BCMF Correspondence to MNBC Regarding Election

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tina Penney
Chief Electoral Officer
Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC)
312-830 E 7th Avenue
Vancouver, BC
V5T 4J2

Without Prejudice

Re: MNBC General Election Questions VIA EMAIL

Dear Miss Penney,

I am corresponding in my role as the President of the BC Métis Federation who represents the interests and concerns of thousands of Métis people from a number of Métis communities located throughout BC. Some of these Métis community associations are also considered Métis Chartered Communities which also have an members with an MNBC Citizenship Card.

Therefore I write to seek your immediate written clarification regarding the manner in which you are improperly conducting your office as the MNBC Chief Electoral Officer. The BC Métis Federation believes you not been legally or properly approved as the MNBC Chief Electoral Officer. As such can you please confirm the date when you were awarded the MNBC Chief Electoral Officer contract or approval and who provided you such direction?

In addition we are requesting your explanation as to why you continue to contravene the MNBC General Election process as outlined in the MNBC Electoral Act. These are two examples:

1. The MNBC Electoral Act requires the Chief Electoral Officer to post a listing of polling stations on or before 21 days prior to an MNBC Election. We note a listing has now been made available on the MNBC today, days late. We ask for your explanation as to why?

a. For the record the BC Mètis Federation is not surprised to see so many of the Métis Chartered Communities not have polling stations with 10 or 35 opting not to engage in this illegal MNBC election process.

2. A significant concern is that as the MNBC Chief Electoral Officer it appears you are attempting to deliberately mislead grass roots MNBC citizenship card holders about why many of the communities are choosing not to have a polling station.

a. I attached a copy of a form letter that you are sending directly to MNBC citizenship card holders in communities not holding a polling station under the title Special Notice.

b. You claim (highlighted) in these form letters that the community has been identified as “not having a sufficient number of poll clerks or returning officers to adequately staff a polling station.”

i. Please explain why you are making such claims? The BC Mètis Federation has shared letters from some of these communities where the leadership has discussed and voted to not participate in the illegal MNBC General Election for their own legitimate reasons which we believe have been made aware to you. Why then are you sending letters to their membership to present false reasons about why there is no polling station? You actions are meant to confuse and interfere in the community leadership process. Moreover an MNBC Citizenship Card holder can request an advance mail in ballot as identified in the MNBC Electoral Act.

ii. Interesting to note that a form was to be included in the Special Notice letters that were recently mailed out for the advance ballot due tomorrow. Unfortunately there was no form in the letters and the deadline is tomorrow.

I trust you will respond in a timely manner to explain how you were informed about the alleged approval as the MNBC Chief Electoral Officer, explain why the delays to the announcement of polling stations, and explain why you are sending out Special Notices making inaccurate statements to community members?

The BC Mètis Federation reiterates our position that this MNBC General Election is being held contrary to MNBC legislation and laws and is therefore illegal. The Chief Electoral Officer is acting without a legal mandate. The MNBC General Election continues to illustrate the loss of legitimate credibility for MNBC as 10 of their communities are not having polling stations, 11 out of 25 positions are vacant, and now the election process is becoming even more tainted by the actions of the Chief Electoral Officer who is misrepresenting reasons for the loss of polling stations.

Thank you

Keith Henry
President
British Columbia Métis Federation

CC:

Peter Cunningham, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
Wanda Stachura, Office of the Federal Interlocutor
Rod Cunningham, Service Canada
Honourable Mary Polak, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Honourable Scott Fraser, Critic for Aboriginal Relations
Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Federal Liberal Aboriginal Affairs Critic
Honourable Jean Crowder, NDP Aboriginal Affairs Critic
BC Métis Federation Board Members
BC Métis Federation Members

Downloads:

Click here to download the BCMF letter to the MNBC in PDF.
Click here to download the MNBC “Special Notice” re: Election, in PDF.

