Métis Nation BC Election in Jeopardy With Looming Postal Strike

Dear Members,

I write this week to share thoughts on the latest Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) election issues. As we know, Canada appears to be headed for a postal strike and one has to wonder how organizations such as the MNBC are going to properly operate their election process which is completely being undertaken by mail in ballots. The MNBC elections process used to ensure polling stations which was by far the most significant way for their members to cast their ballots on MNBC election days. This organization’s missteps carrying forward and the potential for slow mail services, or none at all, are very real and further demonstrate why Métis governance in BC has been changing towards the BC Métis Federation for the last few years. Governments (Federal and Provincial) “pretend’ not to see the issues; ballooning MNBC debt, lack of cultural support, lack of meaningful input or democratic processes for their MNBC members and so much more. Métis Nation BC (MNBC) has been losing any legitimate mandate to suggest they represent roughly 71,000 Métis people, which is what they say. For some of whom who actually know the history of voting in that MNBC organization, here are the voting facts:

  • 2004 Provincial MNBC Election – Approximately 1650 voters
  • 2008 Provincial MNBC Election – Approximately 1100 voters
  • 2012 Provincial MNBC Election – Approximately 550 voters
  • 2016 Provincial MNBC Election – ?

Despite approximately $8-10 Million annually in funding the outgoing and current MNBC leadership has managed to place this organization at approximately $2.8 million in organizational debt with a long term outstanding debt of an additional $3.8 million. The large majority of these financial losses have all been assumed over the last four year team.The Métis public has a right to know how MNBC is paying the long term debt of $15,000/month plus other major instalments of $260,000 in specific years required by their bank (RBC)? MNBC assumes service delivery for all Métis on a number of initiatives such as employment and training, etc. so the broad Métis public has a right to know if any of these public funds are being redirected to pay the significant debt payments to RBC.

In light of these issues, and many others, it’s no wonder why MNBC has lost so much credibility and any future leaders will continue to face a harsh reality. Moreover, despite MNBC boasting over 10,000 card carrying members, none of these members actually appears to truly engage. The fact is that most MNBC card carrying members only want their cards to get education funding or some other perceived benefit. The MNBC election candidates do not speak about the realities they face and the lack of candidates for numerous MNBC positions only reinforces what BC Métis Federation has been saying for years. MNBC will have poor electoral turnout because MNBC does nothing for the broad Métis population in BC. No fight for Métis rights, no investment for culture or language, and the ideology of divide and conquer is a reflection of non Aboriginal government politics. BC Métis Federation has set up our electoral system to be safeguarded from postal strikes or voter suppression as what we see in the MNBC election results. In only our 5th year and with a fraction of the funding compared to MNBC, we have shown what is possible over the last 4 years. It is not just about money, it is about sacrifice, care for Métis culture, and a real commitment to transparency. Good luck to those who think MNBC will fix itself. The last 4 years have shown it does not. The MNBC election now faces new issues at a critical time and MNBC voter turn out will reduce once again. It is time for a better future for all Métis people in BC.

Thank you,

Keith Henry
BC Métis Federation

[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/BC-Metis-Federation-MNBC-Election-Issues-1-August-29th-2016-1.pdf” style=”download”]To download this letter in PDF format, click here.[/ilink]

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