Government Responsibility Regarding Métis Representation, Programs and Services

The following letter was sent by the BCMF to Premier Clark and Prime Minister Harper earlier today…

Dear Premier Clark and Prime Minister Harper,

The BC Métis Federation continues our efforts to demand transparency and accountability as it relates to public funding for Métis people in British Columbia administered and delivered by the non-profit organization Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC), incorporated as the Métis Provincial Council of British Columbia. We have made numerous requests for years to MNBC for full public disclosure with absolutely no success. These concerns continue to mount and we urge each of you as leaders to read this correspondence carefully, review the facts, and understand the BC Métis Federation can and are committed to supporting solutions in the best interest of all. Therefore we request a meeting as soon as possible to discuss these matters.

Unfortunately each of your government representatives (Ministers Responsible for Aboriginal People) has remained steadfast in their support for the MNBC despite clear evidence provided by the BC Métis Federation. The BC Métis Federation has sent numerous correspondences to governments that were clear, concise, and fact based about our issues as they related to MNBC. However, at this point we believe there continues to be a concerted effort to ignore the issues by each of your governments regardless of the increasing program resources being lost each day due to the significant mismanagement by the MNBC.

I provide each of you our review of the handling of this situation by governments to date:

1. Federal Government 

MNBC has been supported by senior Federal Government officials, program funding from various Federal departments, and specific Federal Government representatives. The Federal Government provides the majority of MNBC’s funding (estimated at $12 million/year) from numerous departments and programs. MNBC has dramatically increased their insolvency for the last few years and there has been absolutely no measurable action by Federal Government representatives to ensure program investments are not lost despite the efforts of BC Métis Federation to raise concerns.

Some of the results and impacts to the Federal Government are that Heritage Canada programs for Métis youth are now seriously in question and a significant amount of employment and training funding from Service Canada appears to be reduced for 2011-2012. This is created because of MNBC’s mismanagement, redirection of project resources to cover other MNBC costs, and increased inabilities to cash manage given their increasing debt. We know MNBC has now lost over $1 million in program revenues (largely employment and training services) for Métis people in 2010-2011 and we anticipate more significant losses for 2011-2012.

Despite the ongoing years of mismanagement MNBC claimed they were awarded stimulus funding of $1.45 million as of last March 2011 from you as Prime Minister and your Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Honourable John Duncan (copy enclosed). Today (over 10 months later) there has been no further information provided by MNBC to validate this claim. The BC Métis Federation has thoroughly reviewed the projects awarded funding through Canada’s Economic Action Plan and MNBC’s alleged project is not listed to date. Furthermore, it is our understanding that the Federal Government funded the MNBC Debt Recovery Plan in 2011 as a proposed solution to increasing questions and demands by Métis people in BC given MNBC’s increasing debt. However, we believe Federal Government officials have not completed important and necessary due diligence to advise and update your offices accurately to ensure this MNBC Debt Recovery Plan was followed. The MNBC Debt Recovery Plan is a miserable failure today.

2. Provincial Government 

We are disappointed with the responses to date from the Provincial Government Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. I enclose a letter sent by Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Honourable Mary Polak to a Federal MP (Honourable Elizabeth May) where she once again suggests that MNBC has implemented a Debt Recovery Plan. Minister Polak writes that this will ensure a balanced MNBC budget in 2011-2012 and ensure surpluses in future years to begin to reduce the accumulated MNBC deficit. We submit that the Minister’s statements are misleading and inaccurate and we suspect her officials have not briefed her accurately.

MNBC has already reported losing $20,000 in the first quarter of this current fiscal year 2011-2012. MNBC claimed that people would be able to track their debt recovery progress each month. This MNBC commitment remains outstanding and impossible now as MNBC has not posted one new MNBC debt recovery monthly update since the release of the MNBC Debt Recovery Plan in May 2011. The BC Métis Federation has made numerous attempts to obtain an update but MNBC has not responded.

