Attention Métis leaders and Métis people of British Columbia;
The BC Métis Federation continues to provide information relevant to the Métis people to assist you make informed choices. Over the course of the last year BC Métis Federation has provided another perspective about the Métis governance, Métis program delivery and financial management of the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC). BC Métis Federation has outlined issues of significant financial mismanagement within the MNBC, dysfunctional program delivery that has negative impacted Métis people in BC by the MNBC, and the major MNBC governance dysfunction.
It is the MNBC governance dysfunction that is at the heart of the issue today when Métis consider the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project. Last week the MNBC Director of Natural Resources resigned for reasons that remain unclear and unanswered by the MNBC. However, as Métis people we need to realize that MNBC has created the illusion to industry and governments that MNBC speaks for all Métis people in BC and has the decision making authority to decide on key issues of engagement, consultation and project support. Consider what we have before Métis people in British Columbia today when we analyze the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project and the significance of such perceived power?
Today it appears that the MNBC elected board members have made a decision to sign the equity deal and claim their technicians have been engaged along with the Métis Consultation Project Team (MCPT). MNBC has admitted that they have been in discussions with Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project officials and MNBC continues to spin the prospects of economic benefits and jobs as the main reason to support the project.
The BC Métis Federation submits to Métis people throughout BC that the MNBC actions and messages are not legitimate and the tactics by MNBC to speak only about Enbridge jobs and economic benefits is short sighted and uninformed.
BC Métis Federation has attached a summary of the participant funding investments provided to the MNBC for a variety of projects since 2009 from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA). The MNBC has been provided over $250,000 in funding from CEAA only. This does not include additional investments provided directly to MNBC from proponents such as Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project funding. This CEAA funding was to support MNBC with the following types of activities:
- Professional fees;
- Staff salaries and benefits;
- Travel expenses;
- Honoraria for Elders and Chiefs to attend meetings and functions;
- Ceremonial offerings related to receiving traditional knowledge;
- Administration and reporting;
- Other expenses related to local collection and distribution of information;
- Office supplies and telephone charges;
- Rental of office space and meeting rooms;
- Legal fees;
- General media and advertising and promotion;
- Purchase of information material; and
- Other detailed expenses, with supporting information.
Métis people who have been involved with MNBC governance must begin to recognize the extent of the mishandling of MNBC governance using consultation resources. In 2008 the MNBC members approved an MNBC Natural Resource Act (available at www.mnbc.ca) that was to be the law in how the MNBC leaders and management would handle future consultation. By 2009 an MNBC Consultation Guidebook was established (www.mnbc.ca) to provide further clarity how this MNBC process should work. These documents define the roles of the British Columbia Métis Assembly of Natural Resources (BCMANR), MNBC Director of Natural Resources, MNBC Board and other roles and requires.
There are several questions that arise after a review of the two MNBC documents in relation to the current situation regarding the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project. MNBC has been provided no less than $175,000 in consultation resources from CEAA and Enbridge between 2009-2012. MNBC has yet to disclose any additional funding from Enbridge in 2011-2012 (this fiscal year) but it begs the question what has MNBC done to follow MNBC internal governance requirements? Here are a few major questions as you consider the overall situation:
1. When did MNBC appoint a Métis Consultation Project Team?
2. How did MNBC evaluation the potential impact to Métis communities?
3. Where is the MCPT comprehensive review since consultation has been for no less than three years and why is this not made available for Métis people?
4. When did MNBC notify relevant Métis Chartered Communities and where is the project listing on the MNBC website?
5. Has MNBC completed a final consultative report? Has this been shared with the Métis community leaders and members affected?
6. Has MNBC completed approval through the MNBC Board, Métis Chartered Community Executive, Regional Governance Councils, Métis Nation Governing Assembly, or MNBC Annual General Meeting?
These questions are based on the MNBC’s own Consultation Guidebook Annex 1 and it is clear MNBC has not followed their own procedures and the consequences are being realized today as the MNBC board makes efforts to support this controversial project with no mandate as required in their own documents. The BC Métis Federation reminds everyone that MNBC received no less than $175,000 for consultation regarding the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project. This should have enabled the MNBC consultation processes to be resourced. What is clear is that the MNBC’s stated consultation process has failed although MNBC was provided reasonable resources to consult with Métis people throughout BC on this very important issue.
What we hope Métis people will better understand the ongoing propaganda the current MNBC board members want to have you believe. MNBC leaders remain steadfast making public statements reinforcing that they are protecting self governance when anyone calls them to question. This issue provides another glaring example that the current MNBC board has not followed their own governance anyways.
MNBC will continue their propaganda to convince you that Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project is great for you and your community but ask yourself who has really benefitted all along? Then ask yourself what the benefits really are and are they worth the environmental and economic risk to other sectors? We need to be able to make a fully informed decision. The BC Métis Federation is supporting this Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project information despite no consultation resources due the significance of this issue. Now ask yourself who is really looking out for your best interests?
I sincerely hope Métis people review the information carefully and join the BC Métis Federation in rebuilding actual Métis governance in BC. This example describes a component of the overall ongoing MNBC governance dysfunction. Let’s not forget the MNBC financial mismanagement and the impacts to MNBC service delivery.
We hope to see you in Kelowna at the BC Métis Federation hosted Regional Gathering ”A New Way Forward” this Saturday 6:00 PM at the Coast Capri Hotel.
BC Metis Federation
cc BCMF Board of Directors
Métis People of BC
MPs (British Columbia)
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/BCMF-Letter-to-Metis-People-March-27th-2012.pdf” style=”download”]Download this Letter in PDF format[/ilink]
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/MNBC-Participant_Funding_Program-CEAA-2009-2012.pdf” style=”download”]MNBC Participant_Funding_Program CEAA 2009-2012[/ilink]
[ilink url=”/wp-content/uploads/MNBC-Natural-Resource-Act-2010.pdf” style=”download”]MNBC Natural Resource Act 2010[/ilink]
[ilink url=”http://mnbc.ca/bcmanr/pdf/Final%20Consultation%20Guidelines.pdf” style=”download”]MNBC Consultation Guidelines[/ilink]