Completion of 2011-2012 Fiscal Year MNBC Debt Recovery Plan

The following letter was sent today to the MNBC Board of Directors…

Dear MNBC Board Members,

I am writing this letter to both request an updated progress report including 2nd and 3rd quarter financial statements for the 2011-2012 fiscal year (as I know that the 4th quarter will not be available yet) and to pose some very relevant questions regarding the MNBC’s progress as it pertains to the fiscal goals of the MNBC Debt Recovery Plan (DRP).

The BC Métis Federation has thoroughly reviewed the MNBC 1st quarter report and the April 2011 Update as posted on the MNBC website. As I am sure that you are aware, the 1st quarter report is extremely misleading in its claims of success. The MNBC reported that the 1st quarter Operational Deficit had been reduced from $90, 504 in the first quarter of 2010 to $19, 233 in the first quarter of 2011. Although one might assume this is accurate based on the information that MNBC provided, upon closer review, the saving were made by spending essentially no money on furthering Métis citizenship and Registry (a disservice to the Métis people) and through a Staff Salaries and Benefits Savings which you achieved through eliminating ALL short term disabilities AND having all staff members contribute 20 percent of their salaries to the benefits package. Example number two of how debt recovery can be easily achieved by providing a disservice to our own working Métis people. Moreover, the savings to the Staff Salaries and benefits were only $29,642, so please help us to understand how that savings could be so low when the MNBC totally eliminated two key, high paying positions (Chief Executive Officer ‘CEO’& Chief Operating Officer ‘COO’ ) AND charged the employees 20 percent whilst totally cutting short term disabilities. Should the numbers not accurately reflect all of these changes or were the CEO and COO working free of charge before they were removed from their positions?

The questions surrounding the lack of clarity on the employee salaries and benefits pale by comparison to those of the MNBC Board of Directors “budget line”. One cannot help but notice the greatest travesty of the 1st quarter report: The MNBC Board of Directors salaries were reduced from $79,340 to $78,748 saving a grand total of $592.00. With all due respect, how do you justify this? You will dismiss your own people from their positions, put a strain on those already making low salaries compared to the ever rising cost of living; yet continue to put yourselves, the MNBC Board beyond reproach and answerable to no one. Your own balance sheet says it all, you have no respect for the positions that you hold or loyalty to the people you are meant to humbly serve – the Métis people have given you opportunity after opportunity to redeem yourselves and the MNBC as a body that operates in the best interests of the Métis people, and yet, you have failed all of us, once again with your blatant disregard for ethics. Thank you however for your transparency, so that at least we are all aware that the MNBC Board of Directors continues to serve themselves before all others. Based on your own publications, you have at least given the Métis people of British Columbia the opportunity to see it for themselves in writing.

There are many other discrepancies and misleading claims of “progress” in the first quarter report of the DRP, such as the “installation” of version 6.0 of the ACCPAC accounting system. Please don’t insult the intelligence of the Métis people, this is not a “reportable success” this is a simple office administrative duty which is necessary and accomplished by almost any functioning business in the country in order to record account payables and receivables. The installation of ACCPAC will not curb the overspending of the Board, garnish MNBC Board salaries or generate a new source of revenue. This is but one of MNBC’s published examples of how very little was actually accomplished or implemented in order to fulfill the “overall road map to our zero-deficit destination” as quoted directly from MNBC’s own documents.
The Métis people can demise from the MNBC’s first quarter report and the lack of distribution or transparency of any reports since April 2011 (one full year later) that in spite of over expenditure on travel in the first quarter, “as a result of board travel required to undertake DRP-related work and day-to-day business of the MNBC.” , the DRP was not successfully implemented and that the “zero-deficit destination” was far from reached. In fact, it has been reported that not only was MNBC not able to pay off its grandiose debt but to add insult to injury, the MNBC has further indebted the Métis people by overspending by yet another million dollars. This means another million dollars that will not go to programs and services, another million dollars that the Métis communities will never be able to utilize to keep their culture alive, another million dollars that could help our Métis children and families so that youth can be educated, language preserved and most importantly; allow the Métis people to decide what is important and how a million dollars should be spent. Shall one assume that the Métis people should simply be at peace with the knowledge that at least those they entrusted to take care of the best interests of the Métis community received their paycheques. And for those longstanding Board members that stepped down in September 2011 as the DRP was being implemented, do we thank them for not partaking in the overspending another million dollars?
The BCMF, on behalf of many concerned Métis citizens respectfully requests that the MNBC Board of Directors explain publicly in whatever manner it chooses how the government funded Debt Recovery Plan could go so wrong that the MNBC recently verbalized at their Métis Nation Governing Assembly that the end of the 2011-2012 fiscal year could realize a further deficit of $1,000,000. Based on some simple calculations this means that the MNBC on behalf of the Métis people of British Columbia now carry a debt of approximately $4 million dollars. What went wrong? As the claimed representatives of the Métis people, you owe each and every one of them an answer. But please, before the MNBC claims that the sale of the Simpson Road Property will “alleviate all fiscal debt” as it is valued at $6, 040,000 (as per MNBC’s report), remember that the Métis people are already asking themselves, “If it is so easy, why haven’t you done it?”