What is challenging about the Minister’s latest response is the suggestion that MNBC is somehow properly and appropriately managing this self created financial disaster. Perhaps the Minister is not informed properly or aware that MNBC announced the sudden need to sell off the school only eight days before on December 12th? Perhaps she did not realize MNBC had to close Meet-So Catering Services Ltd. in October after confessing that this attempted economic venture was not making money and therefore not a viable revenue source for the MNBC Debt Recovery Plan. These are important points as they are highlighted as essential components of the MNBC Debt Recovery Plan.

Sadly the recent MNBC economic failures point to additional significant increased financial losses by MNBC that will further impact the ability of MNBC to cash manage existing programs. In fact, we have been informed that MNBC’s bank (RBC) may have requested MNBC to sell their property and that is what prompted MNBC to make the announcement December 12th, 2011 regarding the need to sell this property.

More importantly our concern with the situation and the role of the Provincial Government is further stressed by questions surrounding the purchase of the school from School District #34 (Abbotsford School District) in June 2009. The BC Métis Federation has completed extensive research and here are some of the conclusions:

  • We believe the sale of the property owned by School District #34 was made possible by the approval of the sale through the BC Minister of Education in 2009 in accordance with a revised Provincial Government policy established in September 2008.
  • We know the Provincial Government has closed 194 public schools between 2001 and 2011; many of these properties remain owned by the School Districts throughout BC. At this time the MNBC made the decision to purchase the property we have discovered that there were an estimated 171 properties that had been closed by various School Districts. There were other opportunities for leasing or bids available at that time with less financial risk.
  • We know that Honorable Michael De Jong (with the current Provincial Liberal Government and now the Minister of Health) is an elected MLA from Abbotsford West and has continued to be an advocate for the defense of the purchase of the school at MNBC functions.
  • We know that this school location was closed in 2006. The School District #34 reopened under the name Abbottsford Traditional Middle School and relocated at 2272 Windsor Street in the same year.
  • We know that School District #34 was unsuccessful in 2008 with a public tendering process for the commercial sale and disposition of this property. It remains unclear what public tendering process the School District #34 used to sell to the MNBC (located at 30691 Simpson Road tendering process #5946) in June of 2009 a year later.
  • We understand School District #34, as with many School Districts in BC, faced annual Provincial Government overall budget reductions in 2010 of a reported $6.1 million.
  • We have reviewed School District #34’s minutes and cannot locate any record of the decision by the trustee’s to sell this property or how this decision was reached.
  • School District #34 sold the property to MNBC, for $2.2 million in June of 2009. The School District policy when selling land or property is:

Any purchaser or lessee must satisfy the Board that it has the ability to meet the financial obligation to the Board, and the Board must be satisfied that the disposition of the facility or other property is at fair market value. 

What remains unclear in light of our research is how the nonprofit organization MNBC was allowed to purchase the property, satisfy the due diligence with the bank, School District #34 (as per their policy) and the Provincial Government. Also it must be noted MNBC, a nonprofit society, did not consult with their communities as required by their constitution and bylaws prior to this purchase in 2009. MNBC has not provided and feasibility study or mandatory business plan to disclose any MNBC research proving the merits of this venture for the Métis people. Less than three years later the failure of the MNBC to operate and sustain this school and property is clear and now the MNBC board have jeopardized all programs and services they were entrusted to oversee.

In closing we continue to urge your governments and officials to meet with the BC Métis Federation and consider a new alternative representative organization to support the needs of Métis people in British Columbia. Further I respectfully suggest that government officials review the facts we have presented and respond to our queries. We must ask, is this current situation due to either government’s mishandling? We believe that the evidence and research supports significant risk to both governments. As such we strongly urge your offices to review our Blueprint Document and MNBC Debt Recovery Plan Year One (sent previously to your offices). This will showcase the accuracy of our work given the current situation unfolding at the MNBC.

