(Xwməθkwəy̓ əm, Musqueam Territory, BC – Aug. 14, 2020) – The BC Assembly of First Nations held an online Special Chief’s Assembly today. The meeting addressed the changes required to the BCAFN’s Governance Manual to ensure that the upcoming election for Regional Chief, 2 Board of Directors and 1 Female Youth Representative scheduled for November 17 - 18, 2020, will be carried out via an online, clear and transparent process due to the realities of COVID-19.
“Since face-to-face meetings are unlikely to happen any time soon, it’s essential that the BC Assembly of First Nations gets our electoral system right to respond to these challenging times,” said BCAFN Regional Chief Terry Teegee.
Ron Laufer, BCAFN Electoral Officer engaged chiefs to determine how best to run an election that abides by the requirements of social distancing. Based on information provided during the engagement process, changes to the BCAFN’s policies were recommended by Mr. Laufer and Darren Haines, BCAFN Legal Counsel.
During the Special Chiefs Assembly, First Nations leadership from across BC reviewed details of the proposed changes, including security measures in place for online voting, and approved the proposed regulations.
The new regulations provide guidance for how to hold online elections during a public health emergency and allow for instant runoff voting through ranked ballots that mimics BCAFN’s election process. The BCAFN Regional Chief election will be held using the new regulations on November 17 - 18, 2020.