Saturday, May 31, 2008

Canadian taxpayer donation or real estate speculation?

Entrance To Upper Fort Garry 130 Main Street
Tansi/Good Day Readers:
In late March, 2008 President David Chartrand announced, with great public fanfare, the Canadian taxpayer financed Manitoba Metis Federation would contribute $1 million to The Friends of Upper Fort Garry to re-develop the original site (1822) of the Hudson's Bay Company trading post in what is now downtown Winnipeg. The plan is to turn it into a Provincial Historical Park and Interpretative Centre. Of course, there were no details from exactly where in the MMF's budget the funds would be taken or over what time period.
The following posting appeared yesterday ( which caught our attention. IF true, what occupies 100 Main Street? Answer. It's a three story brick building directly beside Upper Fort Garry being used by Winnipeg's Planning, Property and Development Department ( The Contact Us link on its webpage gives a City Hall Information/Citizen Inquiry Service telephone number [(204) 986-2171] which we'll call in an attempt to find out whether there's any truth to the rumour the building has been sold and if so when, to whom and for how much?
If unsuccessful next we'll try The Winnipeg Land Titles Office:
276 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 0B6
Phone: (204) 945-2042
Fax: (204) 948-2140
IF this report is true, who will occupy 100 Main Street for the next 5 years or so untill it's demolished - MMF employees? Doesn't the Federation already have more space than it knows what to do with at 150 Henry Avenue? Will it be leased and if so to whom? Lots of questions to be answered before the rumour can be confirmed.
There's another reason we're interested in this report. Erstwhile MMF lawyer Murray Norman Trachtenberg in his April, 2001 submission on behalf of the Federation before the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers stated in part:
The Manitoba Metis Federation Inc. ("MMF") is a non-profit, non-share company incorporated pursuant to the laws of the Province of Manitoba on December 28, 1967. According to its' Constitution, the objectives of the MMF are as follows:
(i) To promote the history and culture of the Metis people and otherwise to promote the cultural pride of its membership
(ii) To promote the education of its members respecting their legal, political, social and other rights
(iii) To promote the participation of its members in commmunity, municipal, provincial, federal, Aboriginal, and other organziations
(iii) Generally, to promote the political, social, and economic interests of its members
IF, in fact, what Anonymous says is true does such a transaction satisfy the criteria of a non-profit, company especially if the eventual sale price for the property significantly exceeds its cost of purchase?
Clare L. Pieuk
MMF Purchases 100 Main Street?
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "The Sign Is Up In St. Rita.....MMF Ready To Celebrate!"
Derryl, my comment is about the friends of Upper Fort Garry and the million dollars that David Chartrand pledged to them. The Federation stands to profit handsomely from this "gift" as it is little known that MMF has purchased the building at 100 Main Steet. Plans are to occupy the building for now and tear it down in about 5 years.....for what, an interpretive centre.....? David Chartrand has stated he intends to make economic development a focal point for the MMF.
I can foresee many more land/property purchases for the MMF Inc. in the future it's a great idea.....but will the members know the wheres and whys of these deals or see any of the benefits? (Derryl Sanderson)


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