Kivalliq Inuit Association postpones election, AGM for bylaw revisions

New policy will allow Kivallirmiut living outside the region to participate in elections

The Kivalliq Inuit Association has undertaken an overhaul of its bylaws and election policy, says President Kono Tattuinee, shown here on the left, with Levi Barnabas of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association, in 2019 in Cambridge Bay. (File photo)

By Jane George

The Kivalliq Inuit Association plans to delay its elections from this coming December until next April.

The postponement will allow for the development of election policies, procedures and material that reflect the KIA’s revised election policy and bylaws, KIA President Kono Tattuinee said in public letter this week.

The postponement will also allow newly eligible KIA beneficiaries to consider their candidacy for office, he said.

And the new policy will align with directives from Health Canada and the Government of Nunavut to minimize contact and large gatherings during the pandemic, he said.

The news about the postponed elections was circulated on Monday, Nov. 9, two days before the announcement that there was a positive COVID-19 case in Rankin Inlet, the Kivalliq region’s hub.

The move to postpone the elections, which would have taken place on Dec. 14, along with those of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., came after the KIA started to revise its bylaws.

Draft revisions of the elections policy and bylaw were prepared, reviewed and amended through September and early October, Tattuinee said.

“We have now completed the final draft and will be presenting the revisions to the executive committee next week,” he said on Nov. 9.

That action is likely to be delayed because the KIA office is now closed and employees have been advised to stay home.

After the executive committee’s approval does take place, the plan is to call an AGM to approve the bylaws and revised elections policy, he said.

Following approval by the AGM delegates, the revised bylaws and elections policy will be filed with Nunavut Registrar of Societies, and brought into effect upon their approval, Tattuinee said.

The revisions will give the KIA authority to postpone the scheduled date of the December election to a date in April 2021.

The revisions will also give the KIA the authority to postpone future elections, if necessary, Tattuinee said.

The previous bylaws did not allow for any such deferral, “even in the event of Acts of God such as the current pandemic,” he said.

The bylaw changes also allow more Inuit from the Kivalliq to vote in KIA elections.

Previously, bylaws required that voters must be “usually resident” in the Kivalliq for a period of one year prior to an election.

“That meant that some students at Nunavut Sivuniksavut or university, people in long-term care in Winnipeg and their guardians, Kivallirmiut working in other regions and many others were unable to participate as voters or as candidates in our elections,” Tattuinee said.

Tattuinee said that when he campaigned in 2019, he promised to eliminate barriers to Kivallirmiut’s full participation in their birthright organization.

“I believe that KIA, like our communities, should be open and inclusive; a beneficiary stays a beneficiary wherever they reside.”

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(1) Comment:

  1. Posted by Kivallirmiutaq on

    According to the KIA Bylaws dated October 2017:
    5.01 Election of Directors (b) (iii) “Elections will take place in December.”
    6.01 Officers and their Election (b) “The officers shall be elected by the Inuit of the Kivalliq Region at the annual regional elections held in December of each and every year in accordance with the election policy of the Society.”

    Keep in mind the By-law trumps the Election Policy.

    The Officers are the President (4 year term), VP and Sec-Treasure (3 year terms each. All other Directors have three year terms. And they remain Directors until the next election.

    It appears KIA is breaking their By-Law by not holding elections in December no matter what the reason for not holding them. Covid 19 just became a major issue two days ago in our region but KIA could not have predicted this and should have had the work on the by-law changes done months ago to meet the December voting requirement.

    The By Law can be changed at an AGM or Special Meeting (as noted in the news story):
    1.04 Enactment and Amendment of by-laws (a) ” By-laws of the Society can be enacted, repealed or amended by a vote of a majority of not less than three-quarters of the members of the Society who are present and entitled to, at an Annual General Meeting of members, or at a Special meeting of members for which notice has been given specifying the intention to propose a by-law amendment, and not otherwise.
    (b) Whereas required, the enactment, repeal or amendment of by-laws shall not be in force or acted upon until the approval of the Registrar of Societies, Government of Nunavut has been obtained. Such approval shall be sought as soon as possible after a by-law has been enacted, repealed or amended.”

    4.01 Time and Place “The Annual or any Special Meetings of the members shall be held in Rankin Inlet, unless otherwise specified by the Board. Such meeting shall be held on such days and times as the Board of Directors may determine provided that the Annual General Meeting shall be held no later than fourteen (14) months after the preceding Annual General Meeting.”

    4.02 Notice “Twenty-eight (28) days prior notice in writing shall be given to each member of any Annual or Special meetings of the members. The statutory declaration of the President or the Secretary-Treasurer that notice has been given is accordance with this by-law shall be sufficient and conclusive evidence that such notice has been given.”

    When was the last KIA AGM? Are they breaking the by-law again? And what was the intended date for the upcoming AGM? It has been pushed back because their financial statements were not ready until early October, more than six months after fiscal year end. Most organizations have them done within three months.

    There is something wrong because there has been no communication from KIA about the the changes and no consultation to get input from the beneficiaries. Has anyone other than KIA seen what the new by-law and policy will look like? According to the President “I believe that KIA, like our communities, should be open and inclusive…” KIA sure does not look like they are “open and inclusive.”

    The slow speed at which KIA is making on changing their voting probably means there will be no election until December 2021! So there is still time to have an election in December 2020 and have the new by-law and policy for December 2021.

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