Vol. 149, No. 8 — April 22, 2015
SI/2015-27 April 22, 2015
FIRST NATIONS ELECTIONS ACT
Order Fixing April 2, 2015 as the Day on which the Act Comes into Force
P.C. 2015-400 April 1, 2015
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, pursuant to section 44 of the First Nations Elections Act, chapter 5 of the Statutes of Canada, 2014, fixes April 2, 2015 as the day on which that Act comes into force.
(This note is not part of the Order.)
This Order brings into force the First Nations Elections Act, on April 2, 2015.
To bring into force the First Nations Elections Act so that First Nations can adopt band council resolutions asking the Minister to add the First Nation to the schedule of the Act and conduct elections under the Act.
The First Nations Elections Act received royal assent on April 11, 2014. The Act was developed after an extensive engagement process led by First Nations organizations between 2008 and 2010, to develop a better election system than the one under the Indian Act. The Act provides an optional alternative election system that First Nations can choose to opt into. Key differences are
- Four-year terms of office.
- Defined offences and penalties, whereby persons engaging in questionable election-related activities, such as bribery or obstruction, are subject to fines and jail terms.
- An election appeal process through the courts rather than through the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, as it is now under the Indian Act election system.
The Act also provides for regulations to be made surrounding the details of an electoral process, such as the preparation of the voters list, posting of notices, nomination of candidates, and voting by mail-in ballot and in person. The Regulations have been developed collaboratively with the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs. They were published in Part I of the Canada Gazette on February 7, 2015, and will come into force at the same time as the First Nations Elections Act.
There are no federal-provincial implications.
The First Nations Elections Act was developed from recommendations provided by First Nations organizations, namely the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs. These organizations developed the recommendations after having consulted and engaged with First Nations leaders, governance experts and community members in their respective regions between 2008 and 2010.
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada provided financial assistance to the organizations for this engagement exercise. The Regulations were also developed collaboratively with the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs.
For further information, please contact
Senior Policy Analyst
Treaty and Aboriginal Government Sector
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada