Now Law (optional), but not in force yet. Rec’d Royal Assent on April 11, 2014 (APC sponsored this Bill)
Regulatory development is next phase & must be completed before FNGs can opt in; this phase can take up to one year; regs will detail the procedures of the electoral process, ie., posting of notices, nomination of candidates, voting by mail-in ballot and in person;
Discussion paper that proposes ideas for content of regulations will be posted next month on APC/AANDC websites for feedback by First Nations (2 months in advance of public).
Bill was drafted as a result of APC and AMC’s efforts since 2008 to reform the IA election system.
Approximately 75% of Atlantic First Nations still operate under the IA election system – this is the highest percentage in Canada (only 8 custom codes)
APC and AMC undertook regional & national consultations with Leaders and Community Members on the issues related to IA elections. Developed recommendations to the Minister on how to fix the system which resulted in Bill which is optional legislation.
Optional Legislation – opt in via BCR– can’t opt back into IA later on, only way to opt out of Act is develop own community custom election code or self-gov’t.
The Chief Michael Augustine Legal Defence Trust Fund was established in 1995 by the APC Chiefs.
The Fund was created as a response to the overwhelming legal costs associated with defending Aboriginal and Treaty rights cases. The legal defence costs were simply too high for one organization or community to handle.
This Fund has been named after the Mi'kmaq chief, Michael Augustine, who signed the treaty of 1760.