Westbank First Nation cancels election for resident's advisory council
By John McDonald
(JOHN MCDONALD / iNFOnews.ca)
October 10, 2017 - 5:15 PM
WESTBANK FIRST NATION - An election for advisory councillors on the Westbank First Nation has been called off after the contest failed to attract enough candidates.
Instead, the five positions have been filled by acclamation and appointment, according to the band’s website.
The non-member advisory council represents approximately 9,000 people who live on the Westbank First Nation reserve, usually in houses built on land with a long-term lease.
The band divides its two Westside reserves #9 and #10 into five districts; Prairie, Old Okanagan, East Boundary, Lakeshore and Lakeridge.
Elections to fill the advisory council positions were scheduled for Oct. 19 however only one candidate was nominated in three of the districts and two others received no nominations at all.
Gordon Couch was acclaimed in the Prairie district, Ludwig Teichgraber in Lakeridge and Terry Turcan in Old Okanagan.
The current advisory council made recommendations to the band council for appointments to two regions where no nominations were received.
John Cole was appointed to East Boundary district and Rick Ould to Lakeshore district.
The non-member advisory council was established as part of the Westbank First Nation self-government agreement siged in 2005. Its purpose is to advise chief and council on proposed laws or amendments that directly and significantly affect non-member residents. It also has a presence during preparations of the local government services budget which sets property tax rates on band land and decides how they will be spent.
Recommendations made by the advisory council are non-binding.
Residents can seek to influence the advisory council on related matters by submitting a petition with the names of at least 250 valid electors. Electors must be at least 18 years old, not have been declared mentally incompetent and have lived in one of the districts for at least six months.
Council candidates must be eligible to vote in the election and cannot be an employee or contractor for Westbank First Nation and cannot have been convicted of an indictable offence in Canada or a felony in the United States within ten years prior to nomination.
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