The following letter was sent to Bruce Dumont, President, Métis Nation British Columbia, the Honourable Mary Polak, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, Province of British Columbia, and the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Government of Canada.
The British Columbia Métis Federation (BCMF) writes to express our continued disappointment that despite the ongoing evidence and proposed BCMF solutions regarding the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) there appears to be nothing done to take immediate corrective steps to address the financial issue. New financial information regarding MNBC operations recently surfaced that demands immediate attention.
MNBC has now posted the Métis Education and Employment Training Trust (ME&ETT) Financial Statements earlier this week on the MNBC website in relation to financial operations between April 1st, 2010 and March 31st, 2011. The ME&ETT financial statements were signed off September 19th, 2011. The ME&ETT financial statements directly relate to the overall financial operations of the MNBC as the Métis Skills and Employment Center (the Métis School) in Abbotsford is a subsidiary of the MNBC. MNBC released their nonprofit corporate financial statements at the end of August 2011 regarding the Métis Provincial Council of British Columbia (MPCBC) however did not release the ME&ETT financial statements at that time. MNBC held their Annual General Meeting (AGM) September 24th and 25th and it is unclear about whether or not delegates who attended had all financial information. In addition MNBC has yet to present any audited financials regarding MEETSO Catering, another subsidiary established by MNBC in 2011, at the time this letter has been drafted.
BCMF provided a thorough review for governments, MNBC, and the Métis public to review entitled BCMF Financial Overview September 2011 on September 13th, 2011. However, BCMF was limited by their ability to more thoroughly assess the total MNBC debt because financial information, such as the audited financial statements of the ME&ETT and MEETSO Catering, was not fully available as of last March 31st, 2011. The MNBC financial statements are not consolidated by the MNBC or their auditors regarding the overall financial position although required in the MNBC Constitution and should be considered mandatory considering the need for full disclosure and transparency. The current ME&ETT financial information posted on the MNBC website this week creates a significant change in the financial position of the MNBC as of March 31st, 2011:
Over the last two years MNBC leaders have made various verbal claims that the ME&ETT was profitable despite the absence of timely financial statements. MNBC released an audited ME&ETT financial statement October 27th, 2010 after the 2010 MNBC Annual General Meeting (AGM) only after being questioned by Métis delegates as to why there were no financial statements made available by MNBC management and leadership for review at the time of the AGM. Constitutionally, as per the MNBC governance process, the MNBC is required to present all financial statements available at the time of the 2010 AGM and it was noted that the verbal report presented at the 2010 AGM for ME&ETT was not consistent with the actual financial released one month later. Due to the late presentation of the written financials, MNBC members were unable to address the financial concerns properly during the 2010 AGM
During the last MNBC Métis Nation Governing Assembly (MNGA) held February 2011 MNBC leadership and management reported the ME&ETT would yield a profit in 2010-2011 of approximately $300,000 and that the profit would be used to offset MNBC administrative costs. The ME&ETT 2010-2011 financial statements made public this week do not support the MNBC verbal claim and in fact reveal that the ME&ETT actually realized a debt of approximately $80,000 during this past fiscal year.
The ME&ETT audited financial statements for 2010-2011 increase the overall MNBC debt as of March 31st, 2011. The actual MNBC financial debt as of March 31st, 2011 is $2,503,601.00 and not the MNBC reported $2.3 million. See attached PDF for the 2010 and 2011 financials.
MNBC presented their Debt Recovery Plan to the public in May 2011 which indicated the total MNBC debt is $2.3 million as of March 31st, 2011. The release of the ME&ETT proves that MNBC leadership and management is neither transparent nor accurate about the true financial position of the MNBC. Obviously the MNBC auditing firm Manning Elliot had the total financial position as of March 31st, 2011 so why did MNBC and Manning Elliot not make these financial statements for ME&ETT as a combined statement for the Métis people of British Columbia? As the ME&ETT is a wholly owned subsidiary and with the same year end, why is it not consolidated into overall financial statements? Regardless the issue stands that there is a further accumulated deficit only now being reported to the Métis people.
Once again, BCMF is asking all parties, what is being done to address this serious financial crisis? MNBC continues to demonstrate the inability to be transparent, accountable or realistically solution focused. BCMF has presented numerous recommendations for immediate implementation and the ongoing delays have significantly increased the MNBC debt. Can anyone explain how the Métis people of BC will ever recuperate the millions in debt caused by the serious mismanagement?
BCMF urges governments and MNBC to take immediate action to ensure Métis people are not more negatively impacted. BCMF is open to meet and discuss responsible next steps at your earliest convenience.
British Columbia Métis Federation
Suite 300-3665 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC, V5R 5W2
BCMF Board of Directors
Mary Lou Kenney, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Government of Canada
Rod Cunningham, Service Canada
Arlene Paton, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation