Officials fine tune rules for gender parity vote
Politicians must agree to rules first
Officials are sorting out the final details for the rules for a plebiscite on gender parity in Nunavut.
Nunavut voters will likely be asked on May 26 if they support the gender parity plan developed by the Nunavut Implementation Commission.
Under that plan, each constituency would be represented by one male MLA and one female MLA.
Laura Gauthier, a policy advisor with Nunavut Tunngavik, said Wednesday that draft guidelines have been sent to leaders of the three parties to the Nunavut political accord for their approval.
Political approval needed
NTI President Jose Kusugak, NWT Premier Don Morin, and Indian Affairs Minister Ron Irwin must agree on the rules before the plebiscite can go ahead.
Those guidelines include who will pay for the plebiscite, what the wording of the question will be. and when the vote will take place.
They also include the general rules for conducting the plebiscite.
“At the officials level we’ve drafted guidelines very similar to the last referendum guidelines,” Gauthier said. “They’re in the works of being signed off at the political leadership level and it should be pretty much confirmed by the end of the week.”
Ottawa to pay sort of
By Wednesday, Gauthier said the GNWT agrees with the rules, and it was on its way to Kusugak, who was attending a mining trade show in Toronto.
From there it was expected to go to Ottawa for Irwin’s signature.
The people of Nunavut will pay
A proposed date of May 26 will likely be accepted for the vote. Though the money for the plebiscite will come from Ottawa, in a roundabout way, the people of Nunavut will foot the bill.
Ottawa has said it will pay for the $300-350,000 plebiscite, but with the money already earmarked for the establishment of Nunavut
“That’s still not determined, but they’ve certainly communicated to us they’d be covering the cost of it and it’ll be coming out of the $150 million that’s been approved already by the federal government for Nunavut,” Gauthier said.
“It’s a matter of determining from which envelope that price tag for the plebiscite will be coming out of.”