Saturday, September 30, 2006

A racist are we?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Now let's see if we understand this ....."

You're really irresponsible for printing this crap, you're showing yourself to be a racist never mind the MMF.... Isn't it enough you're already being sued for untrue lies you printed on the other site, do you have to go and publish more defaming comments?

Learn, buddy, learn!

Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. A few considerations:

(1) The follwoing was posted during May, 2003 while I was Webmaster of It's author(s) had a Message Board link embedded in a popular British Columbia Metis specific website ( advertising itself under the banner, Welcome to the Manitoba Metis Message Board. Improving communication for the Metis Nation. It didn't last very long only a month or two before it suddenly disappeared unannounced from the internet. We downloaded all their postings - for example:

Name: metisman2003
Mon, May 12 2003 at 11:28 am


"Well again we have Mr. Clare (hey just forget I'm white) Pieuk details about the same old crap.

WHAAAAA ... I was fired from LRCC....whaaaaa...... because I didn't agree with what the board of directors(his bosses) told me to do!!!!!

WHAAAAA....I still have 3 years under the statute of limitations to sue.....whaaaaa no lawyer will take my case...etc etc. etc.

What Clare (hey just ignore that im white)Pieuk likes to preach at people are certain values and ethics but he himself isnt subject to them. Like his confidentiality and such but when on his website he openly promotes others to ignore it and leak him documents so he can post them.

A lot of people are thanking God that he is no longer on the LRCC payroll.....While he was there ALL of the loans he approved went to collections...well you know...good record Clare(Hey im the white guy).

And now this boob teaches about loans and the like...well you know the olding saying those that cant do.....teach."

Lets closely examine metisman2003's allegations:

(a) "WHAAAAA ... I was fired from LRCC.....whaaaaa...... because I didn't agree with what the board of directors(his bosses) told me to do!!!!!"

Then Louis Riel Capital Corporation Chairman Alphonse Ducharme and Director Leo Campbell (both also summarily dismissed) had the same concerns. At the time, three MMF Vice-Presidents sat on the seven member Board. We were uncomfortable vis-a-vis certain expenditures which had been approved coupled with a decision to re-locate the corporate offices from Burrows Avenue to Federation Headquarters (had previously made these known to Aboriginal Business Canada LRCC's founder and funder). Shortly after Messrs. Ducharme and Campbell were removed, a hastily convened meeting (February 28, 2003) presided over by newly elected Chairman Harold Johnson took place at which time he asked for my resignation - I refused so he fired me

Why I declined?

(i) Felt I had always represented the Corporation's best interests

(ii) Chairman Johnston offered no reason(s) for his resignation request. Upon refusal and after a pregnant pause only then did Director (former The Pas MMF Vice-President) Muriel Parker finally attempt to provide an explanation. What a JOKE - beyond pathetic!

(iii) Importantly, resigning would have negated the possibility of a wrongful dismissal lawsuit - nice try though!

(b) "WHAAAAA..... I still have 3 years under the statute of limitations to lawyer will take my case...etc etc. etc"

Sorry wrong on all counts! In Canada the Statute of Limitations for wrongful dismissal litigation is 6 years not 3. For example, in my case it expired February 28, 2006. At the time, Mr. Reeh Taylor, Q.C. (founder, Taylor McCaffrey LLP) referred me to one of Winnipeg's foremost labour lawyers Mr. Garth Smorang, Q.C. (Deeley Fabbri Sellen - subsequently accepted a partnership with Myers Weinberg LLP) who agreed to accept my case on a contingency (i.e. the attorney receives approximately one-third of the eventual damage award ordered by the Courts) plus a small upfront retainer to cover out-of-pocket expenses.

It was decided not to proceed with the litigation because of the economics. Although Mr. Smorang advised we had a good case and he was confident of a favourable judgment, he also pointed out the amount of a damage award is, to a large degree, determined by length of service. I had only been at LRCC for about 10 months. On that basis, it didn't make sense to proceed.

(c) "What Clare (hey just ignore that im white) Pieuk likes to preach at people are certain values and ethics but he himself isnt subject to them. Like his confidentiality and such but when on his website he openly promotes others to ignore it and lead him documents so he can post them."

