Letter sent today via Email…
Honourable Bernard Valcourt
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Government of Canada
Re: Métis National Council Financial Scandal
Dear Minister Valcourt, BC Metis Federation continues to raise issues regarding the manner in which the Government of Canada, though Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), continues to fail Métis people of Canada from coast to coast to coast.
Therefore I write on behalf of the BC Mètis Federation board who has reviewed the third party audit conducted by the Government of Canada, through AAANDC, regarding funding administered by the MNC from fiscal years 2008-2009 to 2011-2012. The third party audit was completed in October 2012 which reviewed AANDC contracts that provided an estimated $13.5 million to MNC over the course of four years. The independent third party audit conclusions raise a number of very serious issues that demand immediate answers and full public disclosure.
The third party audit also provides information about the MNC’s financial position as of March 31st, 2012 which was over $2.5 million in debt and confirmed a major overpayment owed to Health Canada over $1.4 million for funds mismanaged previously. This third party audit concludes MNC has an additional $1.35 million (approximate) in ineligible expenses owed back to AANDC plus another $600,000.00 in stated accrued funding that is recommended not to be paid by AANDC to MNC.
The BC Métis Federation board met and thoroughly discussed and reviewed options on how best to address. There are several questions that demand immediate answers including what is AANDC doing about the situation? Consider the seriousness of the auditor’s findings:
- MNC President Clement Chartier using AANDC monies to cover person and professional expenses, including his legal professional fees.
- MNC Vice President David Chartrand had employed his wife for years on a loosely worded agreement for $5000.00/month with no details.
- MNC office relocates and the new office in Ottawa is now rented from an ownership group from the MMF.
- The MNC rent appears to be inflated by 30% for this service.
- Contractors being paid millions without proper documentation and several questions about the work.
- MNC President Chartier not providing accurate disclosure to CRA regarding his wages.
- MNC hiring a convicted sexual offender to support the residential school survivors.
- MNC President Clement Chartier and other representatives spending tens of thousands on international travel.
- MNC President Clement Chartier writes a book and then has MNC purchase hundreds of these books.
- Plus many other very serious matters.
The frustration about the lack of full public disclosure by the MNC to the Métis public cannot be understated. MNC purports to represent all Métis people in Canada and this is not true. As the Minister BC Métis Federation and other Métis organizations have called for Métis governance reform over the years to address these types of concerns. As Minister the AANDC department has ignored these requests including the Senate’s recommendations on Métis identification from June 2013 which concluded, among other things, that AANDC has failed in the identification of Métis people and that there needs to be new engagement with Métis representative organizations outside of the MNC across Canada. This latest MNC audit issue is not new to many of us in the BC Mètis Federation and other Métis people across the country. Unfortunately the Government of Canada signed a Governance and Accountability Framework in April 2013 with MNC, roughly 5 months after the departments own third party audit findings.
The Federal Government has boasted about managing the economy responsibly, strict budgets at all costs. However some of the worst mismanagement is being supported through organizations such as MNC and their affiliates which continue to negatively affect real support for Métis people across the country. What more will it take? There is undeniable evidence which has been kept from the Métis and taxpaying public. The AANDC third party audit was from a late 2012 and yet today there is still no disclosure by AANDC, MNC or their governing members.
Does the Federal Government deny fiduciary duty to all Métis people in Canada at the cost of political relationships with organizations like the MNC? Does the Federal Government not understand the consequences of supporting such MNC corruption and how this unethical behavior shapes future Métis governance? There are many solutions and thousands of Métis people who demand this ends, that we have a better future where Métis people and organizations are no longer painted by the unethical actions of only a select few.
MNC leadership is now proven by the Federal Government’s own auditors to mismanage Federal Government resources. This is now a second example in light of the Health Canada overpayment signed in 2011. This is not a question of MNC capacity. MNC has been in existence for decades and has benefited greatly from government funding and the organization should be in a much better place. The MNC leadership lacks the integrity to be fully transparent or publicly accountable so how can AANDC continue to fund MNC as the alleged national Métis representative organization? How can AANDC support key initiatives such as Métis identification and proposed standardization, plus the commitments made in the 2013 Accord though the MNC which such undeniable evidence?
We are insisting upon an immediate meeting with your office in Ottawa to bring forward the concerns and interests of our membership in British Columbia. We have also reached out across the country to find solutions by the Métis community for the Métis community and we believe there is a way forward.
We are posting all MNC audit information for the public. We will also be contacting several media outlets to raise public awareness. The MNC scandal is significant and is more severe than the current Federal Government’s own Senate scandal which is far less in terms of financial allegations and misuse of public funds.
This issue is in the collective interests of Métis across Canada to demand an immediate stop to any public funds for the MNC and further investigation, criminal or otherwise, into the misuse of public funds by the MNC leadership and consultants who have been able to misuse the Métis people once again.
Please note this is only the first package of MNC financial information and we intend to disclose more in the near future.
I am requesting a meeting and response at your earliest convenience and we want to carve a new way forward, this must immediately be supported. I know the reaction to the MNC third party audit will spark outrage and frankly it should.
Keith Henry, President
British Columbia Métis Federation
Suite 300-3665 Kingsway
cc Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister, Government of Canada
Premier Christy Clark, Province of British Columbia
Honourable John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
Honourable Doug Donaldson, Critic for Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Federal Liberal Aboriginal Affairs Critic
Honourable Jean Crowder, NDP Aboriginal Affairs Critic
Honourable Justin Trudeau, Liberal Leader
Honourable, Thomas Mulcair, NDP Leader – Official Opposition
BC Métis Federation Board Members
BC Métis Federation Members
Encl. All MNC audit reference materials related to this correspondence are now posted on the BC Mètis Federation website due to size and volume.
[ilink url=”[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/1.-AANDC-Letter-to-MNC-February-2011.pdf” style=”download”] AANDC Letter to MNC April 2011[/ilink]
[ilink url=”[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/2.AANDC-Letter-to-MNC-April-2012.pdf” style=”download”] AANDC Letter to MNC June 2012[/ilink]
[ilink url=”[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/3.AANDC-Financial-Letter-June-2012.pdf” style=”download”]AANDC Financial Letter June 2012[/ilink]
[ilink url=”[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/4.AANDC-Letter-to-MNC-July-2012.pdf” style=”download”]AANDC Letter to MNC July 2012[/ilink]
[ilink url=”[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/9.-MNC-Response-to-Audit-November-2012.pdf” style=”download”] MNC Response to Audit November 2012[/ilink]
[ilink url=”[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/MNC-Contract-with-Norman-Hansen-2011-2012.pdf” style=”download”] MNC Contract with Norman Hansen 2011-2012[/ilink]
[ilink url=”[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/MNC-Contract-with-VP-Spouse-2011-2012.pdf” style=”download”] MNC Contract with VP Spouse 2011-2012[/ilink]
[ilink url=”[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/MNC-Financial-Statements-2011-2012.pdf” style=”download”] AANDC Letter to MNC April 2012[/ilink]
[ilink url=”[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/MNC-Financial-Statements-2011-2012-m.pdf” style=”download”] MNC Financial Statements 2011-2012[/ilink]