The following letter is written to all Métis people and community leaders in British Columbia…
Dear Métis People of BC,
I write to each of you today to provide more evidence regarding the overall financial insolvency of the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC). Thousands of people from across British Columbia and Canada are following the Métis events unfolding here in British Columbia each week. Over the course of the past two years individuals and organizations having been calling on MNBC to be accountable and transparent regarding the administration of public funding for Métis people in BC. Unfortunately the evidence and undeniable issues facing the MNBC speaks volumes about the true state of financial affairs. Today MNBC has not responded to over 100 direct public requests for information and that alone is unprecedented considering MNBC is a publicly government funded non-profit society based organization.
The absence of MNBC public accountability has resulted in unprecedented organizational debt and real challenges regarding the sustainability of the MNBC. In October MNBC suddenly discontinued their for-profit company, Meet-So Catering Services Limited, which was to provide alleged economic opportunity with no advance notice or explanation to the Métis public at large.
As such please review the following email that was sent to the BC Métis Federation anonymously over the weekend from a Métis source in the interior. The email is from an MNBC elected official who chairs one of seven established MNBC Regional Governance Councils in British Columbia:
From: Smith, Lissa (MNBC)
To: Alberni Clayoqout Metis ; email@example.com ; Clara Dalcol ; Cowichan Valley Metis Nation ; ‘Metis Nation of Greater Victoria’ ; Mid Island Metis Nation ; ‘North Island Metis Nation’ ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; Russell Brewer ; ‘Bill Bresser’ ; Dan McDonald ; email@example.com ; ‘Lorne’ ; firstname.lastname@example.org ; email@example.com
Cc: ‘Trish Parent’ ; ‘badger1’ ; ‘Humpherville, Rob (MNBC)’ ; ‘Barb Hulme’ ; ‘June Graham-Fred’
Sent: Saturday, November 19, 2011 5:17 PM
Subject: Cancelled Regional Governance Council Meeting
Good Evening Regional Governance Council: I regret that we will have to postpone our Regional Governance Council meeting. MNBC at this time is waiting for funds to arrive. We will try and reschedule for the second week in December.
Thank you and sorry for any inconvenience.
Lissa Smith, BSW Regional Director, Vancouver Island, Gulf Islands and Powell River
Minister Responsible for Veterans and Health Métis Nation BC cell: 250-213-5171.
BC Métis Federation brings to your attention that the estimated costs for a Regional Governance Council meeting are roughly $2500.00 – $3000.00. One would assume a $12 million annual revenue organization such as the MNBC could cash manage such minimal costs quite easily. The inability for MNBC to manage these governance costs continues to grow and earlier this month MNBC was quite late with paying approved student living allowances. The real question is how many outstanding payables does MNBC currently owe? What is the true state of the MNBC financial affairs?
In closing BC Métis Federation urges Métis people throughout BC to call upon MNBC leadership to answer these straight forward questions. We also urge Métis people to demand the MNBC Debt Recovery Plan 2nd Quarter Report regarding their 2nd quarter operations completed at the end of September.
MNBC has dismissed BC Métis Federation requests to answer similar requests but this is a serious matter for all Métis people and current programming and we strongly urge community leaders to speak up.
BC Métis Federation
Suite 300-3665 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
BCMF Board of Directors