Monday, July 31, 2006

What the court records say .....

Darrel "The Invisible Defendant" Deslauriers

File # SC02-01-93539
Winnipeg Centre




THIS IS TO CERTIFY that this Small Claim matter was heard before a Hearing Officer under The Court of Queen's Bench Small Claims Practices Act on March 31, 2003, and a decision was made:

The claim was granted in favour of TERECK DIESEL LTD.

Against DARREL DESLAURIERS who failed to appear for the sum of $2,574.92 plus disbursements of $165.75, for a total judgment of $2,740.67.

The judgment will bear interest at the rate of 3.0% per annum.
Date: April 2, 2003

Deputy Registrar
File # SC97-01-67320
Winnipeg Centre




THIS IS TO CERTIFY that this Small Claim matter was heard before a Hearing Officer under The Court of Queen's Bench Small Claims Practices Act on April 8, 1998.


Against DARREL R. DESLAURIERS, who failed to appear, for the sum of $780.22 plus $25.00 (costs) plus $217.74 (interest) plus $61.30 (disbursements) for the total judgment of $1,084.26.

Claim was granted in favour of (CCA) COMMERCIAL CREDIT ADJUSTERS LIMITED.

Interest at 1.5% per month.
Date: April 16, 1998

Deputy Registrar

Note: These decisions could have been appealed. We found no evidence such was done.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Can anyone and their uncle run for elected office?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "We are so very sorry Mr. BIG KAHUNA - please don't come looking for us!"

I gasped when I heard Arnold Asham was contemplating running for a Board position at the I&MFC.Considering his checkered past, as documented in previous CyberSmokeBlog articles, it’s beyond my comprehension how such a financially irresponsible individual could even be considering any elected position of responsibility within our Metis community.

If you think things are bad now at the Indian & Metis Friendship Centre should MMF poster boy Arnold Asham ever gets elected you may as well close the doors. I’m not sure what the prerequisites are for holding Office but I sure hope it includes the submission of a criminal record check. I challenge Mr. Asham to present one - it's now out there but like most ..... ........ Arnold will probably crawl back under his rock.
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing you've raised a very valid point. In the case of the Manitoba Metis Federation, can anyone and their uncle seek elected Office? What about the family pet? Is there a screening process such as criminal and civil record checks? After all, they're the public image of an organization. The I&MFC is no different. You don't want this kind of publicly available information coming under close scrutiny later. However, please don't despair help is on the way - THE BIG KAHUNA! packing his 18 inchers is planning to attend the Centre's next meeting .If anyone can clean up the place it's "Mr." TBK! GOD I hope he doesn't organize a SMACK DOWN there!

So we're clear, the Arnold Asham to whom you refer is the owner/publisher of the Aboriginal "newspaper" Grassroots News. There is another Arnold Asham but he's well known internationally for the innovative curling products his company markets.

Clare L. Pieuk

Ernie "THE BIG KAHUNA!" Todd

Saturday, July 29, 2006

We are so very sorry Mr. BiG KAHUNA - please don't come looking for us!

Ernie Todd has left a new comment on your post, "Ah yes, the good Ms Mayer!"

Just to be clear in case there is any misconception, the Mayers and I are not friends of any sort. I have never met Ella, spoke with her on the phone once or twice, that was an enlightening experience to say the least.

I have come across Nelson less than a dozen times in my life but he is not my friend. I am courteous towards him as I am with the majority of Metis people I encounter but he is not my friend. Also, it took 32 years of steady weight training, without ever taking steroids, to gain these 18" arms. I hope to still have them when I am 62.

I will be signing as a member of the IMFC of Winnipeg, next week and rest assured I will be there when they have a meeting. I am looking forward to meeting Ella.
Dear Mr. TBK:

Thank you for writing. After our mid-September 2005 meeting at Tim Hortons I don't know how I got it so bloody wrong - you said such nice things about the Mayers. Nevertheless, you now have a credit for one "full-Nelson" but first you'll have to catch me (Boston Marathon finisher 1975, 1978) plus I'm a little wiser! Trust me Mr. Kahuna you won't have those big 18 inchers when you're 62 - the laws of gravity kick in about 60 as everything heads south.

Clare L. :Pieuk

P.S. Once you meet Ella you're positively going to love her!

Friday, July 28, 2006

It doesn't take a Woodrow Wilson scholar Darrel!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "The fully loaded human backhoe just arrived!"

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha ..... Deslauriers is a ...... ....... - LOL! Hey Blogmaster, you might want to know he hates these postings of yours. He was complaining about you the other day. He said, God! this guy's an ......., what the f...s he doing posting this S..T about me ....."
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing with the heads up. He called me a what? That is MOST DEFINITELY defamatory! I'm going to talk with my very good little buddy Murray Trachtenberg to see if I can hire him to litigate Mr. Deslauriers beyond his ability to pay - you know, sue his ass off. In the words of the immortal American comedian Jimmy Durante, "You ain't seen nothin' yet folks!"

Of course, Mr. Deslauriers you had an option. Like Winnipeg MMF Vice-President Ron Chartrand he could have refused to be a Plaintiff from the start in the Federation's defamation lawsuit against Then there was Richard DeLaRonde and Bonnie McIntyre who went to Murray to obtain a Notice of Discontinuance. It doesn't take a Woodrow Wilson scholar to figure this one out Dearest Darrel and Darryl!

Clare L. Pieuk

That you Anders?

Tansi/Good Day Folks:

Had a couple hits yesterday from Tokyo, Japan where Anders Bruun and his wife are currently vacationing. Many of you may recall both he and colleague Jeff Niederhoffer successfully defended Yvon Dumont in the Metis National Council Secretariat's beyond frivolous lawsuit. Not to worry Anders, Jeff has everything at Campbell Marr running tickety-boo!

Clare L. Pieuk

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Ah yes, the good Ms Mayer!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The fully loaded backhoe just arrived!"

I find it really fascinating Ella Mayer, Provincial Coordinator of MAC (Manitoba Association of Friendship Centres) had the audacity to stand up in front of the membership at the I&MFC (Indian & Metis Friendship Centre) Annual General Meeting to state their constitution is not up to date and some of their practices are shady.

First of all she better take another look at her job description as it clearly states assisting the Centres with these duties is part of her responsibilities. Also, if that is the case then why did she release their funding mere weeks prior to the Assembly? Secondly, it further says very clearly MAC's mission statement is to promote the Centres not tear them down. From what I hear the Board is not too happy with her.
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. Not to worry. From what we've been reading lately on recently in shape, svelte Manitoba wrestling promoter Ernie Todd has been inquiring as to what's required to become an I&MFC Member. No doubt shortly he'll have her ( on the canvas in a half-Nelson yelling "Uncle!" You don't mess with Ernie who can still bench press 295 pounds! If all else fails there's always our secret weapon - THE RED BARON!

Clare L. Pieuk

P.S. Here's what we don't understand. Ms Mayer's husband Mr. Nelson Mayer still appears on MAC's website ( as its Vice-President. Our understanding is he left as Provincial Co-ordinator approximately three years ago to become the Chief Executive Officer of the MMF's Metis Child Family And Community Services Department (subsequently replaced by his wife) and is now doing policy work at Federation headquarters. Have we got it all wrong or like their constitution the page is also woefully out of date?

