Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What happened at the Gong Show!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "It's the Gong Show!"

NEWS FLASH!

MMF Disappointed that MNA President’s Actions Made Election Impossible
Métis Matters
info@metismatters.com

WINNIPEG - The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is very disappointed that a fair and democratic Presidential election was not able to take place this past weekend at the Metis National Council (MNC) General Assembly. Despite the obstruction and frustration of the democratic process by Metis Nation of Alberta (MNA) President Audrey Poitras, we have continued confidence in MNC Chief Administrative Officer and Assembly Chair Mr. Dale LeClair and his ability to implement an Ontario Court Order to have an MNC Presidential Election following the MNC Bylaws."

It is truly unfortunate that the Duly-elected delegates attending were not able to cast their votes on behalf of their constituents," saidMMF President David Chartrand. "It is a sad time for Metis democracy when one or more Presidents of the MNC Governing Members feel they do not have to abide by the Court Order, the Bylaws, or any rules, and can act arbitrarily and without constraint."

Appointed by the Court to manage the MNC Presidential Election, Mr. LeClair had requested the Governing Member's Delegate Lists be submitted no later than September 26, 2007. The MMF Delegate List of provincially elected representatives was submitted on time as requested. MNA President Poitras did not submit the MNA Delegate List until just prior to the MNC General Assembly thereby preventing scrutiny to ensure it was legitimate. The MNA Delegate List did not meet the requirements set out by previous resolution of the MNA Provincial Council, the MNC Bylaws, or the Court Order setting out the conditions for the MNC Presidential Election. Because of the last minute provision of the List there was no time to challenge it before the MNC General Assembly and no time to have the court rule on this matter.

Meeting the MNC Bylaws, a previous MNA May 28th 2001 resolution made itclear that the MNA's 15 voting delegates from Alberta for an MNC Annual General Assembly will consist of the 14 Provincial Council Members plus one. This resolution has never been rescinded and has been confirmed by practice at subsequent Assemblies. The arbitrary appointment of the delegates by the MNA President is improper.

MNA President Audrey Poitras ignored the MNA Provincial Council, theMNC Bylaws, and the Court Order, and did not bring a properly constituted delegation to the MNC Assembly. She abandoned the democratic process and refused to allow the majority of the MNA Provincial Council from taking their rightful seats as Delegates at the MNC Assembly. She replaced the legitimate Delegates with appointees of her own choosing."

A letter submitted to the Assembly Chair indicated that MNA VicePresident Trevor Gladue and the majority of the MNA Provincial Council will be going to the Court this week," explained President Chartrand. "I understand they have been left with no choice because MNA President Poitras has refused to meet with her Provincial Council to resolve this very serious issue of delegate representation that has now effected the whole of the Metis Nation."

After nearly two days of debate concerning the MNA Delegate selection, the MNC Assembly was adjourned. The need to adjourn the Assembly without a Presidential Election would have been avoided if the MNA Delegate List had been submitted on time as requested. No valid reason for not submitting the List on a timely basis has ever been offered. No valid reason for excluding the majority of the MNA Provincial Council has ever been offered.

"Despite the setback of not electing an MNC President this past weekendwe are confident our Chief Administrative Officer will continue toensure MNC operations and service delivery will continue smoothly," said President Chartrand. "We are pleased the Provincial elected Delegates from across our Metis Nation Homeland took a firm stand to protect our democracy, our institutions, and our government."

For More Information Contact:
Nicole LeClair
Director of Communications
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you so very much for the update. Metis Matters is a publication out of Sherwood Park, Alberta.

What a mess! Perhaps the MMF should file another taxpayer funded lawsuit - OY VEY!

