(Vancouver, BC) The BC Métis Federation developed in June 2011 and has become a new provincial Métis representative organization, a true democratic alternative for Métis people in BC. The BC Métis Federation evolved after years of inability within the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) to address six key issues; governance, role of legal counsel, improper purchase of property in Abbotsford, lack of clarity regarding Meet-so Catering, concerns about the MNBC electoral process, and lack of Métis cultural support.
Today BC Métis Federation continues to assess financial information in relation to the MNBC to better understand MNBC’s ability to deliver programs and services. The MNBC financial sustainability was a theme throughout the six key issues that described what the BC Métis Federation believes needed to be addressed. The MNBC has continued significant financial losses consistently during the past four years and BC Métis Federation believes the MNBC ability to administer current programs and services are no longer possible.
BC Métis Federation President Henry stated, “We were recently provided new information that MNBC will reported lose about another $1 million dollars from this last fiscal year. This makes the fourth straight year in a row and the overall MNBC insolvency continues to increase. The BC Métis Federation predicted this and we have released two specific documents in April to define the rationale. The first is an updated document entitled Long Term Sustainability of MNBC, Updated BC Métis Federation Financial Review April 2012 as well as a slide presentation aired last week during Métis Coffee Talk about our assessment of the sale of the Métis school property in Abbotsford and why we believe that this is not a reasonable solution to address the overall MNBC financial crisis.”
President Henry added, “The BC Métis Federation sent direct letters to MNBC and to each of their board members that were specifically addressed to their CEO and President Bruce Dumont. People must remember he is not only an elected representative; he is also paid staff as the MNBC CEO. What company in this country would not fire their CEO after such consistent and major losses and no public transparency? This mixing of politicians and operations is what created this situation in my view. Not once have any of the MNBC representatives provided any real answers about why they continue to mismanage and solutions, other than the alleged sale of the Métis School. The reality is now that a sale of this asset is too late as MNBC board members have deliberately used any equity from that property to pay for their mismanagement while overspending and realizing additional MNBC debt four years in a row. We will keep providing education for Métis people to better understand the true financial crisis and how the sale of this property will not resolve this situation in our opinion. ”
President Henry concluded, “I am also shocked by the lack of any real Federal or Provincial Government response to date despite our repeated calls by the BC Métis Federation for immediate action since last June 2011. The Provincial Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Honourable Mary Polak is on record in the last six months stating the Provincial Government is confident the MNBC was taking steps to address their past and current organizational debt. The Federal Government provided resources in 2011 for an MNBC Debt Recovery Plan but this too has been ignored by MNBC despite funding support to get their financial house in order. Today MNBC representatives have already admitted to another major loss in 2011-2012 despite such public pressure. We also understand MNBC has been subject to recent government audits but what were the results? The BC Métis Federation call to action by governments is simple, stop funding MNBC as these resources have only enabled MNBC to increase their overall level of debt. BC Métis Federation believes MNBC should be forced into bankruptcy. In such a scenario government departments can seek alternative service delivery organizations to ensue programs are not any further negatively impacted by delayed payments, etc. Do the current or future MNBC board members understand their significant personal liabilities? We see today the sale of their only asset will not address the overall crisis. What more does it take for government actions as we witness cuts to Federal and Provincial budgets, their staff and programs all the while allowing an organization such as the MNBC to mismanage millions of public funds. A true contradiction in public policy as it relates to the proper delivery of Aboriginal governance and programs delivered in British Columbia and Canada.”
For more information about the upcoming Regional Gatherings being held throughout BC please go to the BC Métis Federation website www.bcmetis.com. The next Regional Gathering is in Prince George at the Coast Hotel on April 21st starting at 6:00 PM. All Métis people and friends of the Métis welcome.
BC Métis Federation
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
You can now follow BC Métis Federation President Keith Henry on twitter @keithhenryMetis
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Press-Release-April-17th-2012.pdf” style=”download”]Download this Letter in PDF format[/ilink]
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Metis-Federation-Assessment-of-MNBC-April-2012.pdf” style=”download”]BCMF Metis Federation Assessment of MNBC April 2012[/ilink]
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/Coffee-Talk-Presentation-April-12th-2012.pdf” style=”download”]Coffee Talk Presentation April 12th, 2012[/ilink]