The brother of Lower Kootenay Band chief Jason Louie says he has no choice but to step down or be removed.
Rob Louie, a legal scholar who worked on the case brought by their uncle Wayne, is commenting following a federal court review of an arbitrator’s ruling.
The arbitrator allowed Jason to remain chief, despite accepting an unauthorized $5,000 bonus in 2009.
The federal court says the arbitrator’s decision was “unreasonable,” and has asked him to revisit it in light of their ruling.
Two present band councillors are also affected. In April, they agreed to repay the money, three years after a BC Court of Appeal decision indicated they breached their fiduciary duty.
Rob Louie says if a majority of council steps down or is removed, the band may have to rely on hereditary leadership to guide them.
Wayne Louie set Friday as the deadline for Jason Louie to be removed as chief before he would press the arbitrator to review his decision.
Rob Louie says the judicial review has provided certainty for other band councils across Canada.
He adds that a new chief may take a different view on Retallack Lodge’s application for backcountry tenure for heli-skiing, biking, and hiking in the southern Purcell mountains. The current band council supports the proposal.