Thursday, July 05, 2012
Joe Gereluk, Law Office, Barrister and Solicitor
401 1011 Fort Street, Victoria, BC, V8V 3K5
Re: June 27th, 2012 Letter
Dear Mr. Gereluk,
I am following up to your correspondence sent June 27th that made a number of factually incorrect statements about your work as the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) legal counsel. As you know I responded on June 28th demonstrating with factual attachments a number of facts that contradict your public statements to government and the Métis community at large. Today I respond to address two more specific items in your letter that factually demonstrate your incorrect statements.
First on June 27th, 2012 you stated, “As to the good standing of the MPCBC I can assure you that I have filed all necessary documentation at the Corporate Registry to maintain the MPCBC in good standing. The appropriate documents, while recently filed were only recently required, being Annual Report for the AGM held in September 2011 and a change of director that occurred in February 2012.” I have attached and highlighted this section of your letter for review.
I have also attached a corporate search the BC Mètis Federation conducted as of July 3rd, 2012 and it is interesting to note that you actually filed the Métis Provincial Council of British Columbia (MPCBC) September 2011 Annual Report only hours before MNBC sent out your letter of June 27th to the public. It appears MNBC sent your letter out at approximately 7:00 PM in June 27th while the corporate search indicated you only filed the documents that very morning. I also note resigned MNBC director Mr. Henry Hall is still listed on the MPCBC corporate documents. This appears to reinforce the fact that our legal opinion by Bull, Housser and Tupper LLP in fact did confirm as of June 20th that the MPCBC was not in good corporate standing. The fact that you filed the MPCBC documents only after the BC Métis Federation made this situation public on June 22nd, 2012 certainly raises serious questions about your motives and questions the legitimacy of your June 27th response and statements made throughout this letter.
Secondly on page two you provide your perception of why the MNBC is “deliberately and specifically” not registered as a society. Can you provide the Métis public what legal advice and opinion you made in 2002-2003 about the challenges using the name MNBC and drafting a constitution under this name given the knowledge of the Métis Nation of British Columbia? You worked for the MPCBC board at that time and this would be an important governance matter for legal review. The question is what legal opinion did you make when Métis leadership approved the MNBC constitution at this time about the legal risks given this advance knowledge? I would expect you to have such a document on record as MNBC legal counsel on file.
I request what your legal opinion about this situation was in 2002-2003 because this is a story that has been perpetuated by you and others within the MNBC over the last few years as some form of a validation. I am sure you provided a legal opinion to the MPCBC board based on the laws of BC and Canada so you should have on file. It is not unorthodox for any organization to simply assume a name when there is another corporate society with almost the exact same name already registered in BC? Why would any organization take this risk given the fact that the Métis Nation in British Columbia was incorporated before the MPCBC in the 1990s?
The issue is not the merit of the name but the manner in which you are now guiding this public conversation and providing political responses with an audience who was largely not around at this time. The danger is your approach assumes your story is the right story. Your original legal opinion would be interesting to review given the situation MNBC faces today which was pointed out by the independent Bull, Housser, and Tupper LLP correspondence.
Given these recent revelations, especially the MPCBC corporate filing actions by you only after the BC Métis Federation identified the challenges facing MPCBC corporate standing, I will take next steps to have your June 27th correspondence reviewed by the Law Society. Perhaps this is a more fair process for both of us.
British Columbia Metis Federation
cc BCMF Board of Directors
Métis People of BC
MPs (British Columbia)