The ongoing financial mismanagement exhibited by this MNBC board has resulted in the loss of over $1 million in much need program dollars destined for supporting Métis people in British Columbia in only the last 12 months. The MNBC debt has been allowed to grow unmonitored and has now reached unprecedented levels. The impact to many of our Métis people in need is unjust (possibly criminal), unethical, and incredible. There is no excuse for any government to refuse to take responsible action in this situation and many of our Métis people remain puzzled that no concrete action has been exercised by either the Federal or Provincial Government? MNBC has made a few last minute efforts but these appear to be far too little, too late and the resulting losses to programming to date and in the future are unforgiveable.

Please contact me at your earliest opportunity to meet and discuss how the BC Métis Federation believes next steps can be taken. I can be reached at 1-778-388-5013.

Thank you,

Keith Henry

President
British Columbia Métis Federation

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

cc:

BCMF Board of Directors
BCMF Members
BCMF Statement of Cooperation Métis Communities
MNBC Board
MLAs
MPs

Downloads:

Click here to download this letter in PDF format. Click here to download the MARR Letter – December 20, 2011. Click here to download the MNBC Government Stimulus Press Release – March 25, 2011. Click here to download the MNBC Simpson Road Sale Press Release – December 12, 2011.

 

21 Responses to Government Responsibility Regarding Métis Representation, Programs and Services

  1. Daryl Piper January 10, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    Since September 2009 the Coalition of Concerned Métis Citizen’s and continuing with the B.C. Métis Federation has been sending correspondences to the Métis Nation of British Columbia, Provincial Government, Federal Government, Royal Bank of Canada, and the Métis communities notifying them of impending financial disaster if immediate steps were not taken to control the finances and we even offered to assist them in remedying the situation. The former CCMC even put forth through their own resources with the creation of the Blue Print Strategy along with a debt recovery plan. First of all the debt recovery plan took the steps that would have immediately reduced the debt and provided $500.00 per month for each of the Métis communities and along with the Blue Print Strategy would have ensured the long term sustainability of the MNBC.

    I squarely put the blame on the Provincial and Federal Governments, the Royal Bank of Canada for this mess along with the MNBC leadership’s gross mismanagement and incompetence. In fact the former CCMC had a meeting in 2011 with the Provincial the Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation Minister the honorable Mary Polak and discussed the situation in depth and also provided her with all the documentation pertaining to the situation. The Honorable Minister’s response to the situation was that she had concerns and to date nothing has been done and in fact her ministry along with the Federal Government continues to support the MNBC this is irresponsible and unacceptable. This behavior from both levels of government is atrocious.

  2. Jennifer January 10, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    Good morning Keith,

    Well that was a heavy read this morning. Great read. You put yourself on the line, . I am sure the governments will not like to be held accountable for this fine mess. The government will either ignore your letter so they do not have to admit wrong or shit is going to hit the fan at MNBC.

    Tell me ….with the current board’s term up soon and I am certainly not running again,
    How will the current BOD be held accountable after the fact?
    Who is going to have to pay for the for the mistakes of the current BOD?
    Who is going to want to be on the MNBC board in the new election with such a mess?
    What happened to accountability to the Metis people?

    The government should be ashamed of themseves. MNBC, Federal and Provincial.

  3. Metis 2012 January 10, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    I wouldn’t be so quick to blame the royal bank, but the governents to enable this organization to operate without a mandate from it’s communities. The royal bank is doing it’s due diligence in freezing bank accounts after the mismanagement. I do believe the governments are supporting this criminal activity of election misappropriation, director self benefit and financial shuffling of funds. Harper’s government accountability bill obviously doesn’t extend to the Metis.

  4. Keith Henry January 10, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    Thank you Daryl, Jennifer, and Métis 2012;

    I wanted to add some responses here given the notes.

    First Daryl you are 100% right in that we met with the Provincial Minister Polak in June 2011. We presented her a review and have since followed up with fact based evidence for months. This included no less than 13 correspondences to her office to explain the increasing concerns that we predicted and have come true; every single one. This same information was also sent the Federal Minister’s office. Their offices have provided a few limited responses, most of which state very little in terms of concern or any sense of urgency to better understand or address these major issues.

