First Nations electoral officer violating procedural fairness

Federal court | Aboriginal Law

Government of Aboriginal people


First Nations electoral officer violating procedural fairness

Appeals. KH, DH, and G were members of First Nation (FN) that was holding election. Electoral officer (EO) determined KH was ineligible to run for office due to violation of election regulations. DH received four votes less than least successful candidate but EO determined there would be no recount. KH appealed to FN’s Election Appeal Committee from EO’s ineligibility determination and in relation to eligibility of other candidates, but EO determined his appeal would not be heard. DH appealed to committee in relation to numerous voting irregularities and eligibility of candidate W, and G appealed to committee in relation to one voting irregularity and eligibility of candidates W and C. Committee, with EO as chairman, only considered eligibility of W and C at appeal hearing held in major city away from FN, and appeals were dismissed. KH, DH, and G brought application for judicial review. Application granted; matter remitted for redetermination. EO had himself determined which appeals would be heard, so there was breach of procedural fairness in not having notices of appeal determined in whole by committee. Importance of committee to governance of FN could not be overstated, and it remained for majority of committee to make decisions regarding appeals. Since EO had determined KH’s appeal would not proceed, it was also noted that it would seem obvious to most observers that you should not sit in appeal of your own decision. Location of hearing did not give rise to procedural unfairness since committee could set out its own rules and procedure, location was within range of reasonableness, it was not known why witnesses had not attended, and witnesses’ failure to attend did not in itself render hearing procedurally unfair.
Hamelin v. Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation (2017), 2017 CarswellNat 722, 2017 FC 163, Glennys L. McVeigh J. (F.C.)

Free newsletter

Our daily newsletter is FREE and keeps you up to date on all the developments in the Ontario legal community. Please complete the form below and click on subscribe for daily newsletters from Law Times.

Recent articles & video

Insurance lawyers reveal their referral philosophies

Court of Appeal rules auto insurer not liable for parental negligence claim stemming from accident

Refugee lawyers speak out on federal election campaign rhetoric

Employees of Aboriginal Legal Services join major union

Pro Bono Ontario to rename Ottawa help centre after David Scott

Chasm in opinions remains after statement of principles repeal

Most Read Articles

New equality measure approved by Law Society of Ontario as the statement of principles gets repealed

Judges call out lack of support for legal aid, pro bono amid MAG presence

Chasm in opinions remains after statement of principles repeal

Law students, paralegals can continue working on the same summary conviction matters