Two members of the Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) have issued a press release, the intent of which is to “clarify the facts” about their appeal of the Sept. 5 election results which saw Bryce Williams unseat long-time chief Kim Baird.
Mike Baird and Christina Shellar launched the appeal on Oct. 5 citing a voting irregularity, specifically about the timing of election notices.
“There was a wrong day on one of the election notices and we felt that this impacted the outcome of the election which compelled us to appeal the results to the Tsawwassen First Nation Judicial Council,” said Mike Baird in the press release.
“Every Tsawwassen member is entitled to a clear and fair voting process, and this mistake did not allow for every member to vote – including myself,” said Shellard.
Both appellants participated in a hearing that took place at TFN on Saturday (Nov. 24), but stated they will not be commenting pending a decision from the Judicial Council overseeing the appeal.
TFN has a constitution and Election Act which govern democratic elections, as well as appeals. The Judicial Council holds the same legal authority as the BC Supreme Court.
The Judicial Council will now study the evidence and information provided, and is slated to render a decision within the next few weeks. It will make its decision known to the parties to the appeal, the TFN Executive Council and the TFN members and then to the public.
The Judicial Council members sitting on this elections appeal hearing are Paul Fraser QC (Queen’s Council), Professor Bruce MacDougall, and Leif Nordahl.