Monday, November 9, 2015

Federal Court of Appeal upholds ruling in favour of Lax Kw'alaams Mayor Gary Reece

A long travel through the legal system has reaffirmed the position of Mayor Gary Reece in Lax Kw'alaams with a judgment from the Federal Court of Appeal delivered last week.

The document was released on Thursday, highlighting the five key elements the court considered from the events of 2014 that had temporarily removed Mr. Reece as the top elected official in the community.

The Mayor was returned to his office last year, after an initial ruling which noted that those that removed him in the first place had no authority to do so.

Among the findings delivered as part of the Thursday ruling:

1. The dismissal of the previous Appeal Board was unreasonable, contrary to the Election Regulations and invalid;

 2. The Band Council therefore had no authority to appoint the New Appeal Board;

 3. 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 as Mayor is invalid. Garry Reece remains Mayor;

 4. The Band Council Resolution of July 28, 2014 seeking the removal of the Mayor did not conform to section 22 of the Election Regulations and is invalid; and

 5. The application is otherwise dismissed. 

 6. The respondents are awarded their costs of the appeal, the cross-appeal and in the Federal Court.

Mr. Reece offered a short comment on the ruling from the Court, which was posted to the Lax Kw'alaams website and Facebook page on Friday aftnernoon.
Last week the Federal Court of Appeal
upheld their previous ruling reinstating
Mayor Gary Reece to his job as
Mayor of Lax Kw'alaams

“This has been a long and drawn out process, and I’m happy it’s over so I can focus on the important matters related to our people – developing our local economy and protecting our sea resources,” -- Lax Kw'alaams Mayor Gary Reece, with a statement following the release of a decision from the Federal Court of Appeal.

The full judgment can be reviewed from the court document posted earlier today to the Lax Kw'alaams website.

Some background on the events of last year and the follow up months of legal proceedings can be found below:

November 2, 2014 -- Federal Court quashes decision to remove Mayor Reece of Lax Kw'alaams, reinstates him as mayor.

Media reviews of the situation in 2014 can be found from our Archive page, see August.

The announcement from the Federal Court of Appeal arrives just weeks ahead of the Lax Kw'alaams Election, with Mayor Reece seeking another term as elected head of the community north of Prince Rupert.

The election in Lax Kw'alaams takes place November 19th from 9 AM until 8 PM.

For more items of interest on Lax Kw'alaams see our archive page here.

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