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A little background for you. Metis Matters is an Alberta publication ran by none other than the Trevor Gladue quoted in the story above, which is taken right form the MMF webpage (under press releases). Here is what MNO had to say about the “gong show”


Metis Nation of Ontario Deplores Events Leading to Failure to Elect a National President and Return to the Courts
MNO NEWS RELEASE
OTTAWA (October 16, 2007) --- The Métis National Council’s (MNC) General Assembly ended on Sunday, October 14, 2007 without electing a National President and the fate of the MNC now referred back to the courts. Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) President, Tony Belcourt called the situation deplorable and avoidable.
“The Executive of the Métis Nation of Ontario worked tirelessly to ensure that we could hold a fair and democratic election for President of the Métis National Council at our Assembly last weekend”, Mr. Belcourt said. “We were on the verge of finally being able to hold a vote to determine the final list of voting delegates, but our meeting was ended so that this decision would be referred back to the courts. We were shocked and dismayed at this decision because if we had taken a critical vote on the motion on the floor at the time, we would have fulfilled our responsibilities to name a National President and we would be in the position of being able to get on with business. We are concerned at the very future of the Métis National Council itself.”
The court ordered on September 17, 2007, that the MNC hold a General Assembly in Ottawa to elect a President. The Court ordered that: no person act as President until the elections, to be held Oct. 13th and 14th; that there be no meetings of the Board of Governors; and that MNC Chief Administrative Officer, Dale LeClair, run the day-to-day operations of the MNC until the holding of the election. The Court further ordered that Mr. LeClair would act as Chair of the General Assembly until the election of a President. The order is in effect until the person elected as President takes office.
Following a day and a half of debate over an issue concerning voting delegates, the Chair declared the meeting adjourned and that he was referring the question of delegate status to the Courts. On Saturday, October 13, 2007, the President of the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF), David Chartrand, tabled a motion to remove and replace the names of an entire delegation of a Governing Member of the MNC. This is the first time in MNC history that a Governing members’ voting credentials have been challenged. The question of who could vote on this motion became a hotly contested issue.
The Chair initially ruled at the close of business on Saturday (October 13, 2007) that none of the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) delegates named in the motion, could vote on the motion. Métis Nation of Ontario President, Tony Belcourt, challenged the decision on the basis that it violated the court order that specified that Alberta, as a founding member of the MNC would have 15 voting delegates and that it violated the MNC By-Laws which state “At all meetings of members, each member shall be represented by the President”. The Chair closed the meeting shortly thereafter without a decision on his challenge taking place. The Chair asked for written opinions on his ruling and stated that he would reflect on the day’s events and announce his position when the meeting resumed on the next morning

At the resumption of business Sunday (October 14, 2007), the Chair reversed his earlier decision and declared that seven of the 15 MNA delegates named at roll call could vote on the MMF motion because the MMF motion both sought to remove and then replace these very same seven people. The ruling was because the credentials of those seven delegates were not an issue. Mr. Chartrand immediately objected to this ruling and sought an adjournment so that he could caucus with his delegates and seek legal advice. Following the return to the meeting, further discussion took place and members of all delegations except those of Manitoba loudly called for question on the MMF motion. Rather than putting the motion to a vote the Chair then announced that he was referring the matter back to the Court.
Without the presence of the court-appointed Chair, the meeting ended in complete disarray. The delegations from the MNA, the Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) and the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) remained in the Assembly room for further discussion. They were then re-joined by the President of the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan (MNS) and other members of the MNS delegation for the closing discussion. The representatives of these four of the five governing members of the MNC then spoke of their commitment to work cooperatively on matters of mutual national concern in spite of the apparent impasse within the Métis National Council.
“We are very concerned that the future of the Métis National Council is now uncertain,” said Belcourt. “It is not clear at this time how the courts will deal with this matter. The Board of Governors, by Court Order, cannot meet. We are very concerned with the future livelihood of the staff and the financial commitments the MNC has made to its creditors. The MNO remains committed to the Métis National Council and its future well-being. We deeply regret, however, that circumstances are such that for the time being, we are powerless to act.”

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is the more accurate story of what happened.

