Métis Employment Student Allowances in Jeopardy

(Vancouver, BC) The BC Métis Federation continues to call on governments to be accountable for supporting the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) while calls for accountability to Métis people in BC have been ignored. MNBC has continued to mislead government partners, Métis communities, and individual Métis people about the state of the financial crisis the MNBC leadership and management have created. As such governments have continued their contracts that provide cash flow for programs administered by MNBC. This cash flow has enabled MNBC to continue their mismanagement while the MNBC organizational debt consistently increases each month. Today the BC Métis Federation believes MNBC has yet to accurately present the true MNBC organizational debt and the tipping point appears to have surfaced this week.

MNBC administers the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS), plus several other programs for Métis communities. BC Métis Federation is aware that youth project funding has yet to be paid for many of the youth project approved in 2011-2012. Furthermore, MNBC is contracted by Service Canada to delivered employment and training services worth an estimated $6.5 million to support Métis individuals with their education and training needs. This includes tuition, living allowances, etc. and is used to assist Métis people enter or reenter the workforce in BC. According to the MNBC Annual Reports they have employment and training offices located throughout BC to support about 800 individuals each year. Therefore the ASETS is a very important program for those most in need to reenter the workforce.

BCMF President Keith Henry stated; “I have been contacted by Métis families this week who are upset about new delays in living allowance cheques to be paid by the MNBC. I assume MNBC would inform their clients about why their living allowance cheques are suddenly delayed. Remember this past May I was informed about late tuition payments from last year and we made this issue public to ensure MNBC took responsibility and did not embarrass the students any further. However if this is true this is yet another tell tale sign of MNBC’s mismanagement and lack of transparency about the seriousness of the financial issues.”

BCMF President Henry added; “It is unfortunate that families are contacting BC Métis Federation directly this week to ask how we can assist. Where is their community leadership? I hope some of the Métis community leaders remaining who support MNBC realize BC Métis Federation predicted that MNBC would not be able to cash manage their debt load and at some point this would impact the programs. These community leaders need to hold MNBC leadership and management accountable when their community members are impacted by MNBC mismanagement, especially those most in need. ”

BCMF President Keith Henry further added; “BC Métis Federation made governments aware of this eventual MNBC financial demise and immediately to implement third party management to ensure programs, such as the ASETS, were not negatively impacted. Where was Service Canada to ensure their funds are protected for clients and delivered on time? I assume Service Canada provided MNBC an advance so why the apparent delay? I understand this is yet to be confirmed by the MNBC but why are living allowances usually paid on a regular basis suddenly late. In fact I have been informed by individuals today that MNBC staff has stated to some clients that the living allowances might be delayed for another week or so. MNBC needs to explain what is exactly going on here as this is impacting those most in need.”

BCMF President Henry concluded; “The BC Métis Federation will continue our contact with the families who have updated us about the situation. Delays are not acceptable when you are dealing with those most in need. What preventative steps have been taken to protect the programs and services in these cases by governments? We hope the ongoing MNBC mismanagement and financial crisis is not the cause, but then again BC Métis Federation has been correct about MNBC’s fiscal situation every time.”

Media Inquiries:

Keith Henry

President

BC Métis Federation

#300-3665 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2

Office 1-604-638-7220

Cell 1-778-388-5013

Email k.henry@bcmetis.com

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10 Responses to Métis Employment Student Allowances in Jeopardy

  1. Tim St. Denis November 4, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    This ship hit the iceberg awhile ago and has been taking on water one compartment at a time. Sadly the students and staff will be those who are thrown overboard . All the while the Board members have set themselves free in lifeboats. The captain has decided to stay with the ship and is rewarding himself handsomely in the process.
    The bank had to make the hard decision because the government would not. That’s politics for you.
    My heart goes out to those MNBC staff members who fought it out to the end and to those students who now find themselves hung out to dry. I could only imagine what it will be like to be half way through a course and suddenly have you lifeline cut. The stress would be unbearable for many I am sure. BCMF came up with a debt recovery strategy that was mocked by those Presidents at the MNGA. Perhaps a roll call of those who voted down the BCMF debt recovery plan would be in order.
    Surely MNBC is not going to blame the RBC while they play the victim once again. IMO.

