Statement by the Minister of Indigenous Services on the First Nations Election Cancellation and Postponement Regulations (Prevention of Diseases) coming into effect
OTTAWA, ONTARIO (April 16, 2020) — The Minister of Indigenous Services, Marc Miller, issued the following statement today:
"During this pandemic, the health and well-being of Indigenous communities is our primary focus. We recognize the public health risks of holding an election during a pandemic and are working to ensure there are no gaps in governance.
We have recommended that First Nations with upcoming elections not proceed with elections at this time, due to the current public health risks associated with large gatherings. Accordingly, we introduced a temporary regulatory option, the First Nations Election Cancellation and Postponement Regulations, that will allow First Nations leaders to continue exercising their roles and duties within their communities for up to six months, with a potential extension for an additional six months, as they focus on keeping their communities safe in the face of COVID-19.
We have been in direct communication with First Nations communities who are currently, or will soon be, undergoing the election process about this option, and want to be clear — the final decision to hold or postpone their election ultimately lies with community leadership.
We will be working with them every step of the way, no matter what decision they take. In the event that a decision is taken to proceed with the scheduled election, we stand ready to provide advice on measures to limit the risks of spreading the virus to community members."
For more information, media may contact:
Senior Communications Advisor and Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller,
Minister of Indigenous Services
Indigenous Services Canada
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