Court halts Thunderchild First Nation byelection for ousted councillor's seat

Article content continuedOn Aug. 31, Linklater filed for an injunction to suspend the byelection. Wednesday’s

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On Aug. 31, Linklater filed for an injunction to suspend the byelection. Wednesday’s decision granted it, ordering the band to hold the seat open until the judicial review is finished.

Linklater, who lives in Saskatoon, wants to be reinstated, arguing in a federal court application last month that the rules are discriminatory to band members living off-reserve.

Linklater said lack of housing means only about 750 of the band’s 3,000 members can live on Thunderchild First Nation. He suggested creating a position for an off-reserve council member, or revoking councillor residency requirements.

Until he retired in 2019, Linklater was a basketball player with the Saskatchewan Rattlers.

Band member Jonathan Jimmy was one of two residents who raised concern over Linklater living off the reserve while serving on council. At the time, he noted Linklater failed to move to the First Nation within 30 days, as the band required.

“If you want to be a leader of Thunderchild, you need to live in Thunderchild,” Jimmy said last month.

The court noted the injunction didn’t reinstate Linklater to his position, permanently or temporarily. That decision will come with the judicial review Linklater applied for last month.

Linklater said he anticipates the review will be held soon, but couldn’t provide a date.

Thunderchild First Nation is located about 113 kilometres northwest of North Battleford.

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