Presentation by Jerch Law on Federal Court Dismissal

Community Presentation

On Wednesday, May 3, 2023, Jerch Law made a presentation to Opaskwayak membership at the Veterans Hall regarding a federal court application involving the 2019 Election Board.

The presentation was at the request of numerous members of the community. They wanted to get a better understanding about what the federal court application ruling means for Opaskwayak.

The document version of the Jerch Law presentation at the Veterans Hall can be viewed here.

Please take the time to read the document in its entirety as this is first hand information from the law firm that represented Opaskwayak.

Judgement and Reasons

Jerch Law explained they represented Opaskwayak in federal court back in the summer/fall of 2022. After six months of deliberation, the Honourable Mr. Justice Favel delivered his decision back on April 11, 2023.

To view his ruling, please click here.

The federal court application sought clarification and direction on the process for election board appointments. During the presentation, Jerch Law explained the case was ultimately dismissed by Justice Favel, meaning neither the applicant or the respondents won.

However, Jerch Law went on to explain there were a few key points from the judge’s opinion that Opaskwayak learned from including: Chief and Council were within their authority to appoint new election board members, after the expiry of the previous election board’s term.

Moving Forward

The Election Code states that an outgoing election board stays on in the interim until sufficient names are received for a new one to be appointed by Chief and Council, and provided the 28-day notice requirement to potential applicants is followed. That open ended posting happened on February 2, 2023. After 10 weeks of notice, a 2023 Election Board was appointed by Chief and Council as part of their duties within the Election Code.

The Opaskwayak Election Code

The current Election Code that Opaskwayak follows can be viewed here.

ICYMI (In Case You Missed It)

The Presentation by Jerch Law was also streamed via Facebook live on the Opaskwayak Communications’ Facebook page on Wednesday, May 3, 2023. The presentation remains on the Facebook page but can only be viewed by friends (membership).

A screenshot from Facebook live recording.