| May 26, 2005

Feature article, May 26, 2005

Feature article May 26, 2005

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Algonquin Negotiation Representative Election results confirmed

by Jeff Green

We are now getting underway with preparations which will lead to the negotiation of the land claim, said Robert Potts, the principal negotiator for the Algonquin Land Claim, as the announcement was made that Negotiation Representatives from nine communities have been confirmed.

Four candidates were acclaimed and five polls were held. Chief Electoral Officer Bob Johnson said that 3917 people were eligible to vote in the five communities, and 1650 votes were cast (42%). A total of 47 ballots were rejected for various reasons.

The participation by the Algonquin People and by the electors in those elections that were contested exceeded our most optimistic expectations, said Robert Potts.


There were three protests filed after the election took place, but according to Gary George, Communications Director for the Algonquin Land Claim, after carefully considering those protests and the written submissions from the parties, Mr. Johnson [The Chief Electoral Officer] rejected each of them.

Candidate Melinda Turcotte of Sharbot Lake submitted a complaint against the election of Doreen Davis, and candidate Lynn Gehl of Greater Golden Lake submitted a complaint against the election of Patrick Glassford.

The main thrust of both complaints was that the winning candidates, Ms. Davis and Mr. Glassford, misrepresented themselves as candidates for Nation Representative rather than Negotiation Representative. This, in the context of an election that was intended, according to Melinda Turcottes official complaint, to distinguish between political Algonquin Nation Tribal Council (ANTC) Chief positions and non-political Algonquin Negotiation Representative positions. She cited sections 21 and 22 of the protocol agreement that established the election.

In his response to Melinda Turcotes official protest, Chief Electoral Officer Johnson wrote that It was conceivable or even was anticipated that some confusion might arise from Algonquin Nation Tribal Council (ANTC) Chiefs running for the position of Algonquin Negotiation Representative.

Both Doreen Davis and Patrick Glassford are ANTC chiefs.

However, Johnson wrote that three factors mitigated against this confusion: the original election announcement made it clear the poll was for Negotiation Representative alone; the candidate forum in Sharbot Lake was moderated by Robert Potts, who made it clear to all who attended what was being voted for; and mail-in ballots made it abundantly clear what the purpose of the election was. Johnson also said that the number of people potentially confused by the process would not have affected the outcome of the election as there was such a substantial difference in the number of votes cast for Doreen Davis and yourself. Doreen Davis received 280 votes to Melinda Turcottes 60. The protest was disallowed.

In the case of Lynn Gehl, Johnson wrote that one of the names on her list of 10 supporting signatures, Carol-Anne Maidment, is not on the list of electors for Greater Golden Lake. Accordingly, wrote Johnson, the requirements of section 8 of the Electoral rules have not been met and your protest is disallowed.

The nine Negotiation Representatives from off-reserve communities will now join with the seven members of the Council from the Pikwakanagan Reserve to prepare for negotiations with the Province of Ontario and the Government of Canada.

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