    Second Jennifer you also raise another great point. The next MNBC General Election is September 2012, about 8 months from now. However, MNBC leaders have already stated they will not run again. I have been saying that unless we force this to be addressed now, they will walk away, never to be seen again, and leaving the MNBC in a mess. Well the MNBC is now closer to complete financial collapse each day and to let these people go without taking responsibilities for their mess is unjust. If they followed MNBC policies, MNBC would not be in the current mess they are in. They have deliberately misled people all the while taking money when the MNBC could not afford this.

    Imagine MNBC board members have led their followers and government officials to believe this is okay. This is not. There really needs to be a forensic audit to uncover how this MNBC board could overspend by millions in these last three years. If necessary the authorities may be required to take action. In my view, taking money from a non-profit (that is what MNBC is) that cannot afford it is … Worse yet redirecting program funding to offset their costs makes me further angry as this will have far reaching affects for programs governments have contracted MNBC to deliver.

    The current MNBC financial mess will take years, if not decades to fix. The cost to MNBC will be further significant loss of programs (MNBC has already lost over a million), loss of trust to invest in our Nation, and major hurdles by governments to be comfortable investing in capacity for Métis communities and agencies doing great work. The MNBC board is hurting all Métis organizations by their failures whether they admit it or not or whether Métis people understand this or not. Trust me I predict we will feel this for years to come.

    Other answers Jennifer:
    • Holding an MNBC board accountable after the fact may not be possible if MNBC dissolves.
    • The only way to pay the millions in MNBC debt now is through program savings. Therefore no matter what you hear, MNBC will negatively impact programs for millions in current losses, there is NO way around this.
    • At this point I cannot imagine anyone wanting to get into this mess and be on the MNBC board. The MNBC board has no resources to support future boards and this board has negatively impacted future boards for years.

    I hope people realize the situation for what it has become. Given the major issues, and for the good of future programming, MNBC should dissolve so the debts go with it. We need to reorganize and rebuild.

    Jennifer you are right in saying I am on the line. I know this but will not be stop until the matter is properly addressed once and for all. MNBC board has never learned a lesson or admitted they were wrong. If they had any class they would resign or come out and put facts on the table. Why don’t they produce their updated MNBC Debt Recovery Plan reporting we have repeatedly identified. I know I am doing the right thing and will keep fighting this nonsense.

    Governments need to take immediate action, meet with the BC Métis Federation and ensure no a dime of programming for Métis people is lost. So far governments do not meet that test from any perspective.

  5. Metis January 10, 2012 at 5:02 pm #

    Where is the MNGA going to be held, it is less than 8 weeks away without any notification of its location. There has to be some venue these directors can be held responsible specially when theft is involved. Yes, strong words but a forensic audit would show ineligible expenses, transfer of MNBC property to directors (red river rangers assets, and MSEC assets). The red river rangers items were observed by a few of us in the internal to pass into the hands of a board member.

    Remember it took until 2008, for saskatchewan to bring forth fraud charges for misappropriation that occured in 2001-2004, and just in court now in 2011. These things take time, it would of been prudent of past financial staff in there to start saving evidence or have the camera turn on them when this house of cards falls.

    Saskatchewan Metis – Fraud
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/story/2012/01/09/sk-metis-addictions-council-plea-1201.html

  6. Resolutions January 10, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    Get those resolutions in to make these directors financially accountable.

    For those who have never sat on boards before you have a “DUTY OF CARE”, and if you breach your “DUTY OF CARE”, it can be followed upon by the court of law by evidence submitted as such.

    BOARD
    The term “Board” is used here to encompass the governing structures of civil society organizations such as the MNBC. By “Board” we mean the governing body of the organization. It is usually made up of volunteers. Some organizations may call this body an “Executive Committee” or the “Management Committee” or “Board of Directors” or something else. We use Board to mean that group of volunteers charged with overseeing the management of a civil society organisation.

