Rene Ballantyne circulated a petition that cited concerns about PBCN’s urban councillor. Photo by Chelsea Laskowski

EDITOR’s NOTE: This story originally said the petition had more than 300 signatures. Federal court arguments reveal this number is actually closer to 250. We will replace that number with the more accurate 250.

A decision’s been made to remove Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation’s Urban Councillor Warren McCallum, after more than 250 people signed a petition that highlights concerns about him.

A PBCN Elder’s Council decision was delivered on Friday, and Chief Peter Beatty revealed that decision on Monday. This is in keeping with the band’s Election Code of 2014, he said.

“They’re entrusted with making those decisions and they reached a decision to have him removed from council,” Beatty said, adding, “that’s solely their decision. Chief and council have no part in that. They’re a separate body.”

A petition signed by 250 urban members of the Cree Nation was delivered to PBCN staff in recent weeks, citing serious concerns about the actions of McCallum.

Rene Ballantyne was a big part of that action. On Friday, he said he wants to ensure the voices of his fellow urban membership are heard.

“This is just not me or anybody else, it’s all the members, for the people of PBCN. That’s what matters here, for the future of our kids,” he said.

Ballantyne spent weeks poring over the Election Code of 2014 and the allegations against McCallum. The most serious concern for Ballantyne was that McCallum had not produced a criminal record check.

“People want to see the criminal record,” Ballantyne said. “Everybody that runs for council or chief they have to submit their criminal record check according to the election code and people want to see that criminal record check.”

In his view, the 250 people who signed the petition “totally lost confidence on him (McCallum).”

Beatty confirms the decision by the Elder’s Council considered the petition – but he’s not privy to the discussions that led to their decision.

He says they will follow the Election Code of 2014 and call a by-election within 60 days.

When contacted on Monday, Ballantyne said he is pleased with the decision.