Fred Fortier was elected Chief of the Simpcw First Nation in spring 2015.
Fred Fortier was elected Chief of the Simpcw First Nation in spring 2015.

By: Korie Marshall

Fred Fortier, recently elected as chief of the Simpcw First Nation, has resigned.

In a letter sent to the Simpcw membership and posted on the community’s Facebook page, Fortier said he submitted his resignation on July 21 at the request of the Simpcw Council at it’s regular meeting the day before.

Fortier’s letter says there are certain obligations to make sure boundaries are not crossed under the code of ethics that chief and council sign when elected.

“As a business owner of 4TR Ventures Ltd I have crossed that boundary in an email to SRG general manager Sam Phillips that was BCC to an employee of a corporation that we do business with,” says the letter. “I apologize to the Simpcw membership for this lack of judgment on my part and wish the best for the Simpcw people in the future.”

It is believed SRG refers to Simpcw Resources Ltd, of which Fortier is also listed as a member of the board of directors. BCC is a common term for “blind carbon copy”.

Fortier served on the council for 26 years, and was sworn in as Chief on June 1st, 2015. He beat out Keith Matthew by a vote of 79 to 58 in the election on April 12. Councillor Tina Donald is now Acting Chief, according to the Facebook post.

In a separate election on April 26th, Tina Donald, Tom Eustache, George Lampreau, Ronald Lampreau and Shelly Loring were voted in as Councillors, beating out Keith Matthew, Duane Eustache, and Jules Philip. Don Matthew was acclaimed as the Off Reserve Councillor on March 4th. Former chief Rita Matthew did not run again.