    One of the main responsibilities of a Board is to oversee the financial control and accountability of an organization. The money used by civil society organizations and projects (such as MNBC) is public money, and belongs to communities not individuals. One of the responsibilities of the Board is to ensure that this public money is used appropriately to benefit all those it is intended to help. The Board exists to represent those groups of people that the organization is intended to benefit and to be accountable to those people or agencies that provide the money to make this possible. In some organizations, the Board delegates some of its functions to a Finance Committee. However, all members of the Board still remain responsible, and accountable for, the finances of the organization. Proposals put forward by the Finance Committee must be approved by the full Board.

    The financial roles and responsibilities of a Board include:

     ~Ensuring that the organisation has adequate resources to carry out its functions.
    This may not mean actually raising the money, but it does mean monitoring the
    finances carefully.
    ~Ensuring that the organization uses its time and money well. The Board must see to
    it that money is not wasted or used to benefit staff members instead of achieving the
    organisation’s objectives.
    ~Overseeing the acquisition and management of resources. The Board has to make
    informed decisions about how the money of the organisation is spent. This is
    particularly so when the organization wants to buy resources that are costly. It is
    also the responsibility of the Board to see that such resources are well looked after.
    They are part of the assets of the organization.

    Board members have something which is called the Duty of Care. This means that each Board member is expected to be attentive to the affairs of the organization, and to behave in the way a reasonable and careful person would behave. The Board can delegate some of its areas of work to experts (e.g. an auditor) but it still has a duty to understand the finances of the organization and to raise concerns about them. The Duty of Care requires a member of the Board to read and understand the financial statements, and to keep track of the organization’s financial situation. The Board must ensure that the organization keeps proper, up-to-date financial records. Board members must attend Board meetings, read all documentation given to them, review available information, and monitor any special areas that have been assigned to them. Board members may need training to help them fulfil their Duty of Care.

    Board members must:
     ~Approve the budget, after due consideration;
    ~Approve a budget policy that sets discretionary levels (telling the Chief Executive
    Officer how much s/he can spend without special Board approval)
    ~Approve all financial policies and other policies that affect the finances of the
    organisation.
    ~Review monthly and annual financial reports, looking specifically at variances,
    balance sheets, and cash flow statements.
    ~Monitor progress in generating funds.
    ~Review the audited statements.
    ~Review the bank balance periodically and make decisions about longer term
    investments.
    ~Check that the assets, as listed in the assets register, are actually there.

    A resolution put forward to ensure that the current board is accountable if proven to breach the ‘duty of care’ would be advisable. MNGA Resolutions must be submitted by an MNGA Member by 430pm on January 23rd 2012.

    Please email (preferred), mail or fax resolutions c/o Tracey
    Thornhill, Executive Assistant traceyt@mnbc.ca for the MNGA Clerk.
    If by fax: 604.557.2024
    If by mail: 30691 Simpson Road
    Abbotsford, BC V2T 6C7

  7. MetisCitizen 2012 January 11, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    As we look around for someone to blame we put the government in our sights, and partially it is their fault for putting our nation in this predicament, by not demanding accountability. It is also the fault of the presidents that sat at the table of the MNGA, and those citizens that went to the AGM’s that didn’t ask enough questions. As much as the MNBC shut our mics off, they cannot defeat numbers.

    I also agree, I believe there is enough evidence to put forth a resolution regarding a breach of a “standard of care”. I wouldn’t bother with a resolution it is going to fall on deaf ears or a shut off mic, and perhaps the lacky lawyer that will be grandstanding saving his pocket book.

  8. J Gunn January 11, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    I believe the obligation in regards to “standard of care” lies upon the members of the Metis Nation BC, but who has a lawyer in their pocket?

    Unfortunately for directors and officers of charities and NPOs, as opposed to for-profit
    corporations, identifying the standard of care with any precision is a challenging task. This is
    because the sources of law governing charities and non-profits are at best a mix of the law of trusts, the law of corporations and the prerogative jurisdiction over charitable property by the courts of equity.

    This difficulty has been described by as being… exacerbated by uncertainty about which standard of care is to be applied. Moreover, different persons or authorities may have jurisdiction to apply differing standards or to have the rights, duties and obligations
    enforced. These persons and authorities include: members of the organization; members of the public; the department incorporating the corporation; Canada Revenue Agency; provincial revenue departments; departments responsible for labour; the Attorneys General; and the courts.

