Election Processes and Procedures
- MNO’s Senior Administration are in the process of reviewing the provisions of both Electoral Code A (Provincial Elections) and Electoral Code B (Community Council Elections) as well as the report and recommendations received from the Chief Electoral Officer Paul DeVillers and Deputy Chief Electoral Officer John Graham from the last MNO Provincial Election in order to ensure that any required updates and revisions can be brought by way of Special Resolution to this upcoming AGA.
- The last time revisions were made and approved by the MNO General Assembly to Electoral Code Part A was at the 2014 MNO AGA, and revisions have not been made to Electoral Code Part B since 2002.
- Paul Devillers and John Graham are also able to assist Community Councils with pending Community Council elections if requested and will be reviewing any upcoming community election procedures in order to assist in making further recommendations into the Electoral Code Part B (Community Council elections).
- MNO’s Community Relations staff has for many years been assisting communities through these processes and will continue to offer support.
Next Steps for Community Councils with Elections Pending
- Community Councils that have elections pending can proceed with appointing an Electoral Officer or Elections Committee and procedures as per the Electoral Code.
- MNO Community Councils play a critical role in fostering community empowerment and development for Métis Citizens and your patience during this time has been greatly appreciated.
If Community Councils have any questions or require any assistance moving forward please feel free to reach out to members of the Provisional Council or MNO’s Senior Administration for more information:
Chief Operating Officer
Métis Nation of Ontario
(W): (416) 977-9881 ext. 101
(C): (416) 528-6152
Jennifer St. Germain
Chief Strategy Officer
Métis Nation of Ontario
(W): 613-798-1488 ext. 101
Posted: Aug. 5, 2018