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Election coming, here's how the TFN comprises its government

Elections are usually held every three years
tfn election tfn government
TFN electors may vote in person at a polling station and all voting-age members will also receive mail-in ballot packages.

The Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) will be holding a general election on Oct. 15.

The election will be held for TFN members who elect one Chief and 13 Legislators to form the Tsawwassen Government.

The role of Chief was recently left vacant after the passing of Ken Baird, who was elected Chief in April 2019.

In accordance with the Tsawwassen First Nation Election Act, a first notice for the election was already issued last month. 

A candidate must be eligible for the office for which they wish to run and must be nominated at a nomination meeting that will be held Sept. 2.

Following the General Election, members of the Legislature will chose their Squiqel (Speaker), who is responsible for chairing meetings, maintaining order and ensuring that Legislators have a fair opportunity to speak.

The Squiqel for the 2019 to 2022 term is Executive Coun. Steven Stark.

The TFN’s Executive Council will also be determined following the election. It is made up of the four Legislators receiving the highest number of votes in the election as well as the Chief.

The Executive Council is responsible for managing day-to-day matters and providing strategic direction to the chief administrative officer and Tsawwassen Government. Meeting on a weekly basis, it is also responsible for passing regulations, approving policies and preparing laws and budget considerations for the Legislature.

Following the election, members at the TFN at their annual general meeting select seven people to be members of the Advisory Council. Any member ages 13-and-over can run for a seat.

The Advisory Council acts as a mechanism to ensure that proposed laws, regulations and other issues are considered by Tsawwassen members in an open forum, prior to being reviewed by the Executive Council and/or the Legislature for approval.

The Tsawwassen Government also includes a number of statutory bodies that are established through legislation or through an order from TFN’s Executive Council.

They include the Consultation Committee, which is comprised of non-member leaseholders who represent the major leasehold interests on Tsawwassen Lands.

They are consulted on issues that significantly and directly impact their interests, including various regulator structures and economic development initiatives.

Among the other bodies is the Property Tax Committee, a statutory body established under the Tsawwassen Property Taxation Act.

It is comprised of members of TFN’s Executive Council and non-member ratepayers.

The TFN election will take place on the same day as the municipal elections in the City of Delta.

TFN members can’t vote to elect who will be on Delta council, because Delta is a separate local government, but can vote for candidates who want to be trustees on the Delta School Board.

Non-TFN members who reside at the First Nation can’t vote for candidates for either TFN Government or Delta council, but can vote for candidates for the Delta School Board.

For the first time, a polling station will be set up at the First Nation where members and non-members can vote for Delta School Board candidates.