Now, following putting the Simpson Road Property on the market, the only honest and accountable action that the MNBC could undertake at this point, is the release of the financial reports including “consolidated statements of financial position and consolidated statements of revenues and expenditures statements” as produced by the MNBC’s “new and improved” standard budget template and the upgraded ACCPAC system (as reported in the MNBC’s Progress on Administrative Track Objectives). Please don’t deny the Métis people the answers they deserve or try to use the excuse that the “general public” can’t understand the accounting system. Regardless of one’s educational background, the majority of individuals know the difference between a (+) sign and a (-) sign and they also know the difference between right and wrong, such as continuing to restructure and eliminate Métis jobs whilst maintaining a Board of Directors in a lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.

The BCMF sincerely regrets that the MNBC has put the Métis people in this predicament. The BCMF Board of Directors made numerous attempts to reach out to MNBC to implement a debt recovery plan (under the Coalition for Concerned Métis Citizens), to engage in negotiations and to problem solve as a team. MNBC chose to refuse our requests to open dialogue, spoke with ill will regarding our newly formed organization or simply did not acknowledge the BCMF’s existence. How much further down is MNBC willing to take the Métis people before graciously exiting the arena?

As the BCMF is aware that a realistic debt recovery plan for the 2012-2013 fiscal year is premature, the BCMF patiently awaits the MNBC’s 2012-2013 Financial Statement to see the true gravity of the further financial demise. If you have any questions for our organization, please feel free to contact myself.

Keith Henry
British Columbia Métis Federation

Click here to download this letter in PDF format.


9 Responses to Completion of 2011-2012 Fiscal Year MNBC Debt Recovery Plan

  1. Dean Lenglet April 12, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    It is very unfortunate that your letter will fall on blind eyes and deaf ears. The people who are “running” MNBC have demonstrated very clearly over the past few years, that they are completely devoid of any logic, truthfulness, or business sense of any kind. They came into these positions with many of our blessings and a sense of hope that they would be good for our nation. This has turned into a catastrophic nightmare for the BC Metis nation at large. I cannot believe they won’t admit their complete and utter stupidity and resign. I can only hope that when they are looking for work somewhere, that they don’t do this same thing to someone else. These people have ruined a once proud and united group of people. What a group of idiots.

  2. Free Metis April 13, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    The funny thing is somebody voted them in……ultimately who is to blame if the MNBC voters vote them in and then the community ‘Presidents’ don’t have the stones to control them?

  3. Keith Henry April 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    Free Metis,

    Are you really serious on this spin? The MNBC leaders are all grown ups who have boasted about their vast experience in leadership, personal wealth, buying homes, debt recovery, etc. They have professed to be assisting the Metis people and do you expect people to think they did not owe accountability to the community? Do not allow MNBC board members to get off so easily by such comments. They made the decisions, not the people, that led to this current mess. I also think there is a number of community presidents in BC who should crawl away because there were mechanisms to force some MNBC accountability but the majority did not. We will ensure these people are exposed in time, I can assure you that.

    However, again the MNBC board bought a school without any prior referendum or resolution approval, they ran debts while spending money on themselves, and so much more. Do you expect people to believe the grassroots knew this and the ramifications? I think you and anyone else better rethink this line of thinking.

    What I can say to you is that the MNBC board has kept people in the dark and in effect are 100% responsible for their own demise.

    To say it is the voters who believed in someone from years ago when the last MNBC elections were held is unfair and incredibly short sighted. These same voters did not approve schools, cash MNBC board travel and payroll cheques, etc.

    I am not sure who you are or what your knowledge is but I hope you do not speak this way in public. This line of thinking quickly becomes an excuse for people in the MNBC. I for one will never accept any excuse or misguided blame.

    Please do not take offense to my comments but I strongly disagree…

    • Free Metis April 14, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

      If you have an understanding of how their constitution is written ithas methods for the chartered community presidents to control the actions of the MNBC governing board. They are either too stupid to do so for the god of the nation or they are being bought off. Every single election has been fraught with fraud, members denied the right to vote, names off voters lists, Metis unaware of any election process and the list goes on!

      In years past there were 7 regions, with well organized operating groups…and Metis offices in many communities. This has all changed, the Prince George local doesn’t even have a proper office anymore! Who is left in region 5? Tony Goulets office? Who is left in the kootenays? To wager a guess VIRMA is probably the only one left in operations?

      Who votes? The members, so they are ultimately responsible for voting in these mismanagers! Who has the collective authority to rein them in, the community presidents that’s who!! So yes I would say these things in public, because it’s the truth.

      It makes me sick to think that I was one of the founding directors of MNBC (MPCBC) and it has turned into such a disgusting organization!

      • Richard Lucier-larson April 17, 2012 at 12:38 pm #

        Free Metis:
        your : “It makes me sick to think that I was one of the founding directors of MNBC (MPCBC) and it has turned into such a disgusting organization!”