No one twisted the arms of anonymous sources to come forward with information. When viewed in its entirety, deep concerns were raised about possible, serious corporate malfeasance in the management of public money. Therefore, copies were subsequently turned over to The Auditor Generals of Manitoba and Canada

(d) "A lot of people are thanking God that he is no longer on the LRCC payroll... While he was there ALL of the loans he approved went to collections... well you know...good record Clare (Hey im the white guy)."

Upon my arrival at LRCC there was a significant backlog of in arrears loans which Chairman Ducharme, one of the Directors and I focused upon. My lending authority was $5,000 - any applications for amounts from 6,000- $25,000 were reviewed, approved or rejected by an In-House Loans Committee consisting of the Chairman, any Director and the General Manager. Beyond this threshold required a meeting of the full Board.

The Chairman, Board of Directors, General Manager and staff are required to sign an Oath of Confidentiality otherwise I could go into much greater detail about specific loans. The only way this would happen is if I were called upon to testify in open court or before a Public Committee/Inquiry with the power of subpoena.

"ALL of the loans he approved went to collections..."

Again patently false! Unfortunately, because of the aforementioned Confidentiality Oath I cannot discuss the loans in detail otherwise I would.

(e) "And now this boob teaches about loans and the like... well you know the olding saying those that cant..... teach."

Yes, I have lectured at both the undergraduate and graduate levels at the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Business Administration, as well as, Red River College's Business Studies Program. No I don't teach about loans.

(2) "You're really irresponsible for printing this crap, you're showing yourself to be a racist never mind the MMF."

Sorry, simply re-producing an article already posted on the internet does not constitute racism.

(3) "Isn't it enough you're already being sued for untrue lies you printed on the other site, do you have to go and publish more defaming comments?"

Please consider the following:

(i) There are two other Co-Defendants in this case both Metis

(ii) "..... for untrue lies you printed on the other site ....."

The comments 20 of 23 MMF Provincial Board of Directors allege are defamatory were written by Winnipeg Metis lawyer Lionel R. Chartrand who, at the time, was acting as's General Legal Counsel. He also approved their publication. As the legal community likes to say, "We've got lots of "Black Letter" (his e-mail) which clearly establishes culpability beyond a reasonable preponderance of doubt which is the standard that has to be met. In Canada defamation cases are tried before a Judge and Jury so there are 13 people to convince. Thankfully they decide not you whether defamation has occurred. And remember we are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Thank you for writing Anonymous. Hopefully, you'll contact us again this time with more informed comments. One last point - we know who you are metisman2003.

So please remind us once again, who's the racist?

Clare L. Pieuk

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Now let's see if we understand this .....

Anonymous has sent you the following link:
Saturday, February 12, 2005

Manitoba Métis Federation Continues With Its Racist Hiring Policy

The most racist organization of people in Canada is at it again. The Manitoba Métis Federation has recently advertised a job opportunity at its Winnipeg office on Henry Avenue. What do the aboriginal clansmen need now? According to the ad they need a filing clerk. But not just any filing clerk will do.“Preference will be given to qualified Métis applicants. Qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and self-identify on their resume.”It seems that ‘self-identify’ is the politically correct way to say, "take a big red crayon and write METIS across your resume."So why is the pressure on to hire a candidate of a certain race? Has the MMF hired so many white males lately that Métis are now under represented at the Henry office? Do they even hire anyone who does not have red skin?

This is the kind of flat out racism that we have come to expect from the Manitoba Métis Federation. What is most troubling about this group is the degree to which they accuse everyone else of prejudice but themselves. Only a week ago, Métis leaders were screaming racism when Matthew Dumas was shot by a Winnipeg Police officer. Mr. Dumas was native.When it was revealed that the Police constable was himself a Métis, Roseau River Chief Terry Nelson uttered the famous phrase: “It is racist. The fact that a person is Métis, that some part of him is Indian, that doesn't absolve him from all blame. That doesn't give him absolution. [I know] Native people that are racist against native people.”Yes Mr. Nelson, and we all know native leaders that are racist against everyone else.

posted by Michael @ 8:13 PM 0 comments
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. Let's see if we understand this:

(1) The Blogsite on which the letter appeared supports the Federal and Provincial Progressive Conservative Parties

(2) David Chartrand has publicly stated if the MMF doesn't get what it wants Premier Doer and his NDP Party will "feel the wrath" of Manitoba's Metis come next election

(3) Certain paid Federation employees have helped Manitoba's Progressive Conservative Party (whom President Chartrand seems to think we should support) sign new members

(4) ..... "Do they even hire anyone who does not have red skin?"

