The following letter was sent today to the Honourable Mary Polak, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation for the Province of British Columbia…
Dear Minister Polak,
I am writing to provide your office continued information regarding items related to the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) and the effects on Métis people throughout British Columbia. The British Columbia Métis Federation (BCMF) respects the position of the Province of British Columbia has indicated as it relates to the MNBC but we will continue to seek new engagement and relationship building with the BCMF and the Métis communities and members we represent and work with.
I bring to your attention a copy of a special resolution (attached) that was passed at the recent MNBC Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Abbotsford, BC. This special resolution was present during the MNBC AGM with no advance notice to the MNBC citizenship card holders prior to the AGM. There was minimal attendance at this MNBC AGM and the special resolution was questioned by individual delegates. The special resolution appears to have enabled the MNBC board to approve new loans or credit facilities without any minimum or maximum amount, no defined period, and is open ended without any strong rationale for this sudden special resolution. The MNBC board has ultimate authority to borrow money now and in the future without prior approval by the members given the manner in which the special resolution was drafted. This similar ultimate authority created the current financial crisis for the MNBC when in 2009 this board approved a mortgage and additional line of credit without informing the MNBC citizenship card holders.
BCMF is concerned for a number of reasons given the manner in which this special resolution was drafted and presented. First MNBC did not provide any advance public notice that their special resolution would be brought forward for AGM delegates to approve on September 24th. Second the special resolution is invalid if proper notice was not provided in accordance with the BC Society Act that your government is responsible to uphold in terms of how incorporation’s are operated in BC, especially those nonprofits that benefit from Provincial Government funding. An excerpt of the BC Society Act law is attached and highlighted in terms of the definition and process required by any society, which MNBC is under their corporate secretariat the Métis Provincial Council of British Columbia, when dealing with a special resolution. MNBC did not provide 14 days notice as a minimal requirement.
The fact is MNBC once again did not follow proper minimal legal requirements and is likely in the process of using the improper passing of this special resolution at their recent AGM to present to lending institution. The result will be increased debt for their nonprofit corporation and delays by the MNBC board to address the financial issues they have created with less than one year on their existing term.
BCMF continues to welcome future opportunities to discuss BCMF priorities. BCMF remains committed to ensuring Métis people have responsible government that understand and respect due process. This situation demonstrates the ongoing inability of the MNBC to meet minimal requirements the Provincial Government requires any society in BC to follow.
BCMF will continue to present information to further illustrate and educate governments about the intensifying challenges MNBC mismanagement continues to create.
British Columbia Métis Federation
Suite 300-3665 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
BCMF Board of Directors
Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, Government of Canada
Members of the Legislative Assembly
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