March 13, 2013 - 6:07 PM
By Jessica Wallace
A Tk'emlups Indian Band member who lost her bid as chief last year is disappointed with a court ruling yesterday to deny her civil case and uphold the status quo.
"It took quite a bit of time," said Marie Baptise. "I was a bit disappointed when the judge made his decision."
Baptiste was defeated by Shane Gottfriedson for the chief position in the November, 2012 band election. Following the election, she filed a petition and appealed the results alleging an error in election notices sent to off-reserve voters.
She voiced concern over notices issued with incorrect dates and addresses of where to vote in person.
"All band members should have a fair and equal opportunity to cast their vote and have the correct place and dates," Baptiste said.
The court denied the appeal, citing reasons that included Baptiste filing the required petition too late.
"The judge dismissed the appeal due to the fact that I was not within the time frame of the 15 days required under the election code," Baptiste said. "If I had made the appeal within the timeframe, the outcome of the judge's decision would have been different."
She said she has no plans to pursue the issue any further, noting election regulations state that court rulings are final.
Despite the decision, Baptiste feels her case made an impact.
"I believe my standing up for what I felt was right will encourage other band members to do the same thing," she said. "Even though I didn't get the decision I wanted, at least for future elections there will be more due diligence."
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013