BCMF Seeks Clarification on MNBC Press Release and Alleged Stimulus Funding

The following letter was sent by the BC Métis Federation to the MNBC Board of Directors earlier today…

Dear MNBC Board Members;

I write to each one of you today and I sincerely hope you read this factual information and consider the proposal I present to enable progress going forward.

On December 12th, 2011 (last month) the MNBC announced a press release (copy attached) entitled “MNBC Board of Directors make difficult but responsible decisions to move the Nation forward” that focused on a couple of key messages. The MNBC press release is still available on the MNBC website (www.mnbc.ca).

First the main message by the MNBC appeared to be the announcement of the sale of the property at 30691 Simpson Road in Abbotsford. This is the location of the current Métis school and several of the MNBC administrative offices. We have raised significant concerns about the financial sustainability of this purchase since it was improperly acquired in June of 2009. As you all know this has also been one of six issues the BC Métis Federation, and formally the CCMC, raised for the past several years that MNBC has yet to fully disclose all details to their constituents despite numerous correspondences (now over 100).

The MNBC press release goes on to suggest that effective immediately the property will be placed on the commercial market. As of January 5th, 2012 Métis people remain unaware of the commercial sale, listed price, real estate agent, etc. There is no information available online or clarification provided about the MNBC’s next steps in this important matter. Therefore perhaps MNBC can clarify if there is a commercial real estate agent and who that is? Has RBC requested MNBC to sell the property and what is the asking price of the property, what is the contingency planning if the property cannot sell given the current financial crisis we believe is unfolding at the MNBC?

Second the MNBC press release stated that as of January 1st, 2012 that the MNBC Board of Directors will no longer be paid a salary. Therefore we would ask if this includes MNBC President Dumont? The issue is that MNBC President Dumont also was appointed as the CEO in 2011. Therefore is he paid for this position as CEO while still an MNBC board member? Regardless he is a board member and listed and registered on the society papers as a legal director. If he is paid as a “CEO” than this press release statement is not true. As such we would strongly suggest MNBC retract this press release if Mr. Dumont still received a salary for any such role. Mr. Dumont has continued to significantly benefit while managing to put MNBC in the financial crisis it faces today. Here is our estimation of the costs for his service; salary, travel, pension, etc.:

  • 2008-2009 $130,385.31
  • 2009-2010 $138,645.37
  • 2010-2011 $138,645.37 (estimate as MNBC did not disclose the MNBC board expenses and we are confident the actual total was higher)
  • 2011-2012 $138,645.37 (estimate as in the MNBC Debt Recovery First Quarter Report MNBC claims Mr. Dumont will still benefit minimally from a salary of $87,859.26 going forward.
    • Please note this does not include the benefit of a vehicle provided to Mr. Dumont paid for by the MNBC.
    • Please note these figures do not include financial compensation provided directly by other honorariums paid directly to Mr. Dumont, such as any amount he gets paid by the Métis National Council that we estimate are no less than $15,000/year.
  • A total estimated direct financial benefit to Mr. Dumont during his last four year term at the MNBC is approximately $606,321.42.
  • The BC Métis Federation is also unaware if Mr. Dumont, or any other MNBC board members, is paid additional money directly through MNBC contracts.

Our concern with both identified items is the impact of ongoing dishonest MNBC communication that all BC Métis people read and might assume to be true. Moreover consider the impact on false perceptions with governments that provide program funding intended to support Métis people throughout BC. The fact is these MNBC documents lack credibility and honesty, unless proven otherwise by answering or clarifying our questions.

Of course I am sure the MNBC board would have to agree that there are numerous examples to support of our points of view. For example, I attach a previous MNBC press release issued March 25th, 2011 regarding the alleged approval of federal stimulus funding provided by the federal government as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan. This was issued shortly after the last Métis Nation Governing Assembly (MNGA – February 2011) and right before the last Federal Election that was held May 2nd, 2011.

As previously stated I recall MNBC President Dumont speaking at that last MNGA where he boasted and assured the Métis community leaders in attendance about this funding, implying that this would solve some of the MNBC’s financial challenges. We submit this was a MNBC board led strategy as formerly the CCMC had designed a Blueprint Document and a our version of the MNBC Debt Recovery Plan Year One that called for immediate action that would have immediately supported communities, reduced MNBC board salaries, addressed payments for the MNBC loans and lines of credit, plus so much more.

Today, almost 10 months later, Métis people still question whether this MNBC press release was truthful. MNBC President Dumont is quoted as thanking Prime Minister Harper, Federal Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada Honourable John Duncan, and others. However, as part of our due diligence the BC Métis Federation has continued to review the current Aboriginal projects funded by Canada’s Economic Action Plan and it does not appear any project has been approved for the MNBC as yet. Therefore was the MNBC’s motivation only political with the Federal election on the horizon and wanting to indirectly act partisan? Unfortunately MNBC has yet to explain this alleged federal stimulus approved funding in any of their documentation and this example impacts how each of you is perceived.

I continue to look forward to responses from MNBC to clarify the recent questions and points we have raised for your clarification, particularly the most recent correspondence I sent January 3rd. At this point BC Métis Federation can measure the negative program impacts to funding lost by MNBC’s mismanagement at well over 1 million in the last 12 months alone. Imagine how many Métis communities, youth and families could have benefitted if a collaborative approach had been decided by the MNBC. Furthermore it would be interesting for the MNBC board to provide a rationale for their money received to date since elected in September 2008 given the track record over the past three and a half years of massive deficits, poor communication, failed economic development ventures, and loss of program funds to hundreds of Métis people.

The BC Métis Federation continues to welcome an opportunity to meet in confidence with the MNBC board or with a sub- committee of MNBC board members. The BC Métis Federation has arranged a meeting in Vancouver on January 28th and 29th and I strongly urge an in camera conversation with MNBC board members who can show true leadership and integrity to support future resolution. I want to assure each MNBC board member that I can be contacted in confidence and will guarantee anonymity and confidentiality in our discussions.

We collectively can no longer accept what has unfolded in BC and I believe we need to figure out a go forward strategy in the best interests of the BC Métis Nation.

Thank you,

Keith Henry

President
BC Métis Federation

cc:

BCMF Board of Directors
BCMF Members
Métis People of BC
MLAs
MPs (British Columbia)

Downloads:

Click here to download this press release in PDF format. MNBC Press Release Regarding Government Stimulus – March 25, 2011 MNBC Press Release Regarding Simpson Road – December 12, 2011

 

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