Mr. Ernie "The Big Kahuna" Todd

Mr. "half-Nelson" Mayer

There's a rumour on the Canadian Wrestling Federation's website ( - "The Big Kuhana" (God I wish I still had muscles like that!) is contemplating coming out of retirement. Our understanding is Messrs. Mayer and Kahuna are good friends going back to the days when the former was also involved in promoting matches.

Mr. Big Kahuna, my Mother (now 83) used to say, "You're pretty frisky now but wait until you get to be my age!" Well she sure was right. At 62 my once perfectly sculptured bod is no more. While I'm still in pretty good shape there's no way I could take you down for the count with a half-Nelson.

The fully loaded human backhoe just arrived!

Defendant Mr. Darrel Roger Deslauriers

Suit No. 87-01-24752

- and -


Barrister and Solicitor
302-171 Donald Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3C 1M4 (944-9418)



The Defendant DARREL DESLAURIERS not having delivered any Statement of Defence to the Plaintiff's Statement of Claim:

1. IT IS THIS DAY adjudged that the Plaintiff recover against the Defendant $1,220.88 and $202.80 costs taxed.

DATED this 23rd day of December A.D. 1987

Signature (untintelligible)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

We've waiting for the backhoe to arrive!

Red Baron has left a new comment on your post, "Today's advice: Watch those thirty year old littering convictions and don't cheat on your taxes!"

LOL - thanks for the plug. I think this person is out for not only lunch, but breakfast and supper as well.

Deslauriers and Montgomery sit on the MMF Board which regulates The Louis Riel Capital Corporation, they borrow money from the regulated Corporation, they're then sued by it and to this day they owe it tens of thousands of dollars. This is such an obvious conflict of interest stretching into so many different directions, it hurts! And the MMF wants to be taken seriously as the "government of the Metis people?" PUH-lease! The Federation cannot even govern itself.

FYI, hope you're continuing to look into Deslauriers. There's more there.
Dear Mr. Baron/Red:

Thank you for writing. Yes, we've thrown out the shovel it's too small and have ordered a backhoe.

Today's advice: Watch those thirty year old littering convictions and don't cheat on your taxes!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "The MMF- LRCC Connection: An Exclusive CyberSmokeBlog Investigative Report!"

This is a real embarrassment and new low for you. What next - are you going to publish people's tax returns? What if someone were charged with littering thirty years ago? I don't know anything about these guys or this Louis Riel Capital Corporation but I don't understand why the fact they owe money - even if it's lots of money - to a Corporation is worth publishing. Leave them alone - why are you bothering them!
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. Yes, if we legally could we'd publish their income tax returns and any littering convictions from thirty years ago. "These guys" as you call them were MMF Provincial Board of Directors at the time they obtained their loans from The Louis Riel Capital Corporation which Federation lawyer Murray Norman Trachtenberg has described, in various public documents, as "an arms-length affiliate" of the Manitoba Metis Federation.

Using generally accepted accounting principles, we'd beg to differ with Counselor Trachtenberg's nomenclature. How can that be when LRCC's present Chairwoman is a former Federation Vice-President plus you have two MMF VPs currently sitting on The Corporation's Board of Directors? Arms-length affiliate?

By the way, the initial operational and loan capital to launch The Louis Riel Capital Corporation was provided over twelve years ago under the terms of an Aboriginal Business Canada (embedded as part of Industry Canada) Contribution Agreement.

"These guys" to whom you refer are Plaintiffs in a defamation lawsuit brought against last year by the Manitoba Metis Federation. Presumably they believe they've suffered grievous injury and damage. One other point. Do you think it's possible the MMF is using YOUR taxpayer dollars to cover their legal bills? Any more questions?

Clare L. Pieuk

P.S. Too bad you don't know one of our readers The Red Baron - he could further enlighten you!

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Red Baron drops in for a visit!

Red Baron has left a new comment on your post, "The MMF- LRCC Connection: An Exclusive CyberSmokeBlog Investigative Report!"

Good work. I was waiting to see if you were going to get to this stuff. There's a bit more out there though involving Mr. Deslauriers- the good news is its all in the public domain you just have to keep digging! Sanderson knows what I'm talking about.
Dear Mr. Baron/Red:

Thank you for writing - we're never quite sure how to address you - and the kind words. Your point is very well taken. Court records don't lie and best of all they are public documents which are virtually defamation proof. As we're rapidly learning, it's a matter of doing your homework and knowing where to look in the system.

As for fellow blogging brother Derryl Sanderson ( we haven't specifically talked with him about this case so are unaware of what he knows. Love your pseudonym!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

What's this all about?

MKO Nation News
March, 2004
Page 19

Opening Soon
Watch For The May Grand Opening Of The Mistinipe Ventures Ltd. General Store

Darryl Montgomery, President
Mistinipi Ventures Ltd.
General Delivery, South Indian Lake
Manitoba R0B 1N0 (204)-374-2281

Welcomes The MKO Nation News to our Community of South Indian Lake
Best of Luck!
Dear Reader:

Thank you supplying this information. It's our understanding MKO Nation News was established by Grassroots News Publisher/Owner Mr. Arnold "Pravda/Tass" Asham but is now defunct.

Clare L. Pieuk

Friday, July 21, 2006

The MMF- LRCC Connection: An Exclusive CyberSmokeBlog Investigative Report!

Mr. Darrel R. (Roger) Deslauriers
Provincial Director
Northwest Regional Director
(Re-elected June 29, 2006)
MMF Defamation Lawsuit Plaintiff

Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench File Number CI05-01-42648
Louis Riel Capital Corporation Versus Deslauriers, Darrel R.

Mr. Darryl D. Montgomery
Former Provincial Director
Former Vice-President Thompson Region
(Did not run in June 29, 2006 election)
MMF Defamation Lawsuit Plaintiff

Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench File Number CI04-01-39016
Louis Riel Capital Corporation Versus Montgomery, Darryl D.

Tansi/Good Day Readers:

Sorry for the recent dearth of new articles but we've been pouring over tons of public court documents. It seems a Mr. Darrel R. (Roger) Deslauriers, Plaintiff in the Manitoba Metis Federation's defamation lawsuit against, has had some issues with the federally funded Louis Riel Capital Corporation. But it only gets better. Inadvertently, a Mr. Darryl D. Montgomery another of the Co-Plaintiffs also flew onto our radar. Apparently he too has had problems with LRCC.

Official public records show a Mr. Darrel R. (Roger) Deslauriers, in some cases identified simply as Darrel Deslauriers has been involved in eleven (11) previous litigations going back to 1984 one of which was dismissed. These include seven (7) Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench proceedings, one (1) Family Division case [a divorce in which a Restraining Order was granted] plus three (3) Small Claims Court actions.

