Home PoliticsElections Concerns Raised About Potential Delay of Elections for the Métis Nation of Alberta

Concerns Raised About Potential Delay of Elections for the Métis Nation of Alberta

by YAR

The Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) currently holds elections for its leaders at the local, regional and provincial levels every four years.

However, a special meeting has been called to vote on whether or not to delay the upcoming September 2022 election by a year to 2023.

This is a cause for concern to some, including Adam Browning, chairman of the Métis Nation of Alberta for Lethbridge and the area.

He took office in 2018 and wants to ensure that those in leadership roles are updated often enough to reflect the wishes of the community.

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“Holding timely elections is part of a healthy democracy,” Browning said. “Proposing to extend that really goes against our community mandate, which is that we are elected every four years.”

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The special meeting will take place on June 4 at 10 am in Grande Prairie, Alta.

It was approved by the provincial council of the MNA, which does not include local leaders.

According to the MNA, advancing the election a year will give them time to complete and ratify their own constitution and elect new leaders under that system, sooner rather than later.

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“That idea of ​​getting a new structure, an actual Métis governance structure designed by us, is very, very important to most of our citizens,” explained Métis Nation of Alberta Provincial Chairwoman Audrey Poitras, who has been in his position for the past 26 years.

But in Browning’s eyes, the location and three weeks’ notice are not conducive to ensuring that many members are able to participate.

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“Having a special meeting that is going to decide this is a nine-hour drive for people who are struggling in this economy,” he said. “There is no virtual meeting option that is available.

“You could have a group of a couple hundred people make a decision that would normally be settled by several thousand.”

The Métis membership in Alberta is more than 50,000 people. However, his policies dictate that only 100 members must vote on the resolution to change the election, and 75 percent must be in favor for it to pass.

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Poitras is aware of some accessibility concerns, but said that during the COVID-19 pandemic it was determined that having a virtual format was not feasible.

“We looked at numerous tech groups to see if they could guarantee us that if we did have a meeting there would be a way to make sure no one missed out, or no one had a chance to vote or ask questions, and we couldn’t get that guarantee,” he explained.

So they scrapped it completely. Instead, any member who appears in person will be able to give their opinion.

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“This is how we have to do it,” he said. “Under the statutes that we’re currently in, it’s to call that meeting, try to provide whatever we can to bring citizens in and deal with it in a special assembly.”

If the resolution to delay the election is not passed, the September 2022 election will be held under the current system.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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