Elections Canada offered a sole sourced contract worth nearly $1 million to the Assembly of First Nations to engage in voter outreach even as key members of the organization made highly partisan statements calling for the defeat of the Conservative government.
Documents obtained through access to information detail a contract worth up to $975,000 that included a clause calling for the AFN to be non-partisan while acting as a supplier of services to Elections Canada. Under a listing of “Minimum Essential Requirements” in the statement of work, Elections Canada included this statement, “Certification that they are able to comply with an avoidance of political partisanship provision.”
Despite the provision, key leaders of the AFN called for the Conservative Party to be thrown from power even as the organization they represented was working for Elections Canada to increase voter turnout among aboriginal voters.
Several of the comments were made from the main podium at the AFN annual general meeting in Montreal last July and reported on by major media outlets.
A lengthy article in The Globe and Mail quoted Derek Nepinak, the Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, “We all have the ability to cast a ballot to effect change in Ottawa. We can mitigate the damages by voting for a different government in this upcoming election.”
Nepinak also told the crowd that they need to make sure that when they returned home to their communities that the youth they represented were registered to vote.
Nepinak advocated voting strategically for the Liberal or New Democrat with the best chance of defeating the Conservatives. “Look to the polls to see who is closest to overthrowing the representative in blue. Is it going to be orange or is it going to be red?” he said.
“Strategically vote to make sure that blue doesn’t get in there. I have no qualms in standing here and saying I have lost all faith in this federal government in terms of listening to us and advancing our interests,” Nepinak was quoted as saying by Postmedia.
Also quoted by Postmedia were leaders from Ontario and Quebec:
“These are very exceptional times,” Ghislain Picard, the AFN’s regional chief for Quebec said outside the meeting. “We’ve had nine years of a Tory government that has done nothing positive for our people."
Grand Chief Pat Madabhee of Ontario’s Anishinabek Nation began his address to a session on getting out the aboriginal vote by joking, “I’ll keep this very brief. We’ve got to get rid of these Conservatives. Thank you.”
A copy of the Advance Contract Award Notice detailing what was expected of the AFN during the contract period specifically said there was a great need to be impartial and non-partisan.
“Due to the nature of the requirement and the importance for Elections Canada to disseminate information to the public in an impartial and non-partisan manner, an avoidance of political partisanship clause is a requirement,” the contract notice reads.
Asked whether Elections Canada ever raised the highly partisan statements with AFN’s leadership or revoked any part of the contract, a spokesman for the organization released talking points on the important outreach work being done by the AFN.
“Elections Canada priority is to communicate with all electors on where, when, and ways to vote and register in the upcoming election,” John Enright said via email.
“These communications efforts target all groups that may need additional information about voting, including First Nations, seniors, homeless and student electors.”
JOIN TheRebel.media FREE for more fearless news and commentary you won’t find anywhere else.
READ Brian Lilley's book CBC Exposed -- it's been called "the political book of the year.”
Canada needs a conservative infrastructure to influence the culture!
SIGN UP at RebuildTheRight.ca to be part of this new movement