Sunday, June 15, 2008

The incredible waste of Canadian taxpayer dollars continues!

The Honourable W. Yvon Dumont, O.M.

Tansi/Good Day Readers:

Thought it was time to check online again (Manitoba Justice website) Court of Queen's Bench File No. CI 05-01-42919 Metis National Council Secretariat Inc. and Clement Chartier on behalf of the Metis National Council and the Metis National Council versus W. Yvon Dumont.

Guess what? On May 13 of this year MMF lawyer Murray Norman Trachtenberg representing the Plaintiffs has filed a Notice of Appeal.

To backtrack for our out of province and international readers, Mr. Dumont was Manitoba's 21th Lieutenant Governor (the Queen's Official Representative) from 1993-1999 and the first Metis to hold this position in Canada.

After leaving Office in 1999, he accepted an MNC offer to serve as a goodwill ambassador for the Metis Nation. Fast forward in 2003. Mr. Dumont resigned to declare his candidacy for Manitoba Metis Federation President in the March 26, 2003 election. After a recount he lost by 20 votes challenged it in court and won (January, 2004). However, the decision was appealed and heard (May, 2004). Unfortunately, the earlier ruling was overturned.
During May, 2005 the Metis National Council Inc., MNC and its President Clement Chartier filed a Statement of Claim alleging Mr. Dumont by resigning had breached his contract with the Metis National Council. It asked for relief of a little over $47,000 worth of salary be returned plus the Defendant pay the Plaintiffs' court costs.
In a late April 2007 a one week was held. Yvon Dumont was very capably defended by Winnipeg lawyers Anders Bruun and Jeff Niederhoffer.

Anders Bruun

Jeff Niederhoffer

During July, 2007 Queen's Bench Justice John Menzies released his 22 page decision in favour of The Honourable W. Yvon Dumont. At the time, lead attorney Anders Brunn was quoted in the Winnipeg Free Press as saying the ruling was "virtually unappealabe." The case was also featured in The Lawyers Weekly a publication you'll find in just about every Canadian solicitors' office.
Shortly thereafter Counselor Trachtenberg announced his intention to file a Notice of Appeal. Recall at the time the words of one of the defence attorneys, "They've just been whacked over the head with a piece of timber and they're coming back for more."
Clement Chartier has already recently publicly conceded the MNC is in significant debt but making a concerted effort to right its finances. The appeal will cost about $30,000. So from where are the funds coming to pay Mr. Trachtenberg? This is an outrageous textbook example of misusing taxpayer dollars and the law to harass, threaten and bully one of Manitoba's outstanding citizens. You should all contact and file a protest with your Member of Parliament. To find their particulars visit and activate the "Members of Parliament (Current)" link at the top of the page.
So why are the Plaintiffs appealing? It's probably because they're desperate. Justice Menzies ordered them to pay for the one week trial they lost. We estimate it to be over $150,000.
Clare L. Pieuk


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