- Category: news
- Created: Wednesday, 23 October 2013 13:52
- Published: Wednesday, 23 October 2013 13:52
- Written by Administrator 3
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WINNIPEG - A Federal Court judge has overruled Indian Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt's decision to throw out the results of a 2011 election on Manitoba's Pinaymootang First Nation.
In July, Valcourt vacated the positions held by Chief Garnet Woodhouse and councillors John Sanderson, Ted Woodhouse, and Brian Sanderson. He also banned the men from seeking office for two years.
An interim judicial order quashed that decision last month and reinstated the leaders and allowed them to run in elections currently underway.
Monday's decision confirmed last month's ruling.
"Before removing the (leaders) from office and disqualifying them from running for re-election, the minister was required to conclude on the balance of probabilities that they were guilty of corrupt practice," Judge James O'Reilly wrote. "He did not make that finding.
"Therefore, he had no legal authority to issue the declarations he did."
Woodhouse said the ruling demonstrates a need to change the Indian Act so First Nations leaders have the same right of appeal as municipal, provincial, and federal leaders.