A number of Metis people and local presidents joined Bryan Lee, Kelvin Roy, and Louis Gardiner at Prince Albert's Court of Queen's Bench. Photo by Chelsea Laskowski.
The fate of an upcoming Metis Nation meeting in Saskatoon was argued at Prince Albert Court of Queen’s Bench on Tuesday, with the final decision set to be delivered in writing within the next two days.
Metis Nation-Saskatchewan representatives Bryan Lee, Kelvin Roy and Louis Gardiner filed an injunction in late January to cancel the Feb. 18 and 19 Metis Nation Legislative Assembly (MNLA) and General Assembly.
The Provincial Metis Council (PMC) set the meeting, but Lee, Roy and Gardiner say the PMC did not have the authority to do so because their terms have expired.
Lee, who identified himself as the Fish Lake Local Metis president, spoke on behalf of the applicants before the Prince Albert chambers judge.
Lee said it's a "fiasco" to proceed as planned, and that his greatest concern is fairness of the upcoming MNLA.
The PMC’s lawyer Jay Watson acknowledges that circumstances and delays within the MN-S led to the expiry of the PMC’s term.
However, Watson says the only option is to proceed with the weekend meeting, which was meant to schedule an MN-S election date in May, or grind to a halt and wait for the feds to step in.
Considering that new elections are needed to continue Metis governance in order to retain funding that has been on the rocks since late 2014, the chambers judge tried to walk through the options of “where do we go from here?”
In response, Lee said he wants a meeting with Metis local representatives and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada so they can build their governance system back up.
Lee and Roy aired a number of grievances with the way the Metis Nation-Saskatchewan is being run, saying the voices of Metis local presidents like themselves are being silenced by the actions of the select few. Specifically, Roy said the PMC is interfering with the rights of Metis locals. None of those allegations have been proven in court.
The chambers judge said if the applicants want a remedy because they feel their constitutional rights are being denied, they need to find a different avenue and likely seek help from legal counsel.
A written ruling on the injunction to stop the meeting is expected within the next two days.