December 22, 2016 2:54 pm

Beardy’s and Okemasis band council candidates to undergo mandatory drug testing

Beardy's and Okemasis First Nation passes amendment making it mandatory for those serving on band council to pass a drug test.

AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
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Anyone wanting to serve on the Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation band council in Saskatchewan will first have to pass mandatory drug test.

It was one of 11 amendments the First Nation made to its election act.

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Mandatory drug testing had been unanimously approved in 2008 by the community but never enacted.

“(The) adoption of mandatory drug testing in our election act honours the spirit and intent of that original motion eight years ago,” Coun. Kevin Seesequasis said in a statement.

Other measures passed includes reducing the number of councillors from eight to six and adding election fees.

“The reduction from eight to six councillors will save the Nation more than $350,000 over the course of the term, this is money that can be diverted to service long-term debt or enhance existing programming,” Seesequasis said.

“The new fees for candidates means that the band will no longer incur significant debt to fund our elections.”

Anyone running for chief will have to pay a fee of $400 while candidates for councillor will pay a $200 fee.

READ MORE: Following Their Voices initiative increasing Sask. indigenous graduation rates

Beardy’s and Okemasis First Nation is located approximately 80 kilometres north of Saskatoon.

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