In The Louis Riel Capital Corporation Versus Montomery, Darryl D. a Default Judgment (Defendant offered no defence) for $63,364.05 was rendered on September 27, 2004. It's not clear yet whether this amount included court costs.
The following excerpts are from Murray Norman Trachtenberg's third amended Statement of Claim against originally dated March 31, 2005, served May 28, 2005 and last revised May 9, 2006.
The Happy Litigator
[1.] The plaintiffs claim against each of the defendants:

(a) general damages in an amount to be determined by this Honourable Court;

(b) aggravated damages;

(c) punitive damages;

(d) costs on a solicitor and client basis;

(e) such further and other relief as the nature of the case may require and this Honourable Court deem just. (Paragraph 1 Page 3)

[45.] Belhumeur and Pieuk agreed with one another that would be used to publish statements and criticisms of the plaintiffs written either by Belhumeur or Pieuk or by other third parties whose identity would not be revealed all with the intent of persuading members of the Manitoba Metis community to not elect Chartrand and/or others of the plaintiffs in the next MMF election and with the intent of portraying the plaintiffs in a negative manner so as to cause suspicion and a lack of confidence in the plaintiffs by the Maniotba Metis Metis community, the elected officials of Canada, Manitoba and the public servants who deal with the MMF. The plaintiffs state as the facts are that the predominant purpose of the agreement between Belhumeur and Pieuk was to cause injury to the plaintiffs. (Paragraph 45 Page 11)

84. The actions of the defendants were callous, mean-spirited and designed to injure the plaintiffs and are deserving of an award of punitive damages. (Paragraph 84 Page 23)
Please stay tuned. Currently CyberSmokeBlog is going through a "WHACK!" of documents obtained from Winnipeg's Provincial Law Courts Building (File Registry) trying to figure out what the hell's going on?

Clare L. Pieuk
File no. CI-01-42648





Barristers and Solicitors
1900 - 155 Carlton Street
Winnipeg MB R3C 3H8

Phone: (204) 942-3316
File No. 950033-2504


I, DOUG REPAY, of the City of Winnipeg, in the Province of Manitoba, MAKE OATH AND SAY THAT:

1. I am the manager of Louis Riel Capital Corporation ("LRCC"), the Plaintiff herein and as such have personal knowledge of the facts and matters hereinafter deposed to by me, except where such facts and matters are stated to be based upon information and belief, in which case I do verily believe those facts and matters to be true.

2. On February 2, 2004, LRCC loaned to the defendants $52,500.00. The internal account number attributed to this loan by LRCC was account number 0010-03 (the "Loan").

3. On February 6, 2004, the Defendants signed a promissory note in the amount of $52,000.00 in favour of LRCC. Attached hereto and marked as Exhibit "A" is a photocopy of the promissory note.

4. Prior to the Loan, the Defendant Darryl Deslauriers had granted to LRCC a general security agreement over assets he used in his business carried on under the name D & T Trucking. This general security agreement secured payment of all present and future obligations, indebtedness and liability of Darryl Deslauriers to LRCC. Attached hereto and marked as Exhibit "B" is a photocopy of a general security agreement dated April 5, 2000 (the "General Security Agreement").

6. Attached hereto and marked as Exhibit "D" is a copy of LRCC's history for the Loan from February 2, 2004 to September 30, 2005. Information on this loan history indicates the following:

a) as at February 2, 2004, $52,500.00 was loaned by LRCC to the Defendants;

b) on May 27, 2004, one payment of $54,106.00 and another of $139.26 (totalling $54, 245.26) was paid on account. On that same date a disbursement of $54,106.00 was made;

c) since May 27, 2004, no payments whatsoever have been made on account of this loan.

7. The Defendants have alleged in their Statement of Defence that on May 27, 2004, Mr. Deslauriers paid to LRCC $54,384.52 and thereby repaid all amounts outstanding to LRCC. This is not true. My review of the file indicates that on May 27, 2004, a substitution of security under the General Security Agreement occurred and nothing more. The following are the details of this substitution of security;

a) on May 17,2004 Mr. Wayne Gray, Acting General Manager of LRCC wrote to Volvo Manitoba Truck Centre advising that LRCC had approved financing for Mr. Deslauriers to purchase a truck which was conditional upon the sale of other assets owned my Mr. Deslauriers. Attached hereto and marked as Exhibit "E" is a copy of Mr. Gray's letter of May 17, 2004, addressed to Volvo Manitoba Truck Centre;

b) on May 27, 2004, LRCC received a certified cheque from the Austin Credit Union in the amount of $54,245.26. This letter rtter requested that Mr. Gray sign the letter acknowledging release of the following security:

- 1987 Freightliner
- 1988 Ford L9000
-1987 Fruehauf Trailer
- 1986 Midland Trailer
- 1978 Edson Camper Trailer

Attached hereto and marked as Exhibit "F" is a copy of the Austin Credit Union letter of May 26, 2004;

c) on May 27, 2004, Mr. Deslauriers signed a Retail Buyers Vehicle Order and Agreement with Volvo Manitoba Truck Centre for a 1999 Volvo Model #VNL64T610 ("the "Volvo Tractor"). The purchase price was $48,150.00. Attached hereto and marked as Exhibit "G" is a copy of the agreement for the Volvo Tractor;

d) on May 27, 2004, Mr. Gray signed two receipts indicating that LRCC had received for the benefit of Mr. Deslauriers $54,245.26. From this amount 454,106.00 was to be utilized for the purchase of the Volvo Tractor and $139.27 was to be applied on account of the loan. Attached hereto and marked as Exhibit "H" are photocopies of LRCC receipt numbers 3054 and 3055;

e) on May 27, 2004. LRCC issued a cheque jointly payable to Darryl Deslauriers and Volvo Manitoba Truck Centre in the amount $54,106.00. This cheque referenced the same account number for the Loan. On that same day LRCC also issued a cheque to the credit of the Loan in the amount of $139.26. Attached hereto and marked as Exhibit "I" are photocopies of the aforementioned cheques;

f) both cheques were negotiated and Mr. Deslauriers purchased the Volvo Tractor;

g) on May 27, 2004, a financing change statement was filed in the Manitoba Personal Property Registry adding the Volvo Tractor as security held by LRCC for the Loan and removing the collateral requested by the Austin Credit Union. Attached hereto and marked as Exhibit "J" is a copy of Personal Property Registry Confirmation Statement number 200409280217.

8. As indicated in Exhibit "D," the amount outstanding by the Defendants to LRCC is $62,729.57 as at September 30, 2005. LRCC seeks judgment in that amount plus costs on a solicittor and client basis as permitted by the terms of the promissory note.

9. I make this Affidavit in good faith in support of a Motion for Summary Judgment.

SWORN before me at the City)
of Winnipeg, in the Province of)
Manitoba, this 27th day of October, 2005.


(Signature unintelligible)
A Commissioner for Oaths in and for the Province of Manitoba
My Commission expires: July 21/07

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Go Chartrand! has left a new comment on your post, "Beware of BIG BROTHER!"

