Brenda Joly is the new Chief of Kehewin, after pay-for-votes corruption allegations against Gordon Gadwa lead to his disqualification. Kehewin held an election for Chief on September 29th, 2015 following the tribal election from March 2014 being deemed null and void in a federal court.
The tribe held an election for Council on September 1st, following the court’s May decision. Seven people were elected to Kehewin Tribal Council, three new Councillors Benjamin (Benny) Badger, Brenda Joly, and Trevor John. Returning to Council were Gordon Gadwa, Willie John, Jason Mountain, and Vernon Watchmaker.
Following the Tribal Council election was the Chief election on September 29th, where Gordon Gadwa was deemed the victor.
However, shortly after the declaration, on October 5th, barrister Tina Dion filed an appeal calling for Gadwa’s disqualification due to paying for votes.
It was determined by the electoral officer, Loreen Suhr, of Loreen Suhr & Associates, that Gadwa be removed from Chief position and that the second in line, Brenda Joly be declared Chief of Kehewin.
I found on a balance of probabilities, that Gordon Gadwa has engaged in corrupt election practices. -Loreen Suhr Elections Officer
Gordon Gadwa fired back by putting forth an appeal on October 13th, alleging that Brenda Joly was not qualified to serve as Cheif and further Joly, Jason Mountain, and William John engaged on a payign-for-vote corruption scheme during the election
Gadwa’s counter allegations were found to be unfounded.
I found on the evidence on the balance of probabilities, that there was no merit in the appeal by Gordon Gadwa, therefore the appeal was dismissed in its entirety -Loreen Suhr Elections Officer
A third appeal was filed shortly on October 22nd, shortly after the decision was made to dismiss Gadwa’s appeal. The appeal was filed by Arnold Joseph Paul, alleging that Brenda Joly paid him and another community member, Tammy Gadwa.
On October 30th, Lureen Suhr came to the decision that the third appeal had no merit and was dismissed.
I found on the evidence and on the balance of probabilities, that there was no merit in the appeal of Arnold Joseph Paul and therefore the appeal was dismissed in its entirety. -Loreen Suhr Elections Officer
With the third appeal dismissed, Brenda Joly will remain as Chief of Kehewin. With the disqualification of Gadwa, from the September 1st election for Tribal Council, Councillors will move up one spot. Thus, the person who received the eighth most votes will now be election onto Council. That person, Eric Gadwa, was the Chief from the May 2014 election that was deemed null and void.
The former Gadwa has yet to accept a seat on Council.