Friday, November 21, 2014

Federal Court quashes decision to remove Mayor Reece of Lax Kw'alaams, reinstates him as Mayor

There have been new developments stemming from the removal of Garry Reece as the Mayor of Lax Kw'alaams.

With word from the Federal Court in Ottawa, that the Court has ruled that the process of his forced departure from office in August was fatally flawed.

As part of the judgment, the court has quashed the order of his removal and has reinstated Mr. Reece as Mayor of the Community.

In a decision issued on November 20th, The Honourable Mr. Justice Manson outlined his findings regarding the case. His review is part of a lengthy 27 page examination of the circumstances of the case, all of which leads up to his Judgment on page 25 of the court document.

From that point the Court's Judgment provides a number of items as to how the dismissal of the Previous Appeal Board was unreasonable and contrary to the Election regulations. Leading to the key points listed in the judgement for those living in Lax Kw'alaams. 

The Process for the appointment of the New Appeal Board was unfair and unreasonable. As such, the New Appeal Board was not properly constituted and did not have jurisdiction to accept the Band Council's petition.

Given that the appointment of the New Appeal Board was invalid, the decision to remove Garry Reece as Mayor is quashed and the appointment of John Helin is invalid.  Garry Reece remains Mayor.

The full decision from the Federal Court has been posted to both the Lax Kw'alaams website and Facebook page.

A short notice on the website page outlines that further communication regarding the decision will be shared with members of Lax Kw'alaams soon.

More background on items of interest from Lax Kw'alaams can be found on our archive page.

Update: Lax Kw'alaams held a Community Update Meeting on Friday evening at the Highliner Inn in Prince Rupert. The session was closed to all except community members, it was anticipated that events related to recent developments would be discussed at that meeting 

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