OF COURSE the MMF is monitoring this website. And Good for them. You would too if some crazy whitey weirdo was saying deflamitory things about you on a website!
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. The fact I'm non-Aboriginal is completely irrelevant. Remember during June, 2004 when Mr. David N. Chartrand wrote to the Presidents of the Canadian Jewish Congress (Ottawa) and B'nai Brith (Toronto) apologizing for public comments he had made comparing University of Calgary Professor Thomas Flanagan to Hitler without an army? By the way you spelled defamatory incorrectly.

Clare L. Pieuk

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Individual websites for all active MMF Locals?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Support your MMF Locals!"

Thank you for advertising our event. You are also very much welcome to attend Clare it is for everyone. No politics here time now for fun.
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you so much for the invitation. Locals are the foundation upon which the MMF is built, therefore, the stronger they are the more democratic the organization. Hopefully, someday you'll all have your own interconnected system of websites. This is an effective way to exchange information thereby counter balancing the concentration of power and its inevitable abuse by a headquarters based operation. Your event particulars again:

Cherry Creek Metis Council Presents
Traditional Metis Music, Jigging And Square Dancing

Free Admission
Friday, July 28, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 29, 12:00 - 11:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 30, 11:00 - 4:00 p.m.
$1,000 Draw

Entertainment By:
Sierra Noble

Local Manitoba Artists and Square Dancers
Arts and Crafts Tables
Childrens' Activities
Replica Historic Metis Home
Teen Dance
Food Booth
Walking and Driving Tours

July 28 - 30 Boissevain, Manitoba
Contact: Roxanne Goodon (204) 877-437-8733

Good Luck!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Beware of BIG BROTHER!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall?"

Is it true the MMF is watching this site?
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. Oh probably - a few months ago MMF lawyer Murray Trachtenberg filed a silly affidavit in connection with the Federation's defamation lawsuit against It contained approximately six postings which had been directly downloaded from this site?

In the past he has also included direct downloads from CyberSmokeSignals in his Court filings. It's reasonable to assume any sites critical of the current MMF leadership (e.g., and are likely being monitored at a cost of at least $250/hour in taxpayer money.

Clare L. Pieuk

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Alas, there is no joy today in CyberSmokeBlogville!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "An ode to those Plaintiffs" by Manitoba Metisland's unknown Poet Laureate!

You butchered my poem. No more prose for you.
Dear Unknown Fellow Bard:

Ah! T'is so sad to have to say
There will be no more prose

Sometimes I can be such a bore
Because I'm thick like a door

Blogmasters are all such friggin'.....
Let's go jiggin'!

Clare L. Pieuk

Saturday, July 15, 2006

"An ode to those Plaintiffs!" by Manitoba Metisland's unknown poet laureate!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Justice John Menzies' decision in the Yvon Dumont case!"

“How dare he oppose my buddy Dave,” Clem uttered with a vent.
By hook or crook I’ll have my way and keep him President.

A hurried call to Winnipeg a sorted plot hatched.
A scheme so despicable - retribution with no match.
A fistful of Metis dollars to his lawyer Dave did dash.
“Let’s solve it in the usual way sue his sorry ass"

Without a doubt David boasted the onslaught they could curb.
For sitting in the Plaintiffs chair would be the mighty Trachtenberg.

When Murray got the news he broke into a sweat.
We’re talking Florida condo for life he would be set.

“Who cares about Yvon’s service? "Who cares if he’s Metis?”
He pounds his fist with vengeance. “Let’s hang him like Louis.”

Relaxing back in Ottawa Clem stretched out upon his cot.
Yvon he signed a contract run for office he should not.

Dumont’s Metis blood was churning with dreams about Batoche.
A war was in the offing the battle can’t be lost.

Justice Menzies heard the whole sad story the lawyers they were done.
Clem and David were arrogant having lots of fun.

The gavel came down quickly the verdict it was heard.
The justice said, “Not guilty that is the final word."
Dear Anonymous:

T'is sad to say the gavel is no more.
Otherwise thoroughly frustrated Menzies

Would have flung it at those Bloody .......! (Rhymes with "Menzies" - well almost!)

Clare L. Pieuk

Justice John Menzies' decision in the Yvon Dumont case!

Tansi/Good Day Folks:

Since Justice Menzies decision is 22 pages (63 paragraphs) we've highlighted in blue those which are the most important.

Clare L. Pieuk

BETWEEN: Metis National Council Secretariat Inc. and Clement Chartier on behalf of the Metis National Council and the Metis National Council - Murray N. Trachtenberg for the Plaintiffs

