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Elections Process and Elections Committee Decision

January 19, 2023

Q: Why wasn’t the entire membership allowed to vote?

A: Keith Sullivan resigned in the middle of an election term, and therefore a mid-term election with the Union’s Joint Council was held per the terms of our Constitution. Over 60 elected individuals representing all sectors and regions within the Union voted during the mid-term election.

The next general election will take place in 2024, at which time the entire membership will be given the opportunity to vote if a position is contested. This is different from most unions, which give voting privileges to Convention delegates only.


Q: Why did the Elections Committee deem one candidate ineligible?

A: The arms-length Elections Committee made the decision to eliminate a candidate because that candidate was determined to be an active member of an organization that seeks or sought to represent members of FFAW-Unifor. The organization was still registered as operating, and the candidate was still listed as a director on the government registry.

Per the legal definition, the candidate did not meet the requirements per the FFAW’s Constitution, and the Elections Committee is bound by the wording within that Constitution.


Q: Why was the candidate deemed ineligible?

A: FFAW-Unifor members voted in 2018 to unanimously accept eligibility requirements into the Union’s Constitution with the intention of protecting the institution from individuals who seek to destroy it. The Affidavit is the result of these protections, and the Committee can only interpret what exists within the Constitution. Members had the opportunity, but did not, bring forward changes to these eligibility requirements at the 2021 Convention.


Q: Why couldn’t the Elections Committee have let him run or made an exception?

A: The Elections Committee is tasked with following the Union’s Constitution. They do not have the mandate to make judgement calls or exceptions outside of what is explicitly in the Constitution.


Q: Why did the Executive Board endorse Greg Pretty?

A:  The Executive Board is comprised of 15 elected individuals representing both sectors of the Union. Keith Sullivan’s resignation came as a surprise to the Board and, in the interest of maintaining stability as we embark on the 2023 fishing season, the Board determined Pretty to be the most suitable replacement. Given Pretty’s record as one of the most experienced negotiators in the province and his willingness to run for the position, the Board’s endorsement was a sign of continuity and stability for the FFAW. The Elections Committee has no part in this endorsement.

The next general election will be held in 2024, and should the position be contested at that time, the entire membership will be eligible to vote.