    At the federal level, the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (“CNCA”) provides for an objective standard of care for directors and officers of federal not-for-profit corporations. The CNCA received Royal Assent on June 23, 2009 and is expected to come into force in June of 2011. In this regard, subsection 148(1) of the CNCA states:

    Every director and officer of a corporation in exercising their powers and discharging their duties shall:

    (a) act honestly and in good faith with a view to the best interests of the
    corporation
    (b) exercise the care, diligence and skill that a reasonably prudent person
    would exercise in comparable circumstances.

    The reality is the bank and the city of abbotsford will seize the property if the debt is not paid. The claims that we have Metis land, goes out the window specially when it is ‘fee simple’. The option of resolutions is moot at this point.

  9. keith henry January 11, 2012 at 9:44 am #

    Good morning Resolutions and all,

    I acknowledge that a process to bring forward resolutions is an option. I just want to caution though that we have put this strategy forward several times, along with the items you have quoted. There is clear MNBC policies in the Board Manual and Finance Manual that was written and should have prevented this situation from ever getting to this point.

    The challenge is that most of the current MNGA members (MNBC board members or community leaders) do not understand, or choose intentionally not to understand the major crisis that has been created. MNBC and their supporters have proven to me that they will do whatever it takes to “win”.

    As stated since June 2011 the BC Metis Federation is calling on people to forget the MNBC and move on. You can do this by terminating your MNBC citizenship card, having your community sign an Statement of Cooperation with BC Metis Federation, getting a BC Metis Federation membership application in, and writing emails and letter to your Federal member of Parliament (MP) or Provincial Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). We see this works. Look how Mr. Rishard Lucier-larsen wrote the letter to his MP (Honourable Elizabeth May) and she listened and took action for one of her constituents. We all must do our part now…

    I know this is not easy for many to hear but we believe the MNBC is dead, perhaps somewhat functional today but the fact is it is going to die a painful financial death and drag many down in the process. It has been dying for the last three years and there will be no getting out for MNBC.

    I ask everyone to really think about rebuilding with the BC Metis Federation. We can do this, we can force individuals to be accountable, and we can hold governments accountable for allowing this situation to unfold despite numerous requests? This will take time but together we can rebuild.

    The upcoming MNGA will be another gross display of MNBC manipulation and that is a fact.

    I truly pity any new MNBC board member who thinks they can fix the millions in debt and repayments they will face…

  10. Joe Desjarlais January 11, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    This is a great letter you wrote here. It is well documented and in my view clearly explains the current risk to the political future of both levels of government. These issues keep bubbling to the surface. It demonstrates the denial of so called leaders across the board, and perhaps even more significantly, appears to show how government elites and their co-opted supporters seem to lack any ethical scruples when it comes to Metis people in Canada.

    Lurking behind this discussion is the cesspool of dependency and we are facing an issue that is very timely and supported by broader historical considerations. The status-quo and its associated spin by ‘those who know best’ is part of their bankrupt development logic and assimilatory structures and policies.Theres no equality or justice here. I’m willing to bet that other Canadians wouldn’t want to be treated like this. its easy to draw a line between prevailing attitudes and policies in Attiwapiskat and our Metis issues in BC.

    This mess in BC indicates a real low point in the history of Metis/Canadian relationships. In my view, the governments must do the right thing at this point and work toward ethical alternatives with the BCMF and Metis people and communities. its time for governments to act now. Our only way forward is to reimagine ourselves out of this dependancy relationship and move together toward a real, meaningful relationship between Metis people and Canada where our governance and public strategies actually serve Canadians.

  11. Daryl Piper January 11, 2012 at 11:15 pm #

    Those of you who feel that some how we can save the MNBC are sadly mistaken. The MNBC leadership continue to breach their governance, bylaws, constitution and their code of ethics. It will not matter what you do to attempt to make MNBC accountable because the system has been corrupted and is dysfunctional. The system is broken and beyond repair.

