Referendum on the regional government - The referendum period begins today in Nunavik

March 21, 2011


Québec, March 21, 2011 – The referendum period leading up to the April 27th referendum begins today. The referendum will deal with the Final agreement reached between the federal government, the Government of Québec and Makivik Corporation, concerning a regional government project for Nunavik. Approximately 7,500 electors will be called upon to decide in favour of the YES or NO option concerning this project. While a large majority of the electors are grouped in 14 northern communities, a number of Inuit beneficiaries of the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement who do not reside in Nunavik will also have the right to vote.
The responsibility for the administration of the referendum lies with the Chief returning officer of the referendum, Adamie Padlayat, a resident of Nunavik. The Chief Electoral Officer of Québec is closely associated with this initiative and is providing extensive support in the organization of the referendum.
The start of the referendum period marks the commencement of the different steps of the electoral process leading up to polling day. It is also beginning today that a certain number of rules concerning referendum expenses will take effect.
Revision of the referendum list and exercise of the right to vote
As is the case for most polls, the process leading up to the April 27th referendum is marked by a number of important elements that should be of interest to all electors.
First of all, only those persons entered on the referendum list will have the right to have their say on the Agreement concerning the regional government. There will be a revision of the referendum list in each of the villages of Nunavik from April 11th to 14th as well as at the office of the local director of the referendum, in Montréal. Two identification documents will be required for entry on the referendum list.
On referendum day, polling stations will be open in each of the communities in Nunavik and in Montréal from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. It will also be possible to vote on other occasions:
·         Advance polling will be held on Wednesday, April 20th, from 1 to 8 p.m.;
·         It will be possible to vote at the office of the local director of the referendum in each of the villages on Tuesday, April 19th, as well as on Thursday, April 21st and Friday, April 22nd;
·         A person who is unable to move about for health reasons can vote at his domicile; however, he will have to submit an application for this purpose by not later than April 14th to the office of the local director of the referendum in his village;
·         Voting will be held specifically for the Inuit electors working at the Raglan Mine on Monday, April 18th;
·         Voting will be held on April 25th in the Ungava Tulattavik Health Centre and the Inuulitsivik Health Centre as well as in the affiliated institutions.
The Inuit beneficiaries of the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement who do not reside in Nunavik will be able to exercise their right to vote in Montréal or by mail. This provision applies, among others, to the Inuit who reside in the communities of Chisasibi, Wemindji, Waskaganish and Whapmagoostui, who will be able to vote by mail. To obtain more information, these electors can contact Sonia Gosselin-Alaku at the following telephone numbers: 514 745-8880 or 1 800 361-7052.
Rules concerning referendum expenses
From the start to the end of the referendum period, rules governing referendum expenses and their financing apply and must be followed. Electors who wish to campaign in favour of the YES or NO option are asked to bear in mind that they must be particularly vigilant if they wish to spend sums of money to promote either option. The goal is to ensure that everyone has equal chances of being heard and to promote the transparency of the actions that will be taken.
The main rules that govern referendum expenses are as follows:
·         Only an elector or a group of electors can register as an intervenor to incur referendum expenses. The registration form must be submitted to the office of the local director of the referendum in the community in which the elector or the representative of the group is domiciled.
·         A referendum expense is the cost of every good or service used up to April 27th to promote or oppose a point of view regarding the Nunavik Regional Government. This includes, for example, publicity expenses. Moreover, advertising must mention the name of the intervenor and, where applicable, the name of the printer or the manufacturer.
·         Registered intervenors must respect a limit on their referendum expenses. This limit is $1 per elector entered on the referendum list for the entire territory concerned by the holding of the referendum. Information on the maximum expenses permitted can be obtained by contacting the office of the local director of the referendum.
·         A registered intervenor can only pay for the cost of a referendum expense out of his own property or out of the property of its members, if it is a group. Expenses cannot be paid by one or more other persons, a company, a union or an association wishing to finance referendum expenses, whether directly or indirectly.
For more information on the referendum in Nunavik, interested persons can consult the special section that is on-line on the web-site of the Chief Electoral Officer of Québec at the following address: They can also contact the local referendum returning officer in each of the villages of Nunavik. This person is generally the secretary-treasurer of this community.
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Category : Nunavik Referendum

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