W. Yvon Dumont - Anders Bruun and Jeff Niederhoffer for the Defendant
[1] The Plaintiffs bring an action against the Defendant for breach of a restrictive covenant in his employment contract and for damages as a result.
[2] The Plaintiff Clement Chartier is the President of the Metis National Council having been elected to that position in October 2003. The Metis National Council (MNC) is the governing body for various Metis organizations serving the Metis people residing from Ontario to British Columbia. The MNC is run by a Board of Governors which consists of the Presidents of the five provincial bodies namely: Metis Nation of Alberta (MNA), the Metis Nation of Saskatchewan (MNS), the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF), [the three founding members], the Metis Nation of Ontario (MNO) and the Metis Provincial Council of British Columbia (MPCBC). In addition to these five Members, there is also a President elected for three year terms by a vote held at an Annual General Assembly of the MNC. The Metis Sceretariat Inc. is a Corporation set up by the Metis National Council to carry on their affairs.
[3] In 1999, the Board of Governors of MNC decided to create the position of Governor. The position was to be a ceremonial position similar to the Governor General of Canada. The person filling this role was to preside over ceremonial events as well as promote Metis culture and history.
[4] The Defendant Yvon Dumont was a prominent Metis individual active in Metis culture and politics. Dumont had been appointed and served as the Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba from March 1993 March of 1999. The Members of the Board of Governors of MNC felt that Dumont's background made him an obvious choice for the position of Governor and, therefore, offered him the position. Dumont accepted the offer and was sworn in as Governor at the MNC Annual General Assembly held in 1999.
[5] Although the position of Governor had been created by MNC and filled by Dumont, no terms of reference for this position had been created. It was understood the terms of reference would be agreed upon at a later date.
[6] In June 2001 an election for President of MNC was scheduled for the Annual General Assembly. The incumbent President Gerald Morin who came from Saskatchewan was running for re-election. At the Assembly, Dumont was nominated to run for the position of President and agreed to let his name stand. Morin won the election.
[7] Dumont's candidacy for President evoked an angry reaction from the MNS which passed a resolution refusing to recognize Dumont as the Governor of MNC.
[8] At the December 2001 Board of Governors meeting, the President of MNS introduced proposed terms of reference for the position of Governor. After heated discussion, the Board, of Governors adopted a terms of reference which provided as follows:
The Metis National Council may appoint a Governor of the Metis Nation. The Governor so appointed shall fulfill a ceremonial and advisory role to the President, Board of Governors, Metis National Cabinet and General Assembly of the Metis Nation.
Qualifications: The person selected as Governor must have a proven record of service to the Metis Nation, and be respected by the citizens of the Metis Nation.
Process of Selection: The Board of Governors shall select a person from a list of nominees submitted by the President and/or Governing Members, which selection shall be subject to ratification by the General Assembly.
Terms of Appointment: The Governor shall be appointed for a period of five (5) years with elibibility for a further five (5) year appointment.
Resignation: The Governor may resign such position upon written notification to the Presidnet of the Metis National Council.
Remuneration: The Governor may be remunerated based on a yearly stipend, or by honorarium for events requested to attend.
Travel Expenses: The Governor shall be reimbursed travel costs for events to which the Governor has been invited to attend by the President of the Metis National Council.
Politics: The Governor shall not take part in the politics of the Metis Nation. Any person who serves as Governor shall not be eligible to seek or hold political office in the Metis National Council (or any of its Governing Members) for a period of two years from the date that the person ceases to be the Governor.
Oath of Office: The Governor shall be sworn-in, and sign an Oath of Office based on these terms of reference."
[9] These terms of reference were given to Dumont for his consideration the same day they were adopted by the Board of Governors. Dumont had misgivings about the terms of reference. Nevertheless, on January 22, 2002, Dumont wrote to the President of the MNC advising tht he accepted the terms.
[10] Despite Dumont having indicated his acceptance to the terms of reference, the Motion made by MNS refusing to recognize Dumont as the Governor was not rescinded.
[11] On January 17, 2003 Dumont wrote to the President of MNC tendering his resignation as Governor of MNC. Shortly thereafter, he declared his intention to run for the postion of President of the Manitoba Metis Federation against the incumbent, David Chartrand in the election to be held in June.
[12] On January 27, 2003 Chartrand wrote to the Board of Governors of MNC complaining of Dumont's actions.
[13] The Board of Governors considered what actions should be taken as a result of Dumont's apparent breach of the terms of reference. The MNC had a long standing policy that the national governing body should not interfere in provincial Metis politics. The Board of Governors decided they would not take any action to prevent Dumont from running for President of the MMF. They did, however, write to Dumont requesting the return of all remuneration paid to him since the acceptance of the terms of reference based on his apparent breach of contract.
[14] Dumont was not successful in his bid to become the President of the MMF. MNC brought an action to recover the salary paid under the terms of reference.
[15] Dumont argues the terms of reference adopted by the Board of Governors of MNC do not form part of his contract with MNC.
[16] Dumont argues he did not agree to the terms of reference. Dumont testified he approached President Morin in January of 2002, who agreed that the "Politics" clause of the terms of reference would be amended and did not apply to him.
[17] The evidence does not support this contention.
[18] Morin admitted he was undergoing personal difficulties at the relevant time but denies he ever argued the "Politics" clause would be amended or would not apply to Dumont.
[19] By way of a letter dated January 22nd 2002, Dumont advised Morin he would accept the terms of reference adopted by the Board of Governors. In that letter Dumont wrote:
"Although acceptance of the offer as it stands, means that I must remove myself from the possibility of holding political office anywhere in the Metis Nation," but that in order to be effective and to have the appearance of being completely politically neutral in the postion, it is necessary."
[20] Dumont acknowledged he was aware this letter would be presented to the Board of Governors at their next meeting.
[21] Dumont admitted he did not mention any agreement to amend the "Politics" clause in his letter of acceptance of January 22, 2002, his letter of resignation from the position of Governor of January 23, 2003, or in a letter Dumont addressed to Anthony Belcourt, the President of MNO, in response to the letter of complaint that had been forwarded to the Board of Governors by Chartrand.
[22] Dumont's actions in accepting the terms of reference by way of the letter of January 22, 2002, and his failure to raise the issue of an agreement with Morin in later discussions with the MNC do not support his contention there was an agreement to circumvent the "Politics" clause of the terms of reference. The reference as adopted by the Bard of Governors and I so find.
[23] Dumont also argues the "Politics" clause is void for being too restrictive and, therefore, against public policy. The "Politics" clause is in the nature of a restrictive covenant. As such the clause constitutes an interference with Dumont's individual liberty to participate in Metis politics despite the termination of any contractual relationship between Dumont and the MNC.
[24] A restrictive covenant may be justifiable in the circumstances of any particular case if it is reasonable as between the Parties and within the interests of the public interest. Although discussing a covenant in the restraint of trade, the comments from Dickson J. (as he then was) in Elsley v. J. G. Collins Insurance, [1978] 2 S. C. R. 916 at page 923 are instructive:
"A covenant in restraint of trade is enforceable only if it is reasonable between the Parties and with reference to the public interests.... In assessing the opposing interests the word one finds repeated throughout the cases is the word "reasonable." The test of reasonableness can be applied, however, only to the particular circumstances of the particular case. Circumstances are of infinite variety. Other cases may help in enunciating broad general principles but are otherwise of little assistance."
[25] When Dumont was offered the position of Governor in 1999, terms of reference for the position had not been established. In 2001, Dumont ran against Morin for the position of President of MNC. The President of MNA Audrey Poitras, the President of MMF David Chartrand and the President of MNO Belcourt had urged Dumont to contest the election. None of these prominent Metis politicians saw difficulty in Dumont's running for office while holding the Office of Governor.
