Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Chief Electoral Officer
Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC)
312-830 E 7th Avenue
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.
British Columbia Métis Federation
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