 

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6 Responses to BCMF Correspondence to MNBC Regarding Election

  1. Tim St. Denis August 29, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

    I sure hope Tina Penney knows what she is getting herself into. The fallout from what she is about to do could hurt her career for sure. She is performing an illegal act and associating with a failing organization in a controversial election all at the same time. I would tread very cautiously if I were in her position. IMO

  2. Metis Citizen 2012 August 31, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    I have been reading the latest MNBC items, and I must comment. Is the BCMF turning out to be just a MNBC gripe session. We already know that the MNBC is doomed, and their leadership is not working properly for the Metis people and communities in British columbia. Move on. I have seen the excellent work done by the BC Metis Federation this past summer, but enough is enough flogging a dead horse. We need to move forward in building our communities and working for our people, our ancestors would of wanted the same.

    Continue to focus on positive things, stories of Metis culture, history, Metis stories of inspiration, Metis to government issues, identity and the likes. Who cares about the MNBC they have proven themselves to be mismanagers over time, and time and time again.

  3. Metis Girl August 31, 2012 at 10:00 am #

    Metis Citizen 2012, I do not see this as a gripe session or flogging a dead horse. If the BCMF didn’t bring these issues out into the open, the majority of Metis people would not be aware of what’s really happening behind the scenes. It’s all about accountability.

  4. Keith August 31, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    Thanks Metis Citizen 2012,

    Fair enough but the vast majority of questions and emails I get is to explain what is going on from our perspective. As such we are putting out factual information and taking tough stances because the situation today created by the MNBC is growing in concerns. As such I wish you could read all of the direct emails and calls I get.

    Anyways you raise a fair point, we understand and we are trying to balance a vision in the BC Metis Federation that support real Metis cultural support and true community say in matters that affect their members. We have done this again and again through our work with dealing with industry proponents and other government interaction.

    However, please do not forget the fundamental reality is that unless MNBC is stopped, they will continue to misrepresent your interests to government and industry alike. Their mismanagement could destroy roughly 6.5 million in student funding for Metis kids plus much more. Therefore we believe that as Metis people across BC we all need to be responsible for dealing with issues that affect all of us, some will be good while others will be difficult. Unfortunately it is not easy trying to deal with tough issues and it can be easier to ignore and move on. This does not mean they go away nor does this mean they wont affect you or your community in some direct or indirect way.

    I hope you can appreciate the difficult challenge the BC Metis Federation finds itself in today as we evolve as an true democratic alternative. Leadership is not easy and part of being good leaders is to deal with all issues good or bad. The BC Metis Federation has a vision and we showcase our vision each day; that being real support for Metis culture and real support for meaningful community engagement. A new way to ensure you, your family, and your community have a real say in what you want.

    Hope you can understand and please know we will keep moving forward. In fact we just posted our updated AGM agenda and hope you attend to be part of the rebuilding on September 22 in Williams Lake. Also if you are in the lower mainland I hope you get to the Klahowya Village in Stanley Park this Saturday to enjoy Metis dance performances at noon and 2:30 PM that have been only made possible by the work of the BC Metis Federation.

    Sincerely and respectfully and please know our team struggles with this balance each and every day…

  5. Metis Citizen 2012 September 2, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    I respect the answer in regards to my last comment, and the explanation of bringing these issues forward. The research into the truth has been phenomenal. Where is the discussions on Metis identity or at least a forum on this, where is the discussions on our landbase, where is a lands department even?. In regards to ‘beating a dead horse’ sometimes daily posts in regards to the Metis Nation BC gets too much to handle. We know that the MNBC has not done anything for our communities, and plays politics with our locals. MNBC does not need anyone to stop them, they are sinking the ship on their own with no consultation, lack of community base support, and their lack of communication.

  6. Beverly September 6, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    Well we are working countless volunteer hours because we care,and I hope Metis Citizens who are sitting by and watching,should think twice about there own responsibility to help by getting involved and signing up with BCMF, thus creating more positive changes in their own communities.We have to do this together as a Team.When i see something wrong or bullies,I will stand up for anyone.!!! Time to stop watching,we need to see all of you at the Sept 22,AGM,to show the right direction and the exciting plans for a New Beginning.I guarantee, you will be very happy and there is HOPE;Just Come on Board join us at our Making it Riel AGM Because we are for Real folks come and meet the Team, who have been fighting to have a voice,.This team has worked hard for the communities to come together and celebrate our Culture again.I will put and amazing video out shortly.and show the strength of our people.Hope to see you all there.Godbless

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