Province, Ottawa Pull Out Of MNS Election Process

Friday, February 02, 2007 at 17:39



The federal and provincial governments have announced that their efforts to help bring about a new Metis Nation of Saskatchewan election have come to an end.


First Nations and Metis Relations acting deputy minister Richard Gladue says it was Ottawa that pulled the plug on the process, and the province wasn’t willing to go it alone.


Last June, the two levels of government commissioned an Independent Oversight Committee to come up with a way to hold a fair and democratic Metis election following the controversial MNS vote in 2004.


The committee recently recommended a June election that would need to be ratified by a special general assembly of Metis citizens in March. The committee also proposed running the election.


Those recommendations didn’t sit well with MNS leaders, who subsequently proposed an August election — provided the government funded a Metis Nation Legislative Assembly before then in order to give Metis local presidents a chance to vote on the matter.


Gladue says it appears the federal government lost the willingness to continue this process once it saw the position Metis leaders were taking on this issue.


In a press release issued this afternoon, the provincial government states it will continue to work with MNS affiliates to ensure services to Metis people continue. However, the province has no plans to resume relations with the MNS or re-establish funding to the group.


That funding was cut off in 2004 shortly after the disputed election — a vote that has resulted in 10 people charged for allegedly tampering with election results.