The MMF retained the services of Murray Norman Trachtenberg at a minimum 250 taxpayer dollars /hour to sue your own people didn't it? What about Head Accountant Bernie Shore? Doesn't that make the Federation an equal opportunity employer?

(5) No group/heritage/culture holds an exclusive monopoly on racism

(6) I DID NOT - REPEAT DID NOT write that letter!

Confused yet - so what say you readers?

Clare L. Pieuk

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

There's a lot more coming!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "DISCLAIMER!"

Like your blog, keep up the good work.

Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing and the kind words. Suffice it to say for now we're far from finished commenting publicly about the minimum $250/hour! taxpayer funded legal work spent on the Yvon Dumont and CyberSmokeSignals' lawsuits - exactly what has been achieved for the expenditure of thousands and thousands of YOUR hard earned dollars? So who will he sued next - Please stay tuned it's going to get a lot more interesting!

Judith surges into lead!

Ernie Todd has left a new comment on your post, "Judith Cameron running for Rural Municipality of Gimli Council!"

Judith is a fine person and I wish her the best of luck.
Dear Ernie Todd:

Thank you for writing. It only confirms what we've always known - you're obviously a man of superior intellect, taste and class. Judith = 1 the opposition = 0!

Clare L. Pieuk

Monday, September 25, 2006

Judith Cameron running for Rural Municipality of Gimli Council!

Tansi/Good Day Folks:

Judith Cameron is a candidate in the upcoming civic elections next month for Gimli City Council. She first came to out attention a couple years ago when some of her clients at the Riverton & District Friendship Centre began e-mailing to tell us of the outstanding work she was doing. Since then she has unselfishly devoted a great deal of time and energy to helping various causes and projects in her community.

She has been nominated for NEICOM's (North East Interlake Community - Futures Development Corporation) Volunteer of the Year Award which will be held next month. We all wish her success and know she will serve the electorate with honour and dignity. Good Luck Judith!

If you have any comments/questions or issues you'd like to discuss with Candidate Cameron her particulars are:

Box 434 Gimli, Manitoba R0C 1B0
Telephone: (204) 642-9648

Clare L. Pieuk

Thursday, September 21, 2006


And to Brother-In-Law Richard "The Hare" who celebrated his "39th" yet again yesterday (Always complaining I'm too slow!) I say, "Bring it on BIG GUY show me what you've got!

Very Interesting analysis!

Tansi/Good Day Readers:

The following appeared recently under the Comments Section of ("New Democratic Party-MMF Agreements Since 1999" - September 19, 2006)

Anonymous said ...

"27 billboards x $1,400 = $37,800 x 3 months = $113,400 divided by 708.75 single Metis people on social assistance = $160 per month for each person + $1.8 million in legal fees, to take his own people to court + $100,000 to $200,000 on self-promotion, newspaper = total dis-regard."

Obviously we have no way of verifying the accuracy of these numbers but, nevertheless, the analysis is most interesting. We're still trying to figure out how there can be 708.75 single Metis people on social assistance.

In the September 12, 2006 article, "Manitoba Metis Federation Annual Assembly ... A First Hand Report" Derryl Sanderson noted, "..... President Chartrand also stated that the election cost the MMF $140,000. Were the CBC and billboard ads taken into account? ....."

To the best of our knowledge the MMF election bylaws do not require candidates to reveal how much they spent on their campaigns or from where the monies came - in other words, a complete lack of election financing accountability. Ever wonder about the amount Yvon Dumont had available to expense on his campaign versus David Chartrand? Unfortunately, we'll never know.

Clare L. Pieuk

P.S. While still on the subject, under the terms of the MMF's constitution Chief Electoral Officer Alvin Zivot is required to prepare a post mortem election report containing comment/analysis/recommendations for the Provincial Board of Directors. Do you think it will be released to the membership? Not bloody likely! So much for organizational transparency.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Here it is!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Any suggestions readers - what say you?"

I'm a new reader could you please post your letter to Alvin Zivot.

Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. Here it is. It can also be accessed by clicking the "ARCHIVES June 2006" link (right-hand side of page) which is arranged chronologically. Scroll to the bottom.
Our letter to the MMF's Chief Electoral Officer!

