MN-S holding MNLA in February to reset election
- EFN Staff | January 05, 2017
The Métis Nation Saskatchewan (MN-S) election originally set for February 4th, 2017 will likely be delayed until May 27, 2017 in order to find a replacement Chief Electoral Officer (CEO). The MN-S have been actively searching for a new CEO to oversee the general election after Fred Payton resigned in mid-December from his position as CEO due to serious health conditions. This has stirred dialogue on who will be the next CEO and the exact date of the election.
Joseph Garcea, a political studies professor at the University of Saskatchewan, says the electoral processes have been troublesome for the MN-S and that there is a need to resolve the electoral problems, as it is the heart of the governance.
“One way to deal with such situation is to have clarity in a policy that if something does happen to the Chief Electoral Officer then this is the way the person will be replaced…so you’re not dealing with it when it comes up,” says Garcea. “If you develop the right policy and the right procedure, it builds greater certainty into the process.”
Garcea adds the challenge the MN-S has had is the timing of the elections, which has been highly controversial and highly politicized. He says when something like this happens, people start asking whether or not a better system needs to be in place for Métis elections so that there’s greater degree of continuity, consistency, clarity and transparency.
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Evan Shoforost, from Ernst & Young, says Lorne Gibson – the Provincial Métis Council election consultant - has searched for another Chief Electoral Officer to replace Payton and had got in touch with Loretta Metzger, who is very experienced with elections.
“She worked for Elections Saskatchewan as a Supervising Returning Officer out of Saskatoon,” says Shoforost. “She has not been hired as a Chief Electoral Officer but as an electoral consultant and she will be brought forth to the [Métis Nation Legislative Assembly] to recommend her as the Chief Electoral Officer.”
He adds Mr. Payton’s current health situation is unfortunate but says that it is in everyone’s best interest to have this election as soon as possible but also to have an election that can be done properly.
The MN-S Provincial Métis Council called a Métis Nation Legislative Assembly and General Assembly for February 18-19, 2017 in Saskatoon. Final decisions will be made then to determine who will be the next CEO and when the specific election date will be.