Dave Lamouche v. Lester Calaheson, et al.

(Alberta) (Civil) (By Leave)




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Elections – Contested election in a Metis settlement in Alberta – Does the Court’s 2011 decision in Alberta v. Cunningham, [2011] 2 S.C.R. 670, overturning a 2009 decision by the Alberta Court of Appeal, operate retroactively, putting into question the voting eligibility of persons who had obtained membership in a Metis settlement between the time of those two decisions? – Is a voter’s inability to vote in a Metis Settlement election determined on the day of the election or on a subsequent day when he or she is removed from the Membership List? – In light of the Court’s decision in Daniels v. Canada, 2016 SCC 12, are ss. 75 and 90 of the Metis Settlements Act, R.S.A. 2000, c. M-14, unconstitutional?

Mr. Lamouche was a councillor of the Gift Lake Metis Settlement. Mr. Calaheson contested the 2013 Gift Lake Metis Settlement election results on two fronts. First, one person who was elected was ineligible to be nominated. Second, some persons who voted were allegedly ineligible to vote because they were not lawful members of the Settlement.

A judge of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench vacated the election of three councillors other than Mr. Lamouche. The Court of Appeal overturned the decision. It admitted new evidence, ruled that in light of a combination of irregularities, the election of Mr. Lamouche should also have been set aside, and directed that a by-election be held. The by-election took place on September 19, 2016. Mr. Lamouche did not run for office.

Lower Court Rulings

July 28, 2015
Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta

1303 16266, 2015 ABQB 470
Application to determine the validity of an election allowed in part; election of 3 out of 5 councillors set aside; new election ordered
June 10, 2016
Court of Appeal of Alberta (Edmonton)

1503-0226-AC, 2016 ABCA 185
Appeal allowed; election of applicant set aside; new election ordered