Everything in place for upcoming MN-S election
- EFN Staff | May 18, 2017
The candidates have been announced, polling stations have been declared, and the race to election day has officially commenced.
After a rocky start, and some unforeseen delays, the MN-S election is getting closer to a reality. On May 27th Métis people across Saskatchewan will cast their vote to choose a new team of leaders to move the Métis agenda into the future.
Ric Richardson hopes that Métis people take advantage and exercise their right to vote in this election.
“This is the most important election the Métis have had in Saskatchewan in a long time. It is concerning that it was delayed until after the Métis National Council election, but now we have to vote,” said Richardson, who is the Mayor of the Northern Village of Green Lake. “We have issues like the Daniels Decision and the Manitoba Land Claim to negotiate, and we have had no one at the table for many years. We have been promoting the various forums that are happening around the province, and I’m also telling people personally to vote. But it could go either way for turnout.”
Candidates for President are diverse and include retirees, former northern mayors, and several from different occupations. Ages range from mid 30's to some in their 70’s. Every single candidate has been involved in Métis politics in one way or another.
Candidates running President include:
- Bruce C. Flamont,
- Steve Fraser,
- Karen Anne LaRocque,
- Charlene Lavallee,
- Lorna Docken Ledoux,
- Alex Laurent Maurice,
- Dale McAuley,
- Glen Hector McCallum,
- and Mike Tanton.
Vice President candidates are:
- Darren Deschambeault,
- Cheryl Fiddler-Agren-Reed,
- Louis G. Gardiner,
- Miranda Moran,
- Gerald Morin,
- and Wayne Whitford.
Secretary candidates are:
- Tammy Louise Mah-Fiddler,
- Lisa McCallum,
- and Ashley Norton.
Treasurer candidates are:
- May Henderson,
- Roxanne Marie Kennedy,
- and Mary Ann Morin.
A bustling team of committed people occupy the Electoral Office located in Saskatoon at Market Mall taking calls, offering advice, training elections officers and preparing for the big day. The hope is that this election will engage as many Métis people as possible. The turnout for past elections has been getting thinner each cycle.
“With early voting in the Regional Returning Offices, Advanced Polls, and Election Day Polls, the Métis people have many opportunities to make their voices heard through this democratic process,” said Chief Electoral Officer Loretta Metzger.
The criteria to vote are quite simple. You must identify as a Métis citizen, be at least 16 years of age, not be a registered member of a First Nation or any other Aboriginal peoples, and be a resident of Saskatchewan. To vote for a Regional Representative, you must be a resident of the region. If you have a drivers license or SGI ID, you are good to go. Or you can bring two other pieces of ID or someone can vouch for you.
And with several advance and mobile polls and nearly one hundred polls across the province, there will be lots of opportunity to vote for one of the most hotly contested elections in MN-S history.
Richardson is concerned about voter apathy, but hopes that he’s wrong.
“Some people are just not willing to participate anymore and say they are getting along well without the MN-S. The infighting left a bad taste in their mouth. And that’s too bad. We need those people and their voices,” said Richardson. “My hope is people will vote because it is so important to have our voice at the table right now to talk hunting rights, land claims and education. Now is the time for leadership.”
Information about how to cast a vote on election day, or during advanced polls can be found on the Métis Nation Election website at www.mnselection.ca