Tansi/Good Day Folks:

The following was faxed to Mr. Alvin Zivot this afternoon, as well as, those on the short distribution list. We will post any reply(ies) received. It's important to raise these issues/questions now - June 30, 2006 may be too late.

Clare L. Pieuk
Tuesday June 6, 2006

Mr. Alvin Zivot, Q. C.
Chief Electoral Officer
Office of the Chief Electoral Officer
P.O. Box 225 RPO Corydon
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3M 3S7
Phone: 1-204-896-4141
Toll Free Phone: 1-866-841-7788
Fax: 1-204-896-4142

Dear Mr. Zivot:

I am writing to express increasing concern regarding the operations of the Chief Electoral Office. These are listed below:

(1) Lack of an e-mail address which would facilitate communication between you, your staff and the Metis electorate especially those living outside the greater Winnipeg area

(2) No website dedicated to answering questions and disseminating information about the upcoming election

(3) An address for the Office of the Chief Electoral Office which is physically separate, distinct and independent from the Manitoba Metis Federation headquarters operations. Further, if a time-sensitive document requiring proof of receipt must be delivered it can only be done using less efficient surface mail

(4) Comment which has started appearing on the internet suggesting consideration is being given to MMF employees in some cases being used as scrutineers on election day

(5) Particularly troubling is a report which appeared on yesterday ("CEO Employees Have Close Ties To MMF President Chartrand") alleging at least three Federation employees selected by a senior Manitoba Metis Federation official are currently working in your Office

(6) An ambiguously stated Notice of Election published in the Winnipeg Free Press on April 30, 2006 which caused considerable confusion and misinterpretation regarding the deadline for challenging a candidate’s legitimacy. As a result you were able to summarily dismiss the challenge of David Charette regarding the candidacy of David Chartrand - a challenge which appeared to have considerable substantive merit

(7) What appeared to be a forged document entered in support of a challenge to the validity of Allan Fourre’s candidacy in The Pas Region. Although the applicant was overruled, there is no evidence the flawed material was identified or that an investigation was initiated by The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer

Might I remind you, Sir, the last MMF election was filled with controversy, allegations of impropriety and irregularities which ultimately led to a court challenge. We have only to look at the recent Metis Nation of Saskatchewan experience to see what can happen if electoral procedures are not closely monitored and respected.

We look forward to a prompt and meaningful response to each of the issues raised in this letter.

Clare L. Pieuk

2-371 Des Meurons Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R2H 2N6
Telephone: (204) 237-7063

cc (Via e-mail):

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada

The Honourable Jim Prentice
Minister, Indian Affairs And Northern Development
CanadaFederal Interlocutor for Metis and Non Status Indians

Mr. Rod Bruinooge
Member of Parliament (Winnipeg South)
Parliamentary Secretary
Minister Indian Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Any suggestions readers - what say you?


Office of The Premier
Winnipeg, Manitoba, CANADA
R3C 0V8

September 14, 2006

Clare Pieuk
2-371 Des Meurons Street
Winnipeg, MB R2H 2N6

Dear Mr. Pieuk:

On behalf of the Honourable Gary Doer, Premier of Manitoba, I would like to thank you for your correspondence regarding your concerns with the recent Manitoba Metis Federation elections.

It is noted that you detailed your concerns and directed a letter on June 6, 2006 to the Manitoba Metis Federation Chief Electoral Officer Mr. Alvin Zivot. If you still have concerns about the election, please contact Mr. Joe Morrisseau, Executive Director of the Aboriginal Affairs, Secretariat, to further discuss this matter. Mr. Morrisseau can be reached at (204) 945-8265.

Your views on this important issue are appreciated. Thank you again for bringing your concerns to the Premier's attention.



Judith Baldwin
Coordinator of the Premier's Secretariat
Tansi/Good Day Folks:

Obviously, the Premier's Office is unaware Mr. Alvin Zivot, Q.C. never had the common courtesy to reply to our June 6, 2006 letter which was faxed directly to him. This is the same individual who didn't have an e-mail address so those with concerns could contact him electronically. By the way, does anyone know how much he was paid to serve as Chief Electoral Officer?

Shortly CyberSmokeBlog will be sending an e-mail to Premier Doer (We'll post it!) to thank him for his response while updating him on the situation. Any suggestions for what we should include in our letter?

Clare L. Pieuk

Monday, September 18, 2006


One of the eleven she fired has left a new comment on your post "Sorry but you're too late - I'm beyond redemption!"

