Re: Retired Métis Senator St. Germain – Ironic
The past few weeks the increasing scandal plaguing the Government of Canada’s Senate has been disturbing to all Canadians. One of the individuals now facing an RCMP investigation as a result of the Auditor General of Canada’s recent report is retired Métis Senator Gerry St. Germain.
Senator St. Germain has been well known throughout Aboriginal communities across this country and his public service has been for over 30 years. However I believe Mr. St. Germain has used his position of influence and power as a former Canadian Senator and political Conservative colleague to ensure support and interference in Métis governance across Canada until his retirement in 2013. I say this as I reflect on his work to support Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) at all costs.
Prior to the BC Métis Federation forming in June of 2011 there were many Métis in British Columbia, members of the MNBC at that time that had concerns about issues within MNBC. Six key issues were identified and communicated in clear ways and solutions were presented from 2009-2011. MNBC leadership did absolutely nothing to address and rationalized their defence of salience suggesting all sorts of personal insults and unfounded information. Instead of Governments allowing our communities to address these issues at that time, individuals such as retired Senator St. Germain appeared to make it their personal quest to protect the interests of political friends such as MNBC and their leadership at all costs.
To this end former Senator St. Germain attended and made political speeches to support MNBC. His actions sent key messages about supporting leadership and the great work of organizations such as MNBC despite the reality that each year they were slipping millions in debt, a glaring fact which remains today. Watch his 6 minute speech to the MNBC Annual General Meeting delegates in September 2011 where retired Senator St. Germain’s speech on Youtube saying don’t get side tracked by ‘detractors’ https://youtu.be/tNbeD9sBjZA.
Reflecting on the actions of retired Senator St. Germain in our Métis community in BC, it comes as no surprise about the Audit General of Canada’s finding about his financial irregularities that are now before the RCMP. Through his actions on political issues and interest Senator St. Germain has demonstrated poor qualities and responsible leadership. I assume he is fortunate this audit only analyzed the last 2 years of the time in office, a very important point to remember on this issue.
We hope the Canadian public is served responsibly in this situation and the investigation is objective and upholds the law. It is my belief that individuals such as retired St. Germain have directly used their political influence to control situations and our Mètis people. Today members of the MNBC are left holding millions in debt because they had misguided faith in the individuals such as former Senator St. Germain that Métis people should simply have faith in leadership, even if the facts told us otherwise. Former Senator St. Germain is retired now and despite many irresponsible public statements MNBC continues to be functionally bankrupt and significantly insolvent.
I know many of us tried to encourage responsible and open dialogue to address. Ironically we can thank individuals such as retired Senator St. Germain as being responsible for the evolution of the BC Mètis Federation that today has never been stronger.
To read the recent APTN coverage on this story go to http://aptn.ca/news/2015/06/10/three-aboriginal-senators-named-auditor-generals-report/.
Thank you,Keith Henry President BC Métis Federation
[ilink url=”http://bcmetis.com/wp-content/uploads/BC-Metis-Federation-Senator-St.-Germain-Irony-June-11th-2015.pdf” style=”download”]To download the letter as a PDF click here. [/ilink]