        As a Metis in the same position, yes I am very disappointed with what has happened, many of us worked for years to establish what we thought would be a power from the bottom up B C organization .

        My opinion is the Big money has corrupted many in the past and will in the future unless we can separate the political body from the $$.

        Many others are of the same opinion , so how do we do it ?

        This is where we should be spending our efforts.

        Expenses yes, wages or honorariums no.
        Keep the scent of big bucks out and the money seekers will not bother to be involved.
        By the way I advocate that the expenses be budgeted and the budget be pasted or denied at the annual assembly by all who attend.

        I would venture that not to bother being too concerned with the soon to self destruct mnbc, but get on with the process of rebuilding the Metis Nation , and flaws..

        To answer some of your previous questions, as well as spending time to support the BCMF, and paying my own transportation and accommodation, I have personally donated $300 cash and will probably do more.

        I don’t share Daryl’s concerns that all will be lost, the various governments of the day seem to promote various programs and usually provide ( usually token) funds for job training etc.

        We do have a lot of potential as either entrepreneurs, professionals, tradespeople and we do pay a lot of taxes. and may I add there is a lot of us.

        A proud Metis
        Richard Lucier-larson

  4. Joe D April 14, 2012 at 8:13 am #

    ‘I for one will never accept any excuse or misguided blame.’ I agree Keith. I add denial, distortion, etc…

    Its amazing how there are many more excuses or inevitabilities that these so called MNBC leaders and their supporters spin so they can avoid being accountable to the public good.

    Heres a few spins we have heard that are out there or that idle in the background;

    -We ‘had’ to buy the abbotsford school’ it was such a good deal!

    -Communities and people ‘have’ to be excluded and intimidated who oppose us’

    -We ‘know’ whats best for the people so that includes a lack of consulting’

    -We are just going through some ‘bumps’ in the road, these ‘mistakes’ are inevitable.

    You can see how ludicrous it is after awhile!!

    The BCMF has made it very clear that things will NOT get better for this MNBC organization, that they are finished. The only long term result for Metis people is to impoverish them, deny services, deny their participation in Canadian society, etc.,

    Instead of hiding behind smooth bureaucratic talk or populist spin these ‘leaders’ need to admit that the only way forward is to force accountability and oppose the awful conditions for metis and other Canadians brought upon by this ethically corrupt, antidemocratic, fiscally irresponsible board and take the necessary steps the BCMF has laid out.

    I address my comments to governments too…

  5. Daryl Piper April 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    I have had an incredible experience with the Coalition of Concerned Metis Citizens and in our transition to the BC Metis Federation it has been a pleasure to be part of an organization with a solid foundation and such a professional and knowledgeable leadership. I used to get frustrated with the state of our Nation and realized the majority of the grass roots Metis people did not have an understanding of the issues facing our Nation and then the CCMC decided to travel the province and educate our Metis people of the issues facing our Nation.

    The current MNBC leadership have ruined our Nation and continue to sink deeper in debt and are completely incompetent. The MNBC presently have government auditors examining the financial records and with bankruptcy looming the MNBC leadership remains eerily silent and I am sure it’s the calm Before the storm. We are in danger of losing our programs and services that our people rely on and this is going to become very messy and there is not going be a positive outcome. The MNBC leadership has been a complete failure and no one can deny that fact.

    Free Metis you posted an earlier comment on this website accusing the BCMF of not being transparent and in a recent post you accuse the Metis people that voted for the current MNBC leadership the problem. Your statements are contradictory and really confuse me on hand you demand accountability from the BCMF but on the other hand it’s okay for the MNBC leadership not to be accountable because it’s the Metis people’s fault, how could this be when the decisions were made at the board level and there wasn’t any community consultation. Free Metis your statements are inaccurate and not factual. Your comments are preposterous and without merit.

  6. Free Metis April 21, 2012 at 6:04 am #

    Mr Piper:

    How do dead beats like Harley get elected president? They get in because Metis voters blindly follow directions on who to vote for, mainly due to who got paid off. If crooks and dead beats get elected who do you blame? I lay the blame on those marking the ballots. The mnbc governing assembly has the legal authority to rein the board in why are they so reluctant to do so? Things getting this bad is just as much their fault as the corrupt board because they do not practice due diligence.

    I requested some transparency from BCMF because I like to preview things myself and make decisions based upon what I’ve learned on my own and not what I was told. I personally know many of those involved in the BCMF so I know some of the personalities and some history…I wanted to know where the financial backing is coming from. That is not an accusation, if you see it as such it just makes me wonder why you are so defensive?

  7. Metis 2012 April 21, 2012 at 9:21 am #

    Who ever this is Daryl just recently started paying attention and has known the politics of the past but totally off base. Voters deciding? What a laugh…every election has been tampered with, either by playing with the ballot boxes, usage of office via cellphones or advertising, or just plain intimidation at the voting booths. Until a fair playing ground occurs and a election that is accountable then I can confidently say the Metis people have chosen…..If your that much of a past history buff and knowledable of it….then you should remember

    I despise people pointing fingers when MNBC has given us such gross examples of neglience…

Leave a Reply