I guess Ella Mayer is short of friends these days since she selected you as one of the 11 people to send her prayers to.
Dear One,

Thank you for writing. Short of friends - she must have been beyond desperate to have selected me of all people! Maybe I should start a new business, "Rent-A-Friend!"

Friday, September 15, 2006

CyberSmokeBlog urgently seeks Polish translator!

Eddie has left a new comment on your post, "Bananas? You want bananas?"

Very nice. Maybe we exchange links? - my blog. If so then write me on mail, or speak in comments on my site.
"Yak - she - myish? Dobra dein!" or as we say here in Canada, "How's it going eh?"

Nice pictures Eddie - some cute "little foxes" you devil! Jeez, you guys sure seem to like to "poke back" those "piwa" (beer/brewskis)! Not a problem, as soon as I have a chance I'll link your blog to this site. We definitely need a Polish connection so you can help us develop the first Metis Local in Warsaw.

Comrade Pieuk

Bananas? You want bananas?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Sorry but you're too late - I'm beyond redemption!"

What the hell . . . Ella Mayer sent you an e-mail saying "you've touched her life?" Has she finally gone bananas?
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. What can we say? Remember that song which came out sometime during the 1930s, "Yes we have no bananas today - cha, cha, cha!

If you can tell us who wrote, performed it and the exact year of it's release we'll pay for all your beer to listen to Derryl Sanderson perform live at the Westbrook Hotel with "Chances R." In addition, we'll equip you with a helmet (In case you take a bottle off the head!) plus flak jacket, gloves, elbow and shoulder pads should anyone try to whack you with a chair.

Most memorable quotes!

Judge Judy:

"If you always tell the truth you don't need a very good memory."

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sorry but you're too late - I'm beyond redemption!

From: "Ella Mayer" <>
Date: 2006/09/05 Tue AM 09:54:50 CDT
To: "Ella Mayer" <>

Subject: You are 1 of my 11

Hi - I am picking 11 people (who have touched my life) and who I think would want to receive this. Please send it back to me (You'll see why). In case anyone is not aware, Saint Theresa is known as the Saint of the Little Ways, meaning she believed in doing the little things in life well and with great love. She is also the patron Saint of flower growers and florists. She is represented by roses.

May everyone who receives this message be blessed. Theresa's Prayer cannot be deleted. REMEMBER to make a wish before you read the prayer. That's all you have to do. There is nothing attached. Just send this to eleven people and let me know what happens on the fourth day. Sorry you have to forward the message, but try not to break this, please. Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive.

Saint Theresa's prayer:

May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us. Now, send this to 11 people within the next 5 minutes. And remember to send this back. I count as 1..... you'll see why.
Dear Ms. Mayer:

The following e-mail arrived recently under the address along with an attachment containing a photo of a bouquet of roses along with a picture of the late Holiness Pope John Paul II beside Mother Theresa. I'll be sure to send copies to:

(1) The 20 remaining Provincial MMF Board of Director Plaintiffs and especially their Legal Counsel Mr. Murray Norman Trachtenberg who look like they sure could use some help these days with their defamation lawsuit against!

(2) My Colleague and Fellow Blogging Brother Derryl Sanderson over at

(3) And in the Blue Corner Metis wrestling promoter Mr. ("The Big Kahuna!") Ernie ("18 Inchers" - Yikes!) Todd

(4) Those 10 or so Manitoba Association of Friendship Centre employees who were either fired or quit shortly after you became MAC's Provincial Co-Ordinator a couple years ago having replaced husband Nelson who's currently buried somewhere deep within the bowels at MMF Headquarters doing policy work or whatever

(5) Will Goodon Dear Friend and former Executive Assistant to Federation President David Chartrand

(6) Winnipeg Metis lawyer Lionel Chartrand who was CyberSmokeSignals' General Legal Counsel at the time it was sued by the MMF

(7) Stalin although it's too late for him

That totals 11 (addition by subtraction: 20-1-1-10+1+1+1). Jeez met your quota bang on! Noticed the e-mail arrived during working hours. Hope you're not using company time, taxpayer dollars and public resources/equipment to get your message out. And to my remaining 11 "Dear Friends" - repent you bunch of friggin' little ........ while there's still time!

