MNC legal counsel has filed a claim in the Ontario Supreme Court on January 27th against former Métis National Council (MNC) Vice President and current Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) President David Chartrand, former MNC President Clément Chartier, former MNC Executive Director Wenda Watteyne, consultant Marc LeClair, and well as several former MNC contractors to recoup an estimated sixteen million in funding. The allegations include the following:
• $9 million in the transfer of Métis Veterans Recognition Payment Contribution Agreement between MNC and Her Majesty in Right of Canada dated June 13, 2019
• The negotiation and execution of service agreements and the termination provisions therein, including facilitating the payment by MNC of approximately $1,150,000 of lump sum termination payments to each of the defendants, LeClair Infocom Inc. (“LeClair Infocom”), Celeste McKay Consulting Inc. (“McKay Consulting”), Public Policy Nexus Group Inc. (“PPNG”), Infinity Research Development and Design Inc. (“Infinity”) and Systemway Consulting, Inc. (“Systemway”), and to their respective principals Electronically issued / Délivré par voie électronique : 27-Jan-2022 Court File No./N° du dossier du greffe: CV-22-00675899-0000 LEGAL*54987956.2 -6- and alter egos, to purportedly terminate their respective service agreements (the “Purported Termination Payments”);
• The excessive or inappropriate spending of MNC funds for benefits and gifts to themselves, to non-arm’s length third parties, and to associates and colleagues of Chartier, Chartrand, MMF and Watteyne, including: (i) excessive or inappropriate remuneration and other amounts paid to Chartrand’s wife, Glorian Chartrand and/or “Ryley James”; and (ii) a gold watch that cost approximately $4,000, which was approved by both Chartrand and Watteyne and then provided to Chartier as a “retirement gift” at a private “retirement dinner” in or about August of 2021 (the “Non-Arm’s Length Payments and Excessive Gifts”), none of which was disclosed to or approved by the governing members of MNC (other than MMF);
Plus, several other claims outlined in the statement of claim. You can download and view this document here.
BCMF President Keith Henry shares his thoughts on the news:
“I wish that I were more shocked than I am by the allegations. These are serious accusations, and if they are found to be true, I’m disgusted.” President Henry commented. “I have been calling for Métis governance reform in this country for a long time, and this is exactly why. To find out that public funds could have been mismanaged in this way, while our people are struggling to make ends meet through a historic pandemic…it’s unforgivable.
I have seen firsthand how our Métis members have been impacted by the ongoing
COVID-19 pandemic here in B.C. at the local level. There are elevated levels of unemployment and families are struggling to put food on the table and in their cupboards. We have received a small amount of relief funds from the federal government, and while that has been helpful, I cannot help but consider how much good millions in Métis public investments could have done for the hundreds or thousands of Métis people that are hurting right now.”
Read the full statement here.