Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), the minister signed an order that removes the O’Chiese First Nation from the Indian Bands Council Elections Order on November 16, 2016.
With regard to (b), the O’Chiese First Nation had met all the requirements under the conversion to community election system policy. The first nation developed a community election code that was approved by the community at a ratification vote, and the council had made a request for the change by formal resolution, all of which accords with the policy. The conversion to community election system policy sets the rules and the process surrounding a first nation’s conversion from holding the election of its council under the Indian Act to holding these elections under community-based election rules. The policy has been in place since 1996. Since then, upwards of 100 first nations have developed and implemented a community election system through this policy.
With regard to (c), the totality of sections 74 through 80 inclusive of the Indian Act and the Indian Band Election Regulations were replaced by the O’Chiese First Nation Election Act, the O’Chiese First Nation Election Regulations, and the O’Chiese First Nation appeals regulation.
With regard to (d), (e), (f), and (g), as the O’Chiese First Nation now conducts its elections under its own community election rules, it is the first nation’s role to ensure that its elections are conducted in a transparent and legal manner. However, application of the community election rules must still comply with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and individuals who believe those rights have been infringed can access the courts for redress.