Parties React To End Of Metis Election Talks

Monday, February 05, 2007 at 14:54



The head of a committee assigned to facilitate a new Metis election in the province admits she’s disappointed by recent news that plans for a new vote are off.


Marilyn Poitras says she and her counterparts on an independent oversight committee had hoped to stage a new vote by this summer, but admits that likely won’t be the case.


On Friday, the federal and provincial governments announced they were giving up efforts to find an election scenario that was agreeable to both levels of government and the Provincial Metis Council.


Poitras claims the PMC didn’t seem interested in negotiating terms with her group or the government.


Poitras adds the council is determined to hold a Metis Nation Legislative Assembly before announcement of a new vote.


However, she repeats her call that the process could still be initiated by grassroots citizens, who she feels have the right to call a general assembly themselves.


Poitras adds she also worries a MNLA might get bogged down in other political items that won’t help things.


Meanwhile, an official with the Provincial Metis Council says the most recent setback in the process to hold a new Metis election is very disappointing.


Ray Laliberte says a lot of time and effort has gone into the work to design a Metis Nation of Saskatchewan election that everyone can live with.


Laliberte also doesn’t think the MNS will get the blame for derailing the latest process.


He admits his group couldn’t live with the idea of an outside agency having complete control of the next election — but he doesn’t think the two levels of government should have bailed out over that issue.


He says the MNS will continue to remain independent, in accordance with its Constitution.


Laliberte also says Metis elections have always been underfunded — and if there is no consensus reached with governments before the next scheduled election in May of next year, the MNS will hold the vote on its own.