Nunavut government encourages people to run for local school bodies

Those who want to promote education in their communities should run for DEAs, GN says

This Oct. 28, voters in all Nunavut communities will go to the polls to elect mayors, municipal councils and seven-member district education authorities. The Government of Nunavut wants to encourage people to run for DEAs or for the CSFN. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

As Nunavut approaches its first universal local election period, the territorial government wants people to think about running as candidates for local school bodies.

This Oct. 28, voters in all Nunavut communities will go to the polls to elect mayors, municipal councils and seven-member district education authorities.

On the same day, some eligible voters throughout Nunavut will elect people to the five-member Commission scolaire francophone du Nunavut, or CFSN.

All those elected to these bodies will serve four-year terms. Under Nunavut’s new Elections Act, staggered elections, where half the board is elected every two or three years, will no longer be used.

To be eligible to run for a DEA, you must be:

• A Canadian citizen

• A resident of Nunavut for at least one year

• A resident of the community where the DEA is located

• At least 18 years of age

You are not eligible to run for a DEA if you are:

• A judge

• An MLA or MP

• An employee of the school or an employee of either the DEA or CSFN

• An election officer, including employees of Elections Nunavut

• Serving time in prison

• Have been convicted of an offence under any election act within the past five years

• Have been non-compliant with financial reporting requirements in a legislative assembly election within the past five years

• Have been found by the courts to be incapable of making decisions for yourself

To be eligible to run for the CFSN, you must be a French-language rights holder under Section 23 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

That means you must meet at least one of these three criteria:

• Your native language is French—the first language learned and still understood.

• You received your education at the elementary level in a French-language school in Canada.

• You are the parent or guardian of a child who has received or receives their education at the elementary or secondary level in a French-language school in Canada.

• You must also be at least 18, a resident of Nunavut for at least one year and not voting in any other school-body election.

Although the only school administered by the CSFN is located in Iqaluit, any person living anywhere in Nunavut who meets the eligibility criteria may run for the CFSN or vote in its election.

If you are an Apex resident, you may run as a candidate for the CFSN. But if you do that, you may not run as a candidate or vote in an election for the Apex District Education Authority.

Also, if you run for the Apex District Education Authority, you may not run for or vote in the Iqaluit District Education Authority election at the same time.

You are allowed to run for only one DEA at a time.

But candidates are allowed to run for a DEA and a municipal council at the same time.

Although the candidate declaration period for school-body elections does not start until Sept. 23, people may download candidate declaration forms now from the Elections Nunavut website.

Starting on Sept. 23, candidates may submit their declarations of candidacy with their local returning officer.

The deadline for submitting declarations of candidacy is 2 p.m. on Sept. 27. People have until 5 p.m. on Sept. 27 to withdraw their declarations.

On Oct. 28, eligible voters will go to the polls to elect DEA members, mayors and municipal councillors in every community.

This will be the first set of local elections conducted under new rules contained in the amended Elections Act, passed by the fourth legislative assembly.

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(14) Comments:

  1. Posted by Crystal Clarity on

    DEA’s are a waste of oxygen and so is the Coalition of DEA’s. They should do away with them. The vast majority of members all over Nunavut can barely read themselves speak less of understanding the Education Act and other important legislation related to education. They have the power to make policy, programs, recommend hiring and firing of people and determining local programs for our children and 95% of them have no clue what they are doing or suppose to be doing.

  2. Posted by Paul Murphy on

    Crystal Clarity – o ye of little faith. You obviously have no knowledge of the DEAs, there directors, their operations nor their support base. Perhaps you could do a better job.

    I do have to wonder why the elections are not staggered anymore. It suggests that continuity and/or history will be lost if all members are elected at the same time. Perhaps someone in the know can expand on the reasoning.

    • Posted by Let’s hear? on

      I suspect Crystal Clarity’s point is an accurate one. But still, I would be interested to hear your counter points, Mr. Murphy. How do you see it being any different? As someone who clearly knows better, paint us a picture.

    • Posted by Crystal Clarity on

      My knowledge of DEA’s and the Coalition is vast. I would not have made such statements otherwise.

  3. Posted by Resident on

    I can’t help but shake my head in astonishment. I think this non staggered, 4-year term thing is going to be very problematic.
    Individuals with deplorable backgrounds get onto DEA’s by default or are voted in. These are individuals who are known for being unstable, aggressive, abusive, etc –they are simply in it for the honorarium. These are individuals who only want such positions to cause trouble in the community– they are far from being leaders. We’re going to be stuck with them for 4 years
    Could this situation be even worse? Oh yes — it sickens me that individuals who are convicted child predators become members.
    I don’t give a s*$# if they have served their time -they should not be involved in anything that has to do with children or schools. Oh, but this is Nunavut, where ‘forgive & forget’ is shoved down people’s throats) — to see these individuals in my school makes my skin crawl Sexual abuse is rampant in the territory! -That such individuals end up as members of a DEA and are ‘meant’ to be shown respect is even more appalling.

