Kanesatake by-election candidates confirmed over objections

·1 min read

All three provisional candidates for the upcoming Mohawk Council of Kanesatake (MCK) by-election were confirmed Thursday despite objections submitted against one of them.

Shirley Bonspille, Lourena Rurina Montour, and Serge Otsi Simon - MCK grand chief for 10 years until losing last year to Victor Bonspille - will face off on September 24 for the Council seat vacated by Teiawenniserate Jeremy Tomlinson in February.

In all, 12 objections were filed, all of them challenging the same candidate. One of these contestations was invalidated because it was submitted by somebody who is not on the band list.

However, the Kahnawake consulting firm tasked with administering the election, PlanIT Consulting, determined that the contestations did not demonstrate the candidate’s ineligibility. PlanIT declined to identify whose eligibility was contested by the objections.

“Contestations have to outline exactly how a candidate or an interested person violated the electoral code,” said chief electoral officer Maris Jacobs.

“If we receive letters of contestation that specifically point to those areas and there’s a clear violation of the code, that would disqualify a candidate in the eligibility criteria,” she said.

This may not be the end, however. PlanIT has issued a call-out for those who may be interested in joining an appeal board in accordance with the Custom Electoral Code.

“We didn’t want to form the appeal board at the 11th hour after there were contestations,” said Jacobs. In previous years, this body has not been implemented in time for the election.

The appeal board would be asked to weigh similar considerations to PlanIT when considering objections after the by-election.


Marcus Bankuti, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door