Metis Nation of Ontario Deplores Events Leading to Failure to Elect a National President and Return to the Courts
OTTAWA, Oct. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - The Métis National Council's (MNC) General
Assembly ended on Sunday, October 14, 2007 without electing a National
President and the fate of the MNC now referred back to the courts. Métis
Nation of Ontario (MNO) President, Tony Belcourt called the situation
deplorable and avoidable.
"The Executive of the Métis Nation of Ontario worked tirelessly to ensure
that we could hold a fair and democratic election for President of the Métis
National Council at our Assembly last weekend", Mr. Belcourt said. "We were on
the verge of finally being able to hold a vote to determine the final list of
voting delegates, but our meeting was ended so that this decision would be
referred back to the courts. We were shocked and dismayed at this decision
because if we had taken a critical vote on the motion on the floor at the
time, we would have fulfilled our responsibilities to name a National
President and we would be in the position of being able to get on with
business. We are concerned at the very future, of the Métis National Council
itself."
The court ordered on September 17, 2007, that the MNC hold a General
Assembly in Ottawa to elect a President. The Court ordered that: no person act
as President until the elections, to be held Oct. 13th and 14th; that there be
no meetings of the Board of Governors; and that MNC Chief Administrative
Officer, Dale LeClair, run the day-to-day operations of the MNC until the
holding of the election. The Court further ordered that Mr. LeClair would act
as Chair of the General Assembly until the election of a President. The order
is in effect until the person elected as President takes office.
Following a day and a half of debate over an issue concerning voting
delegates, the Chair declared the meeting adjourned and that he was referring
the question of delegate status to the Courts. On Saturday, October 13, 2007,
the President of the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF), David Chartrand, tabled
a motion to remove and replace the names of an entire delegation of a
Governing Member of the MNC. This is the first time in MNC history that a
Governing members' voting credentials have been challenged. The question of
who could vote on this motion became a hotly contested issue.
The Chair initially ruled at the close of business on Saturday (October
13, 2007) that none of the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) delegates named in
the motion, could vote on the motion. Métis Nation of Ontario President, Tony
Belcourt, challenged the decision on the basis that it violated the court
order that specified that Alberta, as a founding member of the MNC would have
15 voting delegates and that if violated the MNC By-Laws which state "At all
meetings of members, each member shall be represented by the President". The
Chair closed the meeting shortly thereafter without a decision on his
challenge taking place. The Chair asked for written opinions on his ruling and
stated that he would reflect on the day's events and announce his position
when the meeting resumed on the next morning.
At the resumption of business Sunday (October 14, 2007), the Chair
reversed his earlier decision and declared that seven of the 15 MNA delegates
named at roll call could vote on the MMF motion because the MMF motion both
sought to remove and then replace these very same seven people. The ruling was
because the credentials of those seven delegates were not an issue. Mr.
Chartrand immediately objected to this ruling and sought an adjournment so
that he could caucus with his delegates and seek legal advice. Following the
return to the meeting, further discussion took place and members of all
delegations except those of Manitoba loudly called for question on the MMF
motion. Rather than putting the motion to a vote the Chair then announced that
he was referring the matter back to the Court.
Without the presence of the court-appointed Chair, the meeting ended in
complete disarray. The delegations from the MNA, the Métis Nation British
Columbia (MNBC) and the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) remained in the Assembly
room for further discussion. They were then re-joined by the President of the
Métis Nation-Saskatchewan (MNS) and other members of the MNS delegation for
the closing discussion. The representatives of these four of the five
governing members of the MNC then spoke of their commitment to work
cooperatively on matters of mutual national concern in spite of the apparent
impasse within the Métis National Council.
"We are very concerned that the future of the Métis National Council is
now uncertain," said Belcourt. "It is not clear at this time how the courts
will deal with this matter. The Board of Governors, by Court Order, cannot
meet. We are very concerned with the future livelihood of the staff and the
financial commitments the MNC has made to its creditors. The MNO remains
committed to the Métis National Council and its future well-being. We deeply
regret, however, that circumstances are such that for the time being, we are
powerless to act."



For further information: please see the MNO website at:
www.metisnation.org Or Contact: Chelsey Quirk, Communications Assistant, Work:
(613) 798-1488 Ext. 104, Cell: (613) 299-6085, chelseyq@metisnation.org

8:32 PM  

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