    I agree with Keith the only way to end the MNBC dictatorship is write to your federal and provincial mla”s and cut up your MNBC membership card and join the BC Metis Federation because it’s time to move on and the BCMF is the alternative. We are transparent,accountable and put communities first. Its time to rebuild our Nation.

  12. J. Gunn January 12, 2012 at 12:04 am #

    I agree daryl, there is no fixing this. Living a swirling pool of debt you need a constant stream of revenue. What has MNBC produced ? Promises of a culinary school named Meetso catering, then a construction company, the roller derby girls leasing of the gym. Pipe dreams at best. When any venture is explored it has a sound feasibility plan, economic study, and most importantly brought before the Metis community for ratification. Where was this purchase ratified? Where was the community in its decision for its sale by the communities. We are in the dark with no communication. Why does the MNBC need us as citizens anyway when everything is done in secret. We are just numbers for funding, and government appeasement they are actually doing something for the Metis, while the funding only benefits the directors, and family, and a select few community supporters. I am appalled by the lack of action by the government, and the betrayal of our own in our community.

  13. Richard Lucier-larson January 12, 2012 at 12:08 am #

    Keith your : “Look how Mr. Richard Lucier-larsen wrote the letter to his MP (Honourable Elizabeth May) and she listened and took action for one of her constituents. We all must do our part now…”
    Funny how this is working out, I talked to Elizabeth May this Evening , and made an appointment to talk to her this Friday to bring her up to date, I will make it a point to have her read the last weeks news releases and posts posts, Perhaps this will instigate her to ask a Question in the House regarding the affairs of the MNBC.
    I personally do not intend to devote much time to the end of the MNBC.
    In our community we made the choice, lets get on with rebuilding the Métis Nation

    Surtout Liberté
    Richard Lucier-larson

  14. Name Withheld January 12, 2012 at 12:32 am #

    I doubt Christy Clark would do a 17-day hunger strike in front of Parliament Hill to demand the relocation of families at risk next to Canada’s largest toxic waste site, the Sydney tar ponds in Cape Breton. If a organization stifled Metis democracy it would have C. Clarks name on it. The BC government letter that supports MNBC as our representatives goes against these principles:

    1. Free speech -by manipulation of our AGMS/MNGA’s
    2. Accountability & Transparency
    3. Community right to be apart of our governance
    4. Right to choose our representatives- obviously tainted by the election scandal

    Keep up the fight BCMF, patience is a virtue as dictators fall on their own.

  15. Sherle January 12, 2012 at 12:39 am #

    “The ships in the bottle until the cork falls out”

  16. Metis Of Course January 12, 2012 at 1:02 am #

    I attended the last few MNGA’s since I live close to the heart of its location as an observer. One thing I must pass to the BCMF is the observation of the resolutions. A few instances I have noticed not only manipulation of what is brought before the MNGA. My community is in North Central and was apart of the formation of the resolution brought forward that any industry activity in our community directly is received by our community, as we are the community that industry directly effects. If anyone attended the MNGA meeting Allan Howell presented our resolution that was quickly shot down by Bruce Dumont by grand standing. The resolution would of been a great asset as any industry that affected our local community in regards to disruption of Metis land usage would of came directly to the local. Of course in its defeat, all revenues including enbridge go to MNBC, and we know it goes to pay high paid lawyers, and directors. Community base representation needs to be built, as this organization has lost touch with its communities, and hell bent on playing politics with those that oppose it. Time for a new beginning.. !

  17. Keith Henry January 12, 2012 at 8:17 am #

    Great comments everyone and I hope to hear more from others regarding this situation and the role of government.

    Thank you Richard (sorry about the spelling mistake when I posted) for your follow up efforts with your constituency MP Elizabeth May. Please be sure to thank her for taking the time to write and I hope other Métis people from throughout BC use your leadership as an example to go visit their local MP or MLA in person and have a conversation. I can assure everyone that BC Métis Federation correspondences have been sent to all MP’s and MLA’s offices via email. I have received automatic responses acknowledging receipt from almost all of them. Therefore the question will be have these Provincial or Federal government elected leaders taken the time to understand the issues? If not I hope our Métis supporters know they need to refer these people to the BC Métis Federation website. Remember that you have all of this information on our site to pass along, including the story of how we got here located on the main page. It is a telling story to say the least.

