On February 28, 2023, the Métis Nation of Ontario (“MNO”) concluded its province-wide plebiscite (“Plebiscite”) on next steps related to the Registry Review process, which was called in accordance with the 2022 Annual General Assembly’s (“AGA”) direction in resolution AGA220820-02.
The Plebiscite was conducted over an 82-day period between December 8, 2022, and February 28, 2023. This Voting Period included a five-week extension under the MNO Registry Review Province-Wide Plebiscite Vote Guidelines (“Guidelines”) to remedy an administrative issue that temporarily impacted the distribution of voter information packages to 10,336 eligible Voters. Further information on that decision is available here.
During the Plebiscite, all registered MNO citizens—irrespective of their citizenship file status—at least 16 years of age, and not subject to voting limitations under the MNO Bylaws, were eligible to cast one ballot by voting either “yes” or “no” on the following Ballot Question:
Should all existing members/citizens of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) and the MNO Secretariat, whose files do not meet the current requirements for citizenship as set out in the MNO Bylaws and Registry Policy, be removed as members/citizens?
27805 citizens were eligible to vote in the Plebiscite. A total of 8270 citizens cast their ballot by mail, telephone, or electronic voting, representing a 30% voter turnout rate—the highest for any province-wide vote in MNO history.
Of the votes cast 71% (5898 MNO citizens) voted “yes” to the Ballot Question, indicating support for the removal of “Incomplete” files from the MNO Registry. A total of 28% (2352 MNO citizens) voted “no” to the Ballot Question, indicating support for “Incomplete” files remaining on the MNO Registry.
In addition to the 8,270 counted ballots noted above, a total of 401 mail-in ballots were rejected due to an incomplete ballot package (e.g. missing signatures, no MNO citizenship number provided) or the MNO citizens had previously voted and had their first ballot already counted. 20 ballots were deemed spoiled. A detailed report on the Plebiscite, including a more comprehensive results breakdown, will be provided to the MNO by Friday, March 3, 2023, as per the requirements in the Guidelines.
Consistent with the Guidelines and the extended timelines, any Voter who has reasonable grounds for believing that there was a material violation or irregularity in the course of the Plebiscite that fundamentally altered the final results, may file an objection for review and consideration by the CEO. Administrative errors, amendments to ensure the sanctity of the Plebiscite, and general disagreement with the Registry Review or Plebiscite are not eligible grounds for an objection. For further information, please see section 18 of the Guidelines. Any objections must be received no later than 6:00pm (ET) on Friday, March 10, 2023 and can be submitted to the CEO by email: email@example.com.
Additional information on next steps and timelines will be outlined in a further communique issued by the MNO.
Chief Electoral Officer