Friday, April 30, 2010

Larger than the Exxon Valdez?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The hotdog stand!

E-mail your new Deputy Chief Electoral Officer?

Anonymous has left a comment on your post, "The problem remains!"


Just called the Chie Electoral Officer's Office and was handed the "Deputy CEO" by the name of Lawrence Bird - I don't remember any of the official forms on the MMF site listing a "Deputy Chief Electoral Oficer" - Hmmm - give them a call and ask to speak with the Deputy CEO and see what happens.
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. If I couldn't get Alvin Zivot to reply to my letter durning the last MMF election do you really think I'd get anywhere talking with a Deputy Chief Electoral Officer? The issue of e-mail accessibility just doubled. Perhaps Mr. Zivot needs an Assistant Chief Electoral Officer and what about a couple Associate Deputy Chief Electoral Officers plus .....

Clare L. Pieuk

The problem remains!

Dear Presidential Candidate Godon:

That we can do. As an interim solution you may wish to try sending your request to Mr. Zivot care of the Professional Property Managers Association of Manitoba (; where he serves as a full-time Chief Commissioner, Residential Tenancies Commission.

Clare L. Pieuk
Hello Clare,

Would you please post the following on CyberSmokeBlog as we are still having temporary difficulties with our campaign site ( In the meantime, I will be displaying the e-mails shown blow on my Facebook page

In this way, those without a Facebook account will be able to read about it on a Blog.

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Desiree Gillespie
To: ""
Sent: Thu, April 29, 2010 5:58:14 PM
Subject: FW: Email contact for the Chief Electoral Officer

Good Morning Mr. Godon,

The Chief Electoral Officer can be contacted at (204) 927-5850 via telephone or via mail at

Office of the Chief Electoral Officer
PO Box 2477 Station Main
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3C 4A7

for any questions or concerns.

I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to the Federation's website where all information and forms regarding the election and the process can be downloaded. Should you require a hard copy of any of the forms they are available at all the MMF Provincial Regional Offices as well as Home Office at 150 Henry Avenue.


Desiree Gillespie
Manitoba Metis Federation Liaison
Election Liaison

From: Frank Godon []
Sent: Thursday, April 29, 2010 1:52 AM
To: Frank Coyle
Subject: Email contact for the Chief Electoral Officer

Hello Frank,

Is there an email contact for the Chief Electoral Officer Alvin Zivot? Some of us don't have fax capabilities and would like to contact him.

Thank you,
Frank Godon

For the record!

Good Day Readers:

The following letter was sent to Chief Electoral Officer Alvin Zivot. He did not reply. Notice the lack of an e-mail address to contact the Office of the CEO still remains.

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: 896-4141
Toll Free: 1-866-841-7788

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 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 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 over ruled, there is no evidence the flawed material was identified or an investigation 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 lead 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 Canada
Federal Interlocutor For Metis And Non Status Indians

Mr. Rod Bruinooge
Member of Parliament, Winnipeg South
Parliamentary Secretary to Minister Indian Affairs And Northern Development Canada

"The walls are closing in on me!"

Team TRACHTENBERG - chartrand!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Less than 60 Days?"

Inglorious b......s ...

Dear Oooo...
As always thank you for writing you're still number one. "You ain't seen nothin' yet!" Wait until Team TRACHTENBERG - chartrand take over the election campaign, that is, if they haven't already.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Blogger Derryl "We reported it here first!" Sanderson and 'Bear 'are stilled pumped!

MMF Election 2010 Facebook Page

This new site dedicated to MMF election 2010 has been up for 2 days and amassed almost 200 members!

Our letter to Alvin Zivot!

Mr. Alvin Zivot, Q.C.
Chief Electoral Officer
P.O. Box 2477, Station Main
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 4A7
Telephone: 927-5850
Fax: 942-5850

Dear Mr. Zivot:

You may recall during the June 2006 MMF election we contacted you requesting an e-mail address so our readers who may not have a facsimile capacity could contact you. Unfortunately, you did extend us the courtesy of a reply.

Therefore, unless you advise us differently we will post an electronic address shown on the Professional Property Managers Association of Manitoba ( where you are described as the Chief Commissioner, Residential Tenancies Commission a full-time position appointed for a 5-year term by Order-in-Counsel. We trust you are taking a leave of absence to serve as the Chief Electoral Officer for the upcoming Manitoba Metis Federation election.

Any response you choose to send us, Sir, will be posted on our Blog.