  4. Posted by Piitaqanngi on

    All the more reason for people in the know to run for the Boards. People like Ms. Clarity. Otherwise continuity will disappear if new Board members are elected every 4 years. Some years there aren’t even enough candidates to merit an election. Just whoever ran got acclaimed.
    If we just leave it to the folks that are in it for the honoraria then our students are screwed. The vast majority of the current and former DEA members have never completed their schooling. Nor have their children. Yet we see them sitting on those Boards .
    Do you think these people will be promoting education? I don’t think so. So if you are educated, see the value of education and can promote it Nunavut needs you to sit on the local DEA Board. Especially the next 4 years with the former DM returning to her helm.

  5. Posted by Paul Murphy on

    Ms Clarity and Let’s hear. I don’t debate with those who don’t have the where with all to post identifying themselves.

    • Posted by Spud Pie. on

      Why should people identify themselves ?
      Best way to be victimized in Nunavut is to be honest !
      Some of the G.N. workers who have accomplished nothing
      apart from picking up pay cheques, and stealing over the
      years. Let them be honest. Go on tell them !

      Don’t think they will be cause I tell them to.

    • Posted by Let’s hear? on

      Paul, having followed your typically reactionary and poorly thought out comments over the years (this one is a perfect example incidentally) I am going to propose that in reality you have nothing worth saying on this issue. But yea, let’s make it about who uses their “names.”

  6. Posted by Mike hawk on

    I have friends in education in Nunavut for over 20 years and they have never seen a DEA member in the local school. If you don’t have the time to step foot in a school in Nunavut for 1 hour every 4 year term and check up on the bullshit some principals say then please don’t run. Being in a school for 20 minutes once a year should be mandatory for DEA members. Because not every school has good principals. Also if 20- 30 teachers leave a school in under 3 years you might want to get off your chair and look into it. Just saying.

    • Posted by Francis Piugattuk on

      C’mon, get real, we may not necessarily be present DEA members, some ask if I still sit with DEA, but haven’t since 2012 and yet am walking grandchildren to school and interacting with school staff and administration on local education. Painting a picture that all northern parents and guardians and DEA do not even attend schools and classrooms is stretched. Let many run for DEA and let us collectively get rid of social passing for the sake of our children’s future well being.

  7. Posted by Oracle on

    I am running for the IDEA
    I have no Criminal Record, previously taught and want to enhance the education experience for all children – will you vote for me?

  8. Posted by Former DEA on

    The idea behind DEA members is sound. Community input is vital. The more people that get involved will increase capacity in Nunavut. However, the DEA members should have some minimum requirements and expectations. They need training and guidance to do the job effectively. Cmon Education….educate!

  9. Posted by Paul Murphy on

    For those of you who question my understanding of DEAs, I must go back a few years. I was hired by Metro Solomon, the Director of the Keewatin Divisional Board of Education in 1988 as the first Comptroller of that Board. Tom Thompson (retired) was the Superintendent of Schools. Tom made many trips throughout the Region spending time with the principals and teachers regarding program and curriculum changes. Metro and I made at a minimum or two trips each year to each community that involved board training both administratively and financially. All DEA members and board members were actively involved with the schools in there community and were quite conversant in the subjects including regularly visiting the schools throughout the school year, I met over the next three years at least 40 DEA members who were elected by their community and to a man/woman question our administration at any opportunity. They absorbed their responsibilities and all worked for the betterment of their communities. What has happened since? I suspect some southerners have come to the north (perhaps with good intentions as many of us do), with the self perception that they are going to save the northerners from themselves and have taken control from the local residents. The regional boards have been dissolved and authorities that the DEAs had have slowly been taken back. Try that down south and you know where you would be. You might question my support of DEAs and its members, but when I was involved (not because of me) we trained, expected and the DEAs followed board governance as it was meant to be. They may not have had university degrees and some had very little “formal” education as we know it, but they were wise and understood what was best for their communities and actually worked with us. I went on the Headquarters with the department and subsequent to that was hired by the New Nunavut Arctic College until I retired (sort of) in 1995. Training DEA staff throughout the north continued until 2003. And yes “let’s hear” if one has something to say then be honest and not use fake names if you want to expect credibility to your opinion. It is time that NN start ensuring that be the case. In the meantime when I hear BS about mostly local Inuit I will stand up and call you on it anytime, because most of the bs I have found comes from the mouth of the southern “expert”.

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