The Acho Dene Koe First Nation (ADKFN) in Fort Liard will now hold its chief and council election on April 26, almost two weeks after the original date of April 14.
In an update posted to Facebook, the First Nation said resuming the election process was appropriate as only one case of Covid-19 remains active in the community and the individual is said to be doing well.
“Council is of the view that the risk of further infection is low,and it is possible to set new dates for the upcoming election,” the First Nation stated.
“Our election process must be fair for everyone.”
Nominations open on February 15 and close on March 2, after which the list of candidates will be posted.
The election was rescheduled after last month’s cluster of Covid-19 infections in the community. A containment order issued in response to that cluster caused the nomination period to be postponed as all non-essential businesses were closed, including the First Nation’s office.
That closure meant members could not pick up nomination forms, ask questions, or pay outstanding dues – a condition of running for office.
The deadline for those looking to pay outstanding debts to ADKFN before standing for election will now be Tuesday, March 2 at 4pm.
ADKFN said an electronic voting option will be established for members who do not want to vote in person due to the recent cases of Covid-19.
Mail-in ballots will also be an option, as will casting a vote in person.
The new council is expected to assume office on April 28, though appeals can be filed until May 17.
The First Nation warned that if new, confirmed cases of Covid-19 emerge – or if the GNWT issues another containment order – council may reconsider the dates to ensure the health and safety of Fort Liard residents.