(Vancouver, BC) The BC Métis Federation has been calling on the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) leadership to disclose all business information regarding the Métis School that was purchased in June of 2009 in Abbotsford BC. MNBC board members, Métis community leadership supporters, and government allies have dismissed BC Métis Federation inquiries and requests since questions were raised in 2009. In a major turn of events today internal sources at the MNBC have confirmed that the MNBC board will immediately put the Métis School for sale.
BC Métis Federation suspects MNBC leaders and their consultants are contriving clever messages about how to deflect the responsibility for another failure of this latest MNBC so-called profitable enterprise. Once again BC Métis Federation is the first to inform Métis people throughout BC about this situation and we will be closely monitoring future MNBC information and communication about why this sudden fire sale of the building and land located at 30691 Simpson Road in Abbotsford, BC.
BC Métis Federation President Henry stated; “Concerned Métis people raised serious issue with the manner in which the MNBC board purchased this building and land in June of 2009. They borrowed millions and made claims about the future sustainability that MNBC has never been able to support. In 2009 many of us could not understand how the MNBC board could borrow millions without proper consultation and approval in terms of a special resolution at an MNBC Annual General Meeting. Instead of addressing our concerns respectfully the MNBC leaders and their supporters carried forward a major negative personal attack campaign. MNBC leaders and their supporters described anyone in opposition as villains, liars, etc. although many of us knew without a sound business case this purchase of land and building located at 30691 Simpson Road in Abbottsford was very risky, especially with the amount of debt financing required.”
BC Métis Federation President Henry added; “I wonder if people will remember our MNBC Debt Recovery Plan Year One that we tried to present last February 2011 at the Métis Nation Governing Assembly? Our plan made a number of practical recommendations, including the immediate need to sell the property and building at 30691 Simpson Road as we forecasted cash flow would be at a crisis level for MNBC in 2011 and have a major impact on programs and services. Instead Métis Nation Governing Assembly members heard MNBC President Bruce Dumont make a number of insinuations and claims against our efforts to assist, including another interesting claim that Prime Minister Harper’s office themselves approved $1.5 million in stimulus funding. Was this actually true and if so where are these resources?”
BC Métis Federation President Henry further added; “I look forward to MNBC providing details or an explanation about this situation. IS MNBC actually selling the land and building? Who is the real estate broker and what price? This appears to be a fire sale and I hope people remember that MNBC owes a substantial demand loan, additional line of credit, outstanding property taxes, substantial payables, increase to the organizational debt, etc. We anticipate that MNBC will be far worse off by the irresponsible leadership who has jeopardized all programming due to cash flow crisis even if the building and land sell quickly. Once the dust settles we are confident that MNBC will remain with a substantial organizational debt and nothing to show for it.”
BC Métis Federation President Henry concluded; “Since their last AGM only in September MNBC has closed their catering company and the Métis school future is uncertain given these new revelations. I encourage people to watch the MNBC AGM utube videos where MNBC leaders and the government friends speak about the vision and how great the school was for the future of the MNBC. Not once did any of the speakers, including government friends, pause for a moment and ensure sustainability was checked first. The MNBC board should resign for allowing this situation to develop, the Royal Bank needs to be accountable for any risk assessment their staff reviewed to approve 3 million in loans to the MNBC while using program resources as collateral, and the Provincial and Federal Governments must share responsibility for blindly supporting MNBC mismanagement . Consider how the average tax paying British Columbian or Canadian would view this situation especially as we witness the strong opinions about Aboriginal communities, such as in the Attawapiskat situation, where there is a perceived inability to manage financial resources. This MNBC board’s failure and lack of full transparency are not reflective of us all but unfortunately hurt all of us when these situations arise. It will be hard for anyone to defend as the public reviews the history of how this MNBC misfortune has unfolded. I repeat we predicted this outcome in 2009 and our predictions continue to be proven time after time. Our responsible solutions have been ignored.”
BC Métis Federation
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