Clare L. Pieuk

P.S. And oh yes, almost forgot my wish for those 11 "Dear Friends?" Would like to tell you what I'm really thinking but I could go to jail! Instead, you should all be locked in the same room for a week and forced to listen non-stop 24/7 to tapes of David Chartrand's most memorable public quotes while reading Murray Trachtenberg's reams and reams of submissions in the defamation lawsuit against CyberSmokeSignals! Bitter? Who's bitter?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Are you suitably scared yet Mr. Doer?

Canada in Brief
Doer Warned To Address Metis Issues Before Vote
Globe And Mail
Monday September 11, 2006
Page A7

Brandon, Manitoba - Premier Gary Doer's NDP government may "feel the wrath" of Metis voters if it doesn't make strides on a host of issues before the next provincial election, says Manitoba Metis Federation president David Chartrand.

Mr. Chartrand told delegates at the federation's annual general assembly on the weekend that hunting rights, land claims and health care and social programs are things Mr. Doer has discussed with him, but little has materialized. CP

Monday, September 11, 2006

Maybe Stalin was right?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Uncle Joe" has spoken - you don't say "no!"

"No people no problem. No problem no people." Christ, that sounds like David Chartrand's re-election campaign slogan!
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing - love your sense of humour. With such a pathetic turnout for this year's MMF election maybe Stalin was right after all.

Clare L. Pieuk

Saturday, September 09, 2006

"Uncle Joe" has spoken - you don't say "no!"

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Nostalgia week coming soon to CyberSmokeBlog!"

To any of you who doubted the connection between NCI, Grassroots News and the MMF hold your nose and look at the Sept 6, 2006 issue of GRN. Front page was NCI, 6, 15-17,19, 26, 28-29, all have MMF or NCI content. About 25% of the of the paper was a MMF-NCI love-in.

Page after page was also dedicated to the re-election of Sydney Garrioch of the MKO which buys space much the same as the MMF does in exchange for happy, positive news about their organization. I can guarantee you this - Mr. Garrioch won’t be paying for his re-election campaign ads in GRN. It was either free or its coming out of the MKO budget. The terrible disregard for any type of unbiased reporting continues to consume this excuse for a newspaper.

Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. Even the state controlled/financed Pravda and Tass News under Stalin were a lot better. Fortunately, the Russian masses knew they too were full of s..t. Wonder what The Red Baron thinks of all this?

Clare L. Pieuk

JOSEF ("Uncle Joe") STALIN
December 18, 1878 - March 5, 1953

Most memorable quote:

"Comrades! Read Pravda, Tass, Grassroots News and or the KGB will visit you late at night!"

Other notable Uncle Joe's:

"No people no problem. No problem no people."

"Keep sticking the bayonet in until you feel steel."

Friday, September 08, 2006

Nostalgia week coming soon to CyberSmokeBlog!

Tansi/Good Day Folks:

While Webmaster for Belhumeur-owned, an MMF Local printed all CSS postings (approximately March 2003-June 2005) storing them in two very large binders. Pouring over the hundreds and hundreds of pages one theme readily stands out - nothing has changed in the way the Manitoba Metis Federation does business. Join us as we take a retrospective look at the best of

Clare L. Pieuk

Letter from a farm kid!

Dear Ma and Pa,

I am well. Hope you are. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the Army beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before all of the places are filled. I was restless at first because you got to stay in bed till nearly 6 a.m. but I am getting so I like to sleep late.

Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before breakfast is smooth your cot, and shine some things. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Practically nothing. Men got to shave but it is not so bad, there's warm water. Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, pie and other regular food, but tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit by the two city boys that live on coffee. Their food plus yours holds you until noon when you get fed again.

It's no wonder these city boys can't walk much. We go on "route marches," which the platoon sergeant says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it's not my place to tell him different. A "route march" is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks.

The country is nice but awful flat. The sergeant is like a school teacher. He nags a lot. The Captain is like the school board. Majors and colonels just ride around and frown. They don't bother you none.

This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keep getting medals for shooting. I don't know why. The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk head and don't move, and it ain't shooting at you like the Higgett boys at home. All you got to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it. You don't even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes.

Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You get to wrestle with them city boys. I have to be real careful though, they break real easy. It ain't like fighting with that ole bull at home. I'm about the best they got in this except for that Tug Jordan from over in Silver Lake. I only beat him once. He joined up the same time as me, but I'm only 5'6" and 130 pounds and he's 6'8" and near 300 pounds dry.

Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join before other fellers get onto this setup and come stampeding in.