    I also want to speak about the issue raised by “Métis Of Course” and this is a MAJOR issue. MNBC and their supporters have created an impression throughout industry and government that the only way consultation should occur is through MNBC. The effect of this is MNBC solicits money from industry that should go to support the communities as this is where projects affect Métis people. I saw the resolution brought forward by President Alan Howell of Fort St. James and if anyone is following this is a major route for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines Project. Today it is clear, using this example, which MNBC board members will decide if the project is good for Métis people? The question needs to be asked what has MNBC benefitted for support and what are the future benefits going to do and for who? We all know this is a very divisive project and now the Joint Review Panel hearings have started. MNBC is making submissions and we are positive the affected communities do not know what position MNBC has taken and why. That is only one of many projects MNBC is trying to ensure they are consulted about.

    I continue to call of people to take action and understand these issues by reading and getting involved. The future is still what we make it. Ask governments (MLA’s or MPs) to understand your views about MNBC, you elect them. Send emails to MNBC to demand they answer questions; such as what they are doing in relation to their debt, outstanding project payments, Enbridge and other projects.

    Finally I just want to provide my insight regarding ignoring MNBC as suggested in a post. Yes we can do this but we have to all understand that standing up for what is right to support Métis people in BC is part of the goal here. MNBC has misspent millions in the last 3 years, have repeated one foolish Ec. Dev. Project scheme after another, and main stream governments do not recognize the situation for what it is. BC Métis Federation is the solution in my mind but we have to help all Métis people and stakeholders (governments, industry, and Métis service delivery organizations) understand why this came about. This builds trust and showcases absolute transparency .

    I thank all of you who support this vision.

    I hope to hear more comments about the posts and your thoughts about the role of government regarding the financial demise of MNBC.

  18. Tim St. Denis January 12, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    Having witnessed my last two AGMs and MNGAs I am appalled at the posturing, lying, intimidation, cheating, bullying and down right rudeness by those whom attended. The end result is upon us. I have never witnessed this in any organization I have been apart of. Again no other organization I have been part of has met this demise. If we do not openly condemn this behaviour we condone this behaviour. I cannot believe how many people are remaining silent and are not posting their feelings.

  19. Keith Henry January 12, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

    By the way all everyone;

    Here is another glaring example of the cause and effect of MNBC mismanagement and how it affects youth projects at the community level. This is a point BC Métis Federation has been raising for quite some time. No response to our requests to MNBC and we are not sure what this organization has been told by MNBC. What we see is that this is an email sent earlier this am about the youth project in Abbottsford with the Fraser Valley Métis Association, one of 15 youth projects awarded funding by MNBC for 2011-2012. The email was sent by their President Michelle Laverne:

    All FVMA Youth Cultural Activities & FVMA Youth Employment Strategy Activates have been suspended at this time. We will reinstititute the program activities once funding has been received. All participants who have already registered will retain their seat, and will be informed of the reactivated or new date. Thank-you for your patience.

    It appears clear that FVMA must have initiated this project and likely was provided some funding by MNBC. That is interesting considering we have researched and are aware of many of the 15 who have yet to receive any approved youth funds.
    With the recent departure of the Director of Youth staff member I question what is actually going on here?

    Just another point for those Métis people wondering what is going on and who to believe…

  20. metus January 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    Take a look at the board of directors and the upper management and tell me who is surrounded by their family Nepotism at its finest.

  21. Metis January 14, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    Tim, the AGMS everyone is civil until the government reps leaves, then you get the fear mongering, “is any of you elders scared out there!” I just about fell off my chair. As an elder I was more appauled at the shutting off the mics. Anyone notice the dirty looks from a board member to the relative at the switch board when the CCMC got up to speak. Democracy at its finest. AGMS are a waste of time for all of who attended.

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