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
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.