[26] In contrast, the reaction from MNS was dramatic. MNS passed a Motion refusing to recognize Dumont as the Governor. There was no evidence tendered to show this Motion was ever withdrawn or Dumont subsequently recognized by MNS. Chartier as President of MNS proposed terms of reference which would have required Dumont to promise not to run for political office in MNC or any of its founding Members for 5 years. In discussion, the Board of Governors reduced that covenant to 2 years. The amended terms of reference were presented to Dumont for acceptance.
[27] Bearing in mind the goal to keep the position of Governor of the MNC apolitical, I am satisfied the restrictive covenant was reasonable as between the Parties to the contract so long as Dumont continued to hold the position of Governor. The profile of the position of Governor is considerable and certainly would represent an unfair advantage for any candidate. However, once the postion is vacatated, the rationale of the two year waiting period is less clear. However, the terms of reference were agreed upon and the waiting period is not overly onerous on the Party vacating the position. I would not be prepared to find that the clause was unreasonable in this situation.
[28] In accordance with the reasoning contained in the Elsley decision, supra, once the restrictive covenant is found to be reasonable, the onus then falls to the Party attacking it to prove it is contrary to public interest.
[29] There is considerable evidence on the issue of public interest. From the viewpoint of Metis politics, the restrictive covenant preventing Dumont from participating in Metis political activity for two years was a contentious matter from its initial introduction by the President of MNS.
[30] While giving their evidence surrounding the circumstances of Dumont contesting the election for President of MNC in 2001, three Members of the MNC Board of Governors, Belcourt, Poitras and Chartrand indicated they saw no irregularity with Dumont running for President of MNC while holding the Office of Governor on the understanding he would resign if he won. The negative reaction came from the MNS.
[31] As a result of heated debate at the Board of Governors meeting of December 2001, the new terms of reference were adopted.
[32] In 2003 Dumont resigned and declared his candidacy for the position of President of MMF. This apparent breach of the restrictive covenant was brought to the attention of the Board of Governors of MNC. The Board of Governors decided no action would be taken to prevent Dumont from participating in the election. The Court heard from four witnesses who were Members of the Board of Governors involved in that decision. Their evidence provided an interesting insight into the political philosophy of the Metis leadership. Chartier, Poitras, Chartrand and Belcourt testified there was long standing policy within the MNC not to interfere in the elections held at the provincial level. They all declared that it was policy that the voting Members of the provincial bodies had the sole right to decide who their elected representatives would be. Their testimony was MNC would respect the results of the provincial elections even if it was Dumont who won. Belcourt stated it was contrary to Metis policy to restrict someone from running for Office:
[33] In the MNC's letter of February 11, 2003 as authored by Poitras, the following passage is found:
"As you know, the principle of democracy is paramount to our Nation and our people; therefore, to interfere in the MMF's ongoing elections and attempt to stop your candidacy would be inconsistent with our collective values. It is the position of the majority of the MNC Board of Governors that only the Metis people of Manitoba have the right to choose who can honourably, honestly and fairly lead them. This position was echoed by the President of the MMF in the discussion. I want to affirm that the MNC will not interfere in the MMF's democratic process in any way."
[34] As it is a policy of the Metis people not to interfere with political elections and to let local memberships decide who their elected leaders will be, the propriety of the restrictive clause should be considered in light of that policy. The restrictive covenant prohibiting Dumont from running for political office within the Metis Nation is contrary to the political philosophy of the Metis people. In order to enforce the restrictive clause, the MNC would have to contravene a basic political belief of the Metis people. In light of the public interest to let the Metis people choose their own leader without interference from the MNC, the restrictive covenant cannot stand. I find the clause is unenforceable as being against the public interest.
[35] However, if I am wrong in that decision, I will decide the other issues that have been raised in this matter.
[36] Dumont argues that the terms of reference are unenforceable as there has been no consideration flowing to him for accepting these new terms of Office. It was clearly understood by Dumont that if he did not accept the terms of reference, his employment was in jeopardy. By accepting the new terms, he was promised a fixed term of five years as Governor of MNC with the possibility of another five year term. It has been held by other courts that a continuation of employment is sufficient consideration to suppport a restrictive covenant in a contract. See Pearless Laundry & Cleaners Ltd. v. Neal, [1953] 2 D. L. R. 494 (Man. C. A.); Skeans v. Hampton, (1914), O. L. R. 424 (Ont. C. A.); P. C. O. Services Ltd. v. Rumelski, (1963) 38 D. L. R. (2d) 390 (Ont. H. C.). Accordingly, I find there was consideration for the acceptance of the terms of reference and upon acceptance they became binding between MNC and Dumont.
[37] There can be little doubt that by running for the Office of President of the MMF in June of 2003, Dumont breached the "Politics" clause of the terms reference. If the "Politics" clause were an enforceable clause of the contract, he clearly breached the clause.
[38] Dumont argues MNC has waived any reliance on the "Politics" clause by allowing him to run for the position of President of MMF without taking steps to prevent his candidacy. This position is contradicted by the evidence before the Court. It is true the MNC decided not to enjoin Dumont from running in the MMF election, but at all times the MNC maintained they would be seeking redress by way of damages for breaching the "Politics" clause. There is no evidence before the Court to show MNC waived its right to sue for breach of contract.
[39] Presuming the Plaintiffs had been successful in establishing a breach of contract, they have demanded damages in the amount of $47,047.52 plus interest since January 17, 2003 for breach of the terms of the employment contract. This represents the salary and benefits paid to Dumont from the date of his acceptance of the terms of reference to his resignation. In the alternative, the Plaintiffs claim the same amount under the principle of unjust enrichment. The Plaintiffs also claim general damages for the damage done to the position of Governor by Dumont's actions.
[40] The principles of unjust enrichment have been clearly delineated by the Supreme Court of Canada in Rathwell v. Rathwell (1976) 1 R. F. L. (2d) 1, Becker v. Pettkus (1980), 19 R. F. L. 165, Sorochan v. Sorochan (1986) 2 R. F. L. (3d) 225 and Peter v. Beblow (1993), 44 R. F. L. (3d) 329. Those principles are:
"1) one party must be enriched;
2) there must be a corresponding deprivation to a second party;
3) there is an absence of juristic reason for the enrichment to the first party.
[41] There is little question of an enrichment flowing to Dumont in this case as he received his salary as Governor throughout his term of Office.
[42] The evidence does not establish a deprivation to the MNC. It is true that MNC paid the salary but in return Dumont provided the contracted for services to the benefit of the MNC in his position as Governor. By all accounts, Dumont carried out his responsibilities as Governor in an exemplary fashion, the benefit of which flowed to the MNC. Accordingly, I do not find the evidence establishes a deprivation to the MNC.
[43] Finally, there was a juristic reason for Dumont to be enriched. That reason was the agreement between Dumont and MNC to pay him a salary for acting as the Governor of MNC.
[44] There is not legal or factual basis for a claim of damages based on the doctrine of unjust enrichment in this case.
[45] If a breach of contract has been found in this matter, the Court would have to determine the damages flowing from that breach. Calculation of damages for the breach of the covenant not to run for political office in this case poses greater difficulty. Counsel for MNC referred to The law of Contract in Canada by Fridman, 3rd ed. (Carswell) at page 751:
"The fact that it may be difficult, if not virtually impossible, to assess or measure accurately and with definition the value of the loss suffered by the plaintiff - which is attributable to, and not too remote a consequence of the defendant's breach or contract - is not in itself an answer to a claim for damages. The Court must and will make an award. As was stated by Duff J in Kohler v. Thorold Natural Gas Co., [1916), 52 S. C. R. 514 at 530]
'as against a wrongdoer, and especially when the wrong is of such a character that in itself it is calculated to make and does make the exact ascertainment of damages impossible or extremely difficult and embarrassing, all reasonable presumptions are to be made.'
'The Court must do the best it can and make a reasonable estimate of the plaintiff's loss."'
