First Nation tests political candidates for drug use
Manitoba'sFisher River Cree Nation will perform drug tests on people running for chief and council in the band's upcoming election.
Current Chief David Crate said the approach was approved by members of the community of 1,100 a few weeks ago.
In addition to existing Canadian and Manitoban drug laws, the band has a bylaw in place making it illegal to possess, make, or use illegal drugs on band territory, Crate said.
All band employees are also subject to drug testing.
The testing has now been extended to political candidates, Crate says, and the results will be posted in the community.
"There's hair samples being gathered from those individuals that agreed to submit to the test," he said.
"We use a lab out of Ontario, and basically they analyze the hair samples and send the results back to… an individual in the community that's responsible for testing, and basically she gathers the information and then the names are posted."
Crate has personally signed a waiver agreeing to have his name published along with his test results.
Four of the candidates have not agreed to the testing, and the band cannot force them to comply, he said.
"There has been a few concerns brought forward in terms of the confidential issue about having names posted publicly," he said."But each individual has a decision to make whether or not they want their names released to the public."
Election day on the reserve, 175 kilometres north of Winnipeg, is set for Aug. 16.