Your loving daughter,

Friday, September 01, 2006

Throwing away good public money - for what?

The Lawyers Weekly
August 25, 2006
By Deana Driver

In Light Of Public Interest, Restrictive Covenant Cannot Stand Against Dumont

A Manitoba Metis leader who resigned from a ceremonial Metis National Council (MNC) governor position so he could seek election within the Metis nation does not have to pay damages for alleged breach of a restrictive covenant in his employment contract. Justice John Menzies of the Court of Queen's Bench of Manitoba ruled in Metis National Council v. Dumont (2006 MBQB 163) that the clause restricting W. Yvon Dumont from running for political office for a period of two years after leaving the Office of governor is unenforceable because it is contrary to the public interest, running against the political philosophy of the Metis people to choose their own leaders without MNC interference. "Even if the restriction was valid, the plaintiffs have failed to prove any damages flowing from the breach of the restriction by Dumont," he ruled.

Murray Trachtenberg of Posner & Trachtenberg in Winnipeg was counsel for the plaintiffs, the Metis National Council Secretariat Inc. and Clement Chartier on behalf of the Metis National Council (MNC). The defendant, Dumont was represemted by Anders Bruun and Jeff Niederhoffer of Campbell Marr in Winnipeg.

"This is significant in respect to the decision that a ban on employees seeking elected office within the Metis political structure is contrary to the public interest and not enforceable for that reason," Bruun told The Lawyers Weekly. Justice Menzies ruled in favour of Dumont on almost every point and "issued a judgment that I would say is almost appeal proof. There was no evidence of anything remotely resembling damages," added Bruun.

The MNC's board of governors created the ceremonial position of governor in 1999. Dumont was appointed to that role shortly after fulfilling his commitments as Manitoba's lieutenant governor. Terms of reference for the governorship were created in June 2001 after Dumont was nominated to run for MNC president. The terms included a "Politics" clause that set a prohibition from participating in Metis Nation politics for two years after ceasing to be the governor.

Justice Menzies ruled that the restrictive covenant was reasonable between the parties according to the reasoning in Elsley v. J. G. Collins Insurance, [1978] 2 S. C. R. 916. Although Dumont agreed to the terms in a letter he sent to the MNC and a continuation of employment is sufficient consideration to support a restrictive covenant in a contract [Peerless Laundry & Cleaners Ltd. v. Neal, (1953)], he concluded the terms were unenforceable because of the MNC's traditional response to the political will of the Metis people.

"The MNC had a long standing policy that the national governing body should not interfere in provincial Metis politics," he said. The court heard that three prominent provincial Metis leaders urged Dumont to contest the 2001 election and saw no difficulty in his running for office while holding the office of governor.

The board of governors decided not to take any action to prevent Dumont from running for president of the Manitoba Metis Federation in which he was unsuccessful, but wanted all remuneration paid to him since the acceptance of the terms of reference returned based on his apparent breach of contract.

"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," concluded Justice Menzies. "I find the clause is unenforceable as being against the public interest."

He said that Dumont would have breached the "politics" clause of the agreement if it had been an enforceable clause. He refused to award damages to the plaintiffs, ruling there was no legal or factual evidence of unjust enrichment or any other damages.

Judge Menzies did not agree with the plaintiffs' claim that by running in the Manitoba Metis Federation elections, Dumont tainted the position of governor. "Every witness who was asked agreed that Dumont did an exemplary job as governor throughout his tenure."




Tansi/Good Day Folks:

Couple quick points:

(1) The Lawyers Weekly is: in its 24th year of publication; has a weekly circulation of over 22,000 with more that 46,000 readers; and possesses the largest weekly distribution of any Canadian legal newspaper. Copies can be found in most Faculties of Law and lawyers' offices

(2) During the April 2006 trial, lead Defence Counsel Anders Bruun made the very interesting point if the MMF were so concerned with Mr. Dumont's elibibility to run in the 2001 election why didn't it simply launch a challenge before then Chief Electoral Officer Alvin Hamilton and save everyone a lot of time and money? In his written judgment Justice Menzies neglected to mention this fact

(3) The Plaintiffs had 30 days from the date Justice Menzies handed down his decision to challenge it by filing a Notice of Appeal followed by another 6 months to prepare written arguments. Upon checking the online Manitoba Justice Registry we could find no documentation indicating this was done.

Clare L. Pieuk