  2. Trapper1 November 4, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

    Staff are now in hospitals. Marlin had a stroke and no doubt the stress around there did not help the situation. Are they paying him while he recovers with their no short term disability disgrace? Who will fill his place? Another board member trying to recoup their salary. Perhaps one of the other money grabbers from within who could care less about the students. I am sure Dave Hodgson has another one of his relatives awaiting to take the job. Perhaps Colleen Hodgson because she has sure done a bang up job managing the school. That is no longer a school. Where are all the programs? Where are the staff? Where is the accountibilty? Where is the government? Someone needs to step in immediately and fix this mess. I thought dean left? Why is he still there taking money and having another job? How is the new ED being paid? I am left so saddened and embarrassed by what is happening and the community presidents won’t stand up and do what’s right. I feel so sorry for the staff who has to deal with the mess of the board.

  3. metis girl November 5, 2011 at 10:23 am #

    In regards to Tim St. Denis’ comments, did RBC finally do something about the school debt?

  4. Beverly Lambert November 5, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    Thank You Tim.you are so right in the end it is always the students and people who have to pick up the pieces,my heart goes out to them.

    Also,thank you for all the updates Keith,you are doing an awesome job informing the citizens. we really need people to wake up and listen to the truth.
    BC Metis Federation is not making this up,it’s coming folks.Also, we have not put them in Debt,they did it themselves.Just remember everyone,the BC Metis Federation is your metis family,cuz and friends, we will not stand for this kind of dishonesty and only wanted to protect Our Metis Nation.We are also grassroots people who you can talk too,myself and many on our board believe in our Communities and Family First.Many folks and leaders don’t want to rock the boat for the sake of money and it will soon be all gone anyway,so what does anyone get from greed.At least i can say I stood up because i am Proud of our People and will stand beside them,forever.Thanks for listening,

  5. Metis November 5, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    This quote seems fitting at this time in BC Metis politics….

    “If something such as an organization implodes, it is completely destroyed by things that are happening within it.”

    – Macmillan Dictionary

  6. harold Morin November 6, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    The biggest mistake made by Bruce Dumont and the MNBC is that they “thought they had what it takes” to lead the MNBC. Since their election in 2008, the MNBC has been rocked with one scandal … followed by another… and another. The latest fiasco involving delays in paying out badly needed training alldowances to Metis students is shameful. However, MNBC leadership has no shame.

    BCMF predictions on the downfall of MNBC based on overwhelming evidence and cold hard facts has been largely ignored by our community leadership. Metis citizensa have an aboriginal right to acess education. Once again, the MNBC has violated our aboriginal rights and have failed to work in the best interests of our citizens.

    Stay tuned folks … further announcements will be forthcoming that are “bad news”. The present MNBC leadership have proven time and time again that they are “hell bent” on destroying the MNBC.

    My thoughts go out to the staff and students. Once again, they are the innocent victims of a corrupt and uncaring MNBC regime. MNBC leadership have no one to blame but themselves. The finger is pointed directly to this corrupt regime.

  7. Richard Lucier-larson November 6, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    Right when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, it has !!
    As many in our clan have accessed Secondary schooling programs, and helped them graduate, I am a saddened that it has come to this.
    I do hope the MNBC are aware of what they have done, many of us are and will remember.

    We do hope the programs can still survive, and can be re-instated for our youth, but in a more responsible , transparent , manner to actually benefit the Métis Nation instead of enriching a select few.
    Richard Lucier-larson
    A proud Métis who has never taken a Cent for working for the Métis Nation.

  8. Tim St. Denis November 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    I am very saddened to hear about Marlin. He was one of the MNBC’s brightest lights. Even he could only pull a rabbit form his hat so often. The stress he was under would have been tremendous. When the lender realizes it is time, there is little regard for those left standing in the street. Richard is right, things could get very bad from this point. I think of the staff I worked with two short years ago and my heart goes out to every one of them.This is why I have become so involved in the BCMF.
    Regards
    Tim

  9. Metis citizen November 7, 2011 at 7:13 am #

    I cannot believe an organization that is suppose to be a service delivery agency, cannot even fulfill that obligation. One problem after an other, our thoughts go out to Marlin , being just a staff member I can imagine that stress flowed downhill. Not on the directors
    Who caused this mess…

  10. Richard Lucier-larson November 7, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    The failure of the MNBC is fast approaching, I am baffled why it has taken so long.
    When we rebuild please remember what has happened and have policies in place to ensure this will not happen again.
    Richard Lucier-larson
    A Proud Member of the BCMF and the Métis Nation.

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