The Act will help create the political stability necessary for solid business investment
OTTAWA, Feb. 6, 2015 The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, in collaboration with the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat announced another important step in the development of the First Nations Election Act (the Act).
The federal government is publishing the Act's proposed regulations in Canada Gazette and encouraging further comments from all First Nation members.
The Act will help First Nations create the political stability necessary for solid business investments, long term planning and relationship building that will lead to increased economic development and job creation for First Nation communities.
First Nations who opt in to the Act will have access to modern electoral provisions including:
- longer terms of office;
- more robust nomination processes;
- defined offences and penalties;
- a common election day for interested First Nations; and
- no role for the Minister in election appeals.
The proposed regulations will be available via Canada Gazette and open to public comment for a period of 30 days, until March 9, 2015. Afterwards, comments will be reviewed and the regulations will be finalized and published in Canada Gazette once again. At that time, interested First Nations can choose to opt in to the new electoral system.
- Regulatory development is the final step in the implementation of the First Nations Elections Act.
- By opting in to the new system, First Nations can benefit from the political stability required for long-term planning, to attract business investments that lead to increased development and job growth.
- The First Nations Elections Act, drafted based on recommendations from First Nations organizations asking for a strong legislated alternative for First Nations elections, became a federal law on April 11, 2014. In collaboration with the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat, the federal government asked First Nations, stakeholders and the general public to comment on the proposed regulations.
"Our Government is focused on jobs, growth and economic prosperity; that's why we are proud with the continued progress in the development of the First Nations Elections Act. With this phase now underway, First Nations will soon have the choice of opting into the new system that will help create more accountability and political stability by providing advantages such as more robust nomination processes and longer terms in office. This is a step forward and I encourage everyone to provide their comments."
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
"The draft regulations, which are based on the discussion guide that we developed after hearing many recommendations, go hand in hand with the benefits that the First Nations Elections Act will bring. First Nations governments chosen by their members under a sound, open and transparent electoral system are well positioned to govern their communities effectively and to attract important and interesting opportunities."
Executive Director, Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs
Frequently Asked Questions – First Nations Elections Act
Backgrounder – First Nations Elections Act
Fact Sheet: – First Nations Elections
Comparison– Elections under the Indian Act vs. First Nations Elections Act
SOURCE Government of Canada
For further information: Emily Hillstrom.Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, 819-953-1160; You can subscribe to receive our news releases and speeches via RSS feeds or e-mail. For more information or to subscribe, visit www.aandc.gc.ca/subscriptions.