'(At page 753). Thus, truly speculative loss is never recoverable, since it is not loss that can be traced to the defendant's breach of contract, nor, is it necessarily loss which the plaintiff has suffered. Loss that is difficult to assess or calculate is nonetheless definitely loss suffered by the plaintiff attributable to the wrongdoing of the defendant."
[46] There is also comment on the calculation of damages made by Conrad J. in Marigold Holdings Ltd. v. Morem Construction Ltd., (1988) 60 Alta. L. R. (2d) 289, 31 C. L. R. 51, 89 A. R. 81 [1988] 5 W. W. R. 710 (Alta. Q. B.) at paragraph 266:
"The general rule is that general damages which are uncertain, contingent or speculative cannot be made a basis for recovery. That rule is directed against uncertainty as to cause rather than as to extent or measure of damages. (Krantz v. Hicks [1911] 2K. B. 786, [1911-1913] All E. R. 224 (C. A.); Sapwell v. Bass [1910] 2 K. B. 486; and Wood v. Grant Valley Ry. Co. (1915) 51 S. C. R. 283, 22 D. L. R. 614."
[47] The Manitoba Court of Appeal has also had the opportunity to comment on the calculation of damages in the recent decision of Campeau v. Desjardins Financial Security Life Assurance Co. (2005) MBCA 148. Freedman J. A. commented on the general principles for the determination of damages for breach of contract beginning at para 26:
"An award of general damages may be made for a breach of contract but damages must be proved even if the plaintiff is not able to quantify precisely all aspects of the claim. See D. R. Harris, ed., Chitty on Contracts, 27th ed. (London: Sweet and Maxwell, 1994) at 1199-1200, para. 26-002.
The purpose of a damages award in contract cases is, so far as possible, to put the injured party in the position he or she would have been in, had there been no breach (BG Checo at pp. 16, 37, and Asamera Oil Corporation Ltd. v. Seal Oil General Corporation et al., 1978 Can LII 16 (S. C. C.), [1979] 1 S. C. R. 633 at 645). It will be apparent that, to arrive at a damages award one must decide what that position would have been. One must determine so far as possible, the benefits which would have accrued to the injured party, had there been no breach. In my opinion, to understand the real consequences to the plaintiff of the breach of contract, one must understand the bargain made by the parties.'
'(para. 29) In BG Checo, the Supreme Court said (see p. 40) that breach of contract normally is concerned with "expectation" damages while tort claims raise "reliance" damages (see L. L. Fuller and W. R. Perdue, "The Reliance Interest in Contract Damages" (1936-37) Yale L. J., 52 and 373). Contract promises can normally expect to recover what they have lost by the failure of the promisor to abide by the contract. So far as possible, this will be consistent with the fundamental principle applicable to measuring breach of contract damages, of "restitutio in integrum" (see e.g. Bowlay Logging Ltd. v. Dontar Ltd. (1978), 87 D. L. R. (3d) 325, at 335 (B. C. S. C.), aff'd (1982), 135 D. L. R. (3d) 179 (B. C. C. A.). This principle ensures, as Berger J. said at trial in Bowlay (at p. 335), that the law of contract compensates for the consequences of the breach, not for the consequences of entering into the contract"
[48] The manitoba Court of Appeal also quoted with approval the following excerpt from Martin v. Goldfarb et al., 1998 CanLII 4150 (Ont. C. A.), (1998), 41 O. R. (3d) 161 at page 187:
" .... it is a well established principle that where damages in a particular case are by their inherent nature difficult to assess, the court must do the best it can in the circumstances. That is not to say, however, that a litigant is relieved of his or her duty to prove the facts upon which the damages are estimated. The distinction drawn in the various authorities, as I see it, is that where the assessment is difficult because of the nature of the damages proved, the difficulty of assessment is no ground for refusing substantial damages even to the point of resorting to guess work. However, where the abaence of evidence makes it impossible to assess damages, the litigant is entitled to nominal damages at best."
[49] With these principles in mind, the Court must assess the reasonable expectations of the Parties at the time of the breach. Clearly the Plaintiffs did not expect Dumont would run for political office in the MMF at the time of his resignation. It became evident shortly after his resignation that Dumont would run for President of the MMF. At this time the Plaintiffs could have applied for an injunction to prevent Dumont from entering the MMF election. They elected not to do so. If the Plaintiffs had been successful in obtaining an injunction, any damages caused by the breach would have been nominal at best.
[50] Having not taken steps to prevent Dumont from entering the election, the Plaintiffs ask the Court to award damages equal to the last year of salary in compensation for the breach of contract. I agree with the Plaintiffs to an award of damages inflicted by a breach of contract. However, the failure to move for an injunction does not entitle the Plaintiffs to ask for the Court to award a higher quantum of damages than those damages which flow form the breach of the contract to obtain an award.
[51] The Court should look to put the Parties back in the position they would have been had there been no breach of the contract.
[52] It is true that had there been no breach of contract, Dumont would not have run for the position of President of the MMF. The fact of the matter is that Dumont lost that election and, therefore, to that extent the Parties were in the same position they would have been had he not let his name stand in that election.
[53] The Plaintiffs claim that by running in the MMF elections, Dumont has so tainted the position of Governor, that it can no longer be occupied. The position of MNC is that the politicization of the post of Governor has irreparably damaged the position, ending its usefulness for the MNC and damages should be awarded.
[54] The evidence does not support this position.
[55] The position of Governor was created to fulfill a ceremonial role for the MNC. The Governor was to be an official representative of the Metis people at public functions, to promote Metis history and culture. Every witness who was asked agreed that Dumont did an exemplary job as Governor throughout his tenure.
[56] Two of the witnesses for the Plaintiffs who claim Dumont tainted the position of Governor by running for office in the MMF were Audrey Poitras and David Chartrand. These same two people encouraged Dumont to run for the position of President of the MNC in 2001 while occupying the office of Governor. Both of these Members of the Board of Governors of MNC testified there was nothing wrong with Dumont letting his name stand for election in 2001 so long as he resigned if he won. The third Member of the Board of Governors also encouraged Dumont to run for office in 2001. He did not feel that Dumont's actions were inappropriate.
[57] In her testimony, Poitras testified that the real cause of the harm was creating the position of Governor without agreeing to terms of reference in the first place. I agree. As Chartrand admitted, the election of 2001 created a rift within the MNS which did not heal. If the position of Governor was tainted, it was already tainted in 2001 prior to the terms of reference coming into being.
[58] The position of Governor has not been filled since Dumont vacated it, but I am not satisfied the vacancy is related to effects of Dumont breaching the terms of reference. The real difficulty with filling this position lies with trying to prevent the office holder from being politically active while respecting the Metis philosophy of not interfering with the right of the electorate to decide who their leaders will be in a democratic fashion.
[59] There is no correlation between the $47,047.52 claimed and the breach of the terms of reference. To award that sum would be to pick a sum out or the air without any evidentiary basis to base the determination.
[60] In addition, I do not believe there is any evidence upon which to base any other quantum of damages and to do so would be pure speculation on my part. I refuse to speculate on damages. In my opinion, even if I had found the Plaintiffs had proved a breach of contract, they have failed to prove any damages resulting from the breach as alleged.
[61] The Plaintiffs had two remedies available to them upon the breach of the terms of reference. The first was to try and enjoin Dumont from running in the MMF election. As is their right, they elected not to. Their second remedy was to ask for an award of damages as a result of the breach. This is also their right. However, where a Party elects not to pursue one remedy, the Party is then saddled with the onus of proving their entitlement pursuant to the other remedy. The Court will not award damages to compensate a plaintiff for their election not to pursue other forms of relief.
[62] In summation, I find that the clause restricting the Defendant Dumont from running for political office for a period of two years after leaving the office of Governor of the MNC is unenforceable for violating public interest. I further find that even if the restriction was valid, the Plaintiffsw have failed to prove any damage flowing from the breach of the restriction by Dumont.
[63] The action against Dumont is, therefore, dismissed. if the Parties cannot agree as to costs, the matter can be scheduled before me for a determination of entitlement and quantum. I would expect Counsel requesting an Order of Costs to provide me with the particulars of the costs being requested prior to any Hearing so that I may review the request prior to argument.
Justice John Menzies

