(Vancouver, BC) The other provincial Métis organization known as the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) held a meeting called their Métis Nation Governing Assembly (MNGA) over the weekend in Richmond, BC. This included the MNBC board members and their Métis community organizations they work with. The MNBC released a press release under the tag line “MNBC Legislative Leadership shows focus and commitment to Self Governance.”
BC Métis Federation President Henry stated, “It was disappointing but not surprising to hear the real results from some people who attended this past MNBC meeting. The real issues are how the MNBC debt is affecting MNBC’s ability to administer programs and services, the MNBC support for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project, loss of interest by Métis communities to participate any further with the MNBC, plus much more.”
President Henry added, “During an MNBC financial presentation MNBC staff finally admitted after three years that the purchase of the school was one of the worst decisions made by the MNBC. We have been saying this all along. Unfortunately the MNBC financial presentation did not provide an accurate state of the financial affairs of the MNBC but confirmed a number of issues MNBC is facing. MNBC admitted they owe a substantial amount to post secondary institutions for students sponsored by their employment and training programs, they anticipate another debt this year of about $300,000, plus MNBC has been accommodating new government auditors who are reviewing how MNBC is administering program funding. BC Métis Federation has forecasted that MNBC will increase their debt by another $300,000 this year at a minimum so this is no surprise. We are also pleased to hear outside auditors are reviewing how MNBC is administering their funding. I am sure this will lead to more negative outcomes once a better assessment is completed. ”
President Henry further added, “As predicted MNBC board members did not use this MNGA to make a decision about the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project although their representatives stated this would happen during recent presentations. Instead MNBC President Dumont spoke about how they met with Enbridge representative on Thursday before the MNGA and how much they support their work to co-present an economic forum in Grand Prairie this upcoming weekend. It is clear this MNBC board has signed the equity deal with Enbridge in favour of support for the project and would not want to bring this issue after the fact to the people. We know the large majority of grass roots Métis people do not support this project and these actions speak for themselves.”
President Henry concluded, “The MNBC continues to try and spin this notion that they represent self governance for Métis people in BC. This is simply not true and MNBC resolutions to kick out anyone deemed as a rival was withdrawn only after MNBC President Dumont realized he did not have support. The MNGA did nothing of substance but allow this MNBC board to slide away as their terms end with the call of the next MNBC general election on September 15th. The question is what is the MNBC future given the serious issues? MNBC members are reducing each month as people terminate their MNBC membership because of the issues; the MNBC debt continues to increase and MNBC management could not tell MNGA delegates what exactly was the financial position of the MNBC and what they are facing, MNBC is now being audited which will likely result in other government overpayments, and support for a controversial Enbridge project places MNBC in direct conflict with First Nations and makes no sense.
Any future MNBC members who want to run for the MNBC board need to understand that the board has a personal liability according to note 8 in the MNBC financials. Who would want to assume this personal financial risk if anyone has assets given the current massive MNBC mismanagement over the last 4 years which could lead to impacting someone’s personal finances? As we know a large number of the current MNBC board is not running again in the next MNBC election and the future for MNBC is extremely challenging. This recent MNGA is about perspective. On one hand MNBC and their supporters want your believe and pretend this past weekend was productive despite the extreme financial challenges and other issues. On the other hand the BC Métis Federation knows this is not reality. Métis organizations continue to disengage, MNBC financials continue to deteriorate, and support for the Enbridge project without a mandate from Métis people has divided the nation to a point where MNBC will not survive. We believe that by the time the next MNBC financial statements are released, which is after the next MNBC election, MNBC members will realize that bankruptcy is the only option. This recent MNGA showcased why that organization is no longer capable to lead any Métis people. There were no real decisions about real issues and this reinforces why the BC Métis Federation makes a logical vehicle to rebuild Métis governance in BC. We will continue our work.”
The next BC Métis Federation Regional Gathering is being hosted in Surrey this upcoming Saturday, March 17th, 2012 at the Sheraton Guilford located at 15269 104th Avenue. The BC Métis Federation will broadcast the event live and encourages Métis people throughout the region to attend given the ongoing developments. For more information about the Regional Gathering please go to the BC Métis Federation website www.bcmetis.com.
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[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/MNGA_2012_Press_Release__March-11th-20121.pdf” style=”download”]MNGA 2012 Press Release March 11th, 2012[/ilink]
BC Métis Federation
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
You can now follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @keithhenryMetis