Immediate Call to Action Regarding Student Allowances

The following letter was addressed to all Métis people and community leaders in British Columbia…

Dear Métis People of BC,

I write to each of you today to seek your immediate assistance regarding a situation that appears to be unfolding in British Columbia due to the ongoing financial challenges facing the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC).

The BC Métis Federation has been contacted by individuals and concerned family members this past week regarding Métis people who have been funded through the Métis employment and training offices throughout BC. MNBC is provided approximately 6.5 million annually by the Federal Government through a program managed by Service Canada. It appears MNBC is late paying student allowances and many tuitions for students who began their studies in September 2011. The living allowances provide Métis individuals their basic needs (rent, food, etc.) and we believe the MNBC delay in payments will affect several hundred students.

The BC Métis Federation is asking for your assistance to contact us if the MNBC late program payment for their employment and training program affects you or your family member. We intend to follow up with the Federal Government and if necessary the media to immediately address this situation to protect the needs of Métis students. We believe MNBC has been advanced the contract funds by Service Canada to ensure timely living allowance and tuition payments for Métis individuals so this is extremely concerning.

It is unclear what is causing the delays in MNBC providing approved payments but this is unacceptable and must be addressed without delay given the needs of Métis people who face financial barriers. MNBC has not informed clients exactly what the situation is but we suspect the ongoing financial crisis is the root cause.

Please contact me either by phone (1-778-388-5013) or email k.henry@bcmetis.com. I can assure individuals who contact the BC Métis Federation that action will be taken to support you.

Thank you,

Keith Henry

President
BC Métis Federation
Suite 300-3665 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2

cc

BCMF Board of Directors
BCMF Members
MLAs
Rod Cunningham, Service Canada

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