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Snagged it!

Tansi/Good Day Folks:

We're now in possession of a photocopy of Mr. Justice John Menzies' 22 page 63 paragraph written decision in the Yvon Dumont trial - A GREAT READ! Very shortly we'll begin posting it for the world to read. Thank you Your Honour for seeing through this case for what it really was thereby indirectly contributing to the protection of Manitoba's Metis specific Bloggers' freedom of speech and expression as guaranteed under Canada's Constitution and Charter of Human Rights And Freedoms!

Clare L. Pieuk

Wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Mr. Justice Menzies' written decision!"

This case should never have gone to trial. Ha ha- isn't that the truth? Wonder how their hotshot Winnipeg non-Metis lawyer is going to dance around this one? YOU LOST MURRAY! Live with it you ..... .
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. Couple quick points:

(1) Whether Counselor Trachtenberg is Aborginal or otherwise is completely irrelevant just like the heritage of the site's Blogmaster. What really matters is how good is this guy?

(2) Can you imagine the meeting (in person or by conference call) during which "Poor Murray" has to explain to his clients they got thoroughly whomped in Court! But please don't feel too, too sorry for him he won't need any tag or pencil day fundraisers in the forthwith future - thanks MMF!

(3) No doubt the total legal costs of this beyond asinine lawsuit are still being tallied, however, can you imagine when "Poor Murray" has to tell the Plaintiffs (Metis National Council Secretariat, Metis National Council and its President Clem Chartier) you're all now on the hook for what will be well in excess of $100,000 worth of legal fees! FOR WHAT? Good Luck Mr. Trachtenberg!

Clare L. Pieuk

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Mr. Justice Menzies' written decision!




Tansi/Good Day Folks:

Very shortly we'll be posting His Honour's decision in it's entirety - a public document available for photocopying at Winnipeg's Provincial Law Courts Building (Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench File Registry).

No doubt the Plaintiffs in this beyond frivolous lawsuit will have egg plastered all over their faces which is as it should be! One telling moment occurred during the trial when Metis Nation of Alberta President Audrey Poitras, sitting behind and within earshot of Counsel for the Metis National Council Secretariat Murray Trachtenberg, was overheard saying to Yvon Dumont, "This case should never have gone to trial."

Unless there's an appeal, which would be throwing good money after bad, the Plaintiffs are now on the hook for all legal fees. If you add Murray Trachtenberg's plus those for the defence attorneys from Campbell Marr LLP you're likely looking at well in excess of $100,000! FOR WHAT? At some point there will be public documents filed regarding this matter which we'll be able to post on the internet for the world to see.

Clare L. Pieuk

P.S. Ever wonder why the Plaintiffs used MMF lawyer Murray Norman Trachtenberg when the Metis National Secretariat, Metis National Counsel and its President Chem Chartier have their own attorneys? Unfortunately, that's privileged information we're unable to share with you.

Planitiffs' Lawyer Murray ("Happy?") Trachtenberg


Wednesday, July 12, 2006
By Dan Lett
The Winnipeg Free Press

He may have just lost an election, but Métis leader Yvon Dumont was able to win a key legal battle with some of his most vocal political opponents.

This week, a Court of Queen's Bench judge dismissed a suit claiming Dumont had breached a clause in an employment contract with the Métis National Council that prevented him from seeking political office for two years after leaving the post of national governor of the Métis people.

Justice John Menzies determined the clause restricting Dumont from seeking political office was "unenforceable for violating the public interest." Neither Dumont nor his legal counsel would comment on the decision, but the lawsuit had been a costly and time-consuming affair for the former Manitoba lieutenant governor and former president of the Manitoba Métis Federation.

Murray Trachtenberg, the Winnipeg lawyer representing the MNC, could not be reached for comment.

The decision comes just two weeks after Dumont failed in a bid to unseat Manitoba Métis Federation president David Chartrand in a general election. Chartrand was re-elected June 29 with support of more than 70 per cent of voters.

The suit is a prime example of the complex relationships and bad blood that exist in Manitoba Métis politics, particularly among the camps supporting Dumont and Chartrand. The suit alleged Dumont violated the terms of his employment contract with the Métis National Council, which appointed Dumont governor of the Métis nation in 1999 after he had finished his five-year term as Manitoba's lieutenant governor. The position was largely ceremonial and intended to promote Métis culture across Canada.

In 2001, Dumont sparked concern when he ran unsuccessfully to become president of the MNC while still serving as governor. As a result, in 2002, the MNC set down terms of reference for Dumont that required him to remain out of elected Métis politics for two years after he left his national position.

Dumont ultimately resigned as governor in January 2003 and within a week had declared his intention to run for president of the Manitoba Métis Federation against incumbent David Chartrand. Dumont lost that election by two-dozen votes and failed in the courts to have the results overturned.

Dumont's lawyers argued the suit was a thinly veiled attempt by Chartrand and his allies at the MNC to prevent his principal political opponent from challenging for the leadership of the MMF. They argued the suit was timed to put Dumont under financial stress just as he was mounting another bid for president.

Menzies stated that Dumont did violate the politics clause of his contract with the Métis National Council. But that the clause was "unenforceable" because it could not be proved that stopping Chartrand from running for office was in the public interest.

Dumont is expected to have his legal costs covered by the MNC, although an agreement on the exact amount has yet to be finalized.

Metis Nation government?

Dear Blogmaster:

Thank you for posting my last article. We do not intend to be an Official Opposition Party to the MMF. It is our position to establish the Metis Nation government in the Manitoba territory.

Fortunat Guiboche
July 12, 2006
Dear Mr. Guiboche:

Thank you for writing to clarify the situation for both our readers and us. Admittedly it's very early in the process with much thinking and conceptualizing to be done. However, one question many will have is how do you envision the relationship between the Metis Nation government and the MMF. In other words, where would each organization's responsibilities begin and end?

Clare L. Pieuk

Support your MMF Locals!

Mitcif Man has left a new comment on your post, "Damaged reputations resulting in financial loss?"

Please post. If anyone wants to join in on the fun please contact us - the more the merrier. This will be a good time for all Metis of Manitoba we have camping available - bring your own lawn chairs!

Cherry Creek Metis Council presents traditional Metis music, jigging and square dancing:

Free Admission
Friday, July 28, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 29, 12:00 - 11:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 30, 11:00 - 4:00 p.m.
$1,000 draw to be made

Entertainment by:
Sierra Noble
Plus Local Manitoba Artists and Square Dancers
Bingo Arts and Crafts Tables
Childrens Activities
Replica Historic Metis Home
Teen Dance
Food Booth
Walking and Driving Tours

July 28 - 30 Boissevain, Manitoba
Contact: Roxanne Goodon (204) 877-437-8733

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Damaged reputations resulting in financial loss?

Tansi/Good Day Folks:

Research is currently underway on the Plaintiffs in the MMF's defamation lawsuit against and it's getting more fascinating by the second!

It would appear one of them has been named as a Party in as many as eleven (11) cases (Including an action involving The Louis Riel Capital Corporation!) dating as far back as 1984. To protect the innocent no names or details will be published until we've had a chance to access and closely study the files at Winnipeg's Provincial Law Courts Building.

Clare L. Pieuk