Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Scandal surfaces in federal debate

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OTTAWA -- So inescapable is Rob Ford these days the Toronto mayor surfaced in a debate over proposed legislation for First Nations' elections as an example to be avoided.

Federal MPs were discussing a bill that would allow the Aboriginal Affairs minister to intervene in drawn-out leadership disputes that affect the governance of a community.

Cue the reference to Ford, who admitted to buying illegal drugs while in office and made a crude sexual comment on live television but stubbornly refuses to step down.

Toronto city council has voted to strip Ford of many of his powers but cannot remove him from office.

During the meeting of the federal aboriginal affairs committee, New Democrat MP Jean Crowder made a reference to the Ford impasse as she talked about mechanisms to remove elected officials from office.

First Nations currently hold elections under three models: under the federal Indian Act, under rules based on their traditions and under self-government agreements.

Under the proposed legislation, the Aboriginal Affairs minister could bring First Nations under a new model if the governance of a community suffers because of a lengthy leadership dispute.

Grand Chief Derek Nepinak of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs told MPs he opposes the bill as it now reads.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 20, 2013 A10

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