The following is an open letter to the Métis people of British Columbia…
Attention Métis leaders and Métis people of British Columbia;
The BC Métis Federation was provided copies of the latest steps by MNBC yesterday in terms of the 2012 MNBC General Election scheduled for September 15th, 2012. MNBC Executive Director Dale Drown signed off a letter dated July 12th, 2012 addressed to the Members of the Métis Nation Governing Assembly (MNGA) accompanied by two resolutions. The first resolution is requesting MNGA members to approve that the MNBC 2012 General Election is to have only mail in ballots. The second resolution isfor MNGA members to appoint the Chief Electoral Officer. The resolutions have a stated deadline of July 16th, 2012. The three MNBC documents have been attached for your review.
The BC Mètis Federation has been calling on governments, industry, Métis Chartered Community leaders, and Métis people throughout BC to immediately terminate any association with MNBC for a number of reasons, including their mismanagement of governance approved and mandated by their members. The MNBC has a number of specific processes that are to be followed and it is not up to the MNBC board or management to redefine because they decide. This is exactly what they are doing in this latest dictatorship. For example, the MNGA Act describes the process for how an MNGA is assembled, how resolutions are required for presentation, and how voting is to take place. The MNGA Act requires a 30 day notice, MUST be in person, and voting is only by roll call where every MNGA member has to state their vote for public record. There is no allowance for a vote by proxy. Yet despite a clear direction for MNBC board and management they ignore and send out directives that are completely contrary to their own laws. This is a very serious challenge to what the MNBC board and management are now doing as the process they are forcing dismisses any 30 day notification, dismisses the requirement for voting by roll call, and dismisses any proper review by MNGA members of the proposed resolutions with only a 4 day notice during the summer when MNGA members may or may not be in a position to review this MNBC email.
The most offensive act by MNBC board and management is this sudden complete dismissal of the MNBC Electoral Act that has been properly mandated by their members for years. This is extremely relevant as the Electoral Act clearly described the legal requirement for how MNBC was to conduct proper democratic elections. The Electoral Act described that eligible voters have a right to vote in person at a polling station to be established in each of the Métis Chartered Communities, in addition to a mail in ballot process. There are several other MNBC requirements in the Electoral Act that are now in serious question. There is no grey areas here, the Electoral Act is well defined and it is not up to management and the MNBC board to change on their own.
This latest tactic by the MNBC board and management is a complete sham. The MNBC is not following their legal mandate established by the hundreds of Métis people and community leaders who approved the various levels of MNBC governance processes over the years to ensure public transparency. The MNBC letter from Executive Director Dale Drown makes no explanation why MNBC once more throws out MNBC internal rules such as the MNGA Act or Electoral Act. This is yet another sign of the suffering financial state of the MNBC and we all know this. The MNBC board and management knew there was an MNBC Election required in September 2012 and should have set aside resources to ensure the proper delivery of a democratic process. It is clear now that the MNBC 2012 Election will be without merit or proper legal mandated authority and governments and Métis people must stop pretending there is not a very serious matter here.
Our recommendation is for MNGA members not to sign these resolutions as this is not a proper legal process. Moreover we urge MNBC citizenship card holders and Métis Chartered Community board members to realize how extreme this situation is becoming should you continue your association with the functionally bankrupt MNBC. The MNBC General Election in 2008 cost approximately $130,000.00 and despite recent MNBC claims that they are managing, this alleged $12 million dollar organization cannot afford to run a proper election? Most concerning is that fact that this MNBC election will disenfranchise thousands of Métis people from voting. The MNBC General Election in 2008 included a mail in ballot
process as per the MNBC Electoral Act, the mail in ballots were less than 50.
The MNBC is not being transparent and the Métis people deserve governance that is open and transparent. I urge everyone to read the MNBC governance documents on their website www.mnbc.ca to review the specifically the MNGA Act and Electoral Act to better understand how illegal the MNBC board and management processes have become.
As I always state ultimately the choice is yours.
BC Métis Federation
#300-3665 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC, V5R 5W2
You can follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @keithhenryMetis