Clare L. Pieuk

Alvin Zivot

Frank Coyle, Director of Communications

Cuff him! Cuff him!

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The skinny on MMF Election 2010!

Frank Godon has left a new comment on your post, "Anyone know?"


All the info is on the MMF website.
Dear Frank Godon:

On behalf of our readers thank you very much for the information. Activating the link will display 33 separate documents which should be all you'll need as a candidate and/or voter.

Clare L. Pieuk

Anyone know?

Good Day Readers:

We have received an anonymous e-mail which states anyone wishing to be a candidate in the Manitoba Metis Federation's June 10, 2010 election has until May 3, 2010 to get the necessary signatures into the Chief Electoral Officer. Further, advanced polls will be held June 1-2, 2010.

Can anyone verify the accuracy of these timelines?

Clare L. Pieuk

Monday, April 26, 2010

Let the games begin!


The game is on: June 10 it is:

I would be terribly remiss if I didn't offer my own special brand of election coverage, of course.

Vic Populi
Dear Mr. Populi:
Thank you very much for the link. No doubt our readers and especially Team TRACHTNEBERG - chartrand (; along with The Law Society of Manitoba will be watching your coverage closely.
Clare L. Pieuk

Less than 60 Days?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "A snap MMF Election?"

Shouldn't that read June 10 or 17th?
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you writing. Good point. Unfortunately, the e-mail we received was ambiguous on this point, "..... I never heard a for sure date but I assume it will be some time around the 10th or the next week." So do they mean the 10th or possibly the 17th of May or June? Hopefully, our source will contact us to clarify the matter.

A June voting date would make more sense because it would represent a 42-48 day campaign. However, the election by-laws are even ambiguous on this point:

"There shall be no more than sixty days (60) days between the date of the notice setting the date of the election and Election Day. In order to calsulate complinace with this provision, the first day counted shall be the day after the date fo the notice setting the date of the election and the last day counted shall be Election Day."

But can can it be less than 60 days and if so by how much? Hopefully, not otherwise a shorter time period could be used by incumbents to catch candidates off guard.

Clare L. Pieuk

Who is Alvin Zivot?

Dear Readers:

There is an Alvin M. Zivot, Q.C. listed on the Professional Property Managers Association site ( as the Chief Commissioner of the Residential Tenancies Commission. It's a full-time position located in Winnipeg appointed for a 5-year term by Order-in-Council. For more information visit the link:

We were unable to find a picture of Mr. Zivot on the internet. Is this the same person who will be Chief Electoral Officer for the upcoming MMF election?

Clare L. Pieuk

A snap MMF Election?

Good Day Readers:

We have just received word from a well-placed anonymous source Alvin Zivot the Chief Electoral Officer for the June 2006 election has been selected for the 2010 general vote. The election must be held within 60 days or less of the formal announcement. Apparently you can look for an election day around May 10 or perhaps the week of May 17 (15-22 days from now well within the requirement). Is this not, in effect, a snap election? Assuming our information is accurate, it will make for a very short campaign!

Anyone know if MMF defamation lawyer Murray Trachtenberg (; played any role in the selection process?

Clare L. Pieuk

"A product of pure intellectual masturbation!"

Goldman’s 'Fabulous' Fab’s conflicted love letters
Steve Eder and Karey Wutkowski, Reuters
Published: Monday, April 26, 2010
Personal emails written through Mr. Tourre's Goldman Sachs e-mail account have become part of one of the biggest investigations into the financial crisis. (Bloomberg)

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON -- Fabrice Tourre and his girlfriend talked like a couple very much in love.

They emailed back and forth about how they wanted to curl up in each other's arms and how they looked forward to tender moments together. Mr. Tourre, a Goldman Sachs bond trader, also wrote in the emails of the impending collapse of the subprime mortgage market and how he was masterminding ways at Goldman to make money from it.

Little did they know that three years later these very personal emails written through Mr. Tourre's Goldman Sachs e-mail account would become part of one of the biggest investigations into the subsequent financial crisis.

In the email exchanges between Mr. Tourre and his girlfriend, Marine Serres, Tourre comes off as a young, hotshot trader who foresaw the subprime meltdown while still selling shoddy subprime-backed products so prolifically he could peddle them to "widows and orphans."

But Mr. Tourre - the only individual the Securities and Exchange Commission charged in its fraud case against the firm - also seems ethically conflicted.

"Anyway, not feeling too guilty about this, the real purpose of my job is to make capital markets more efficient and ultimately provide the U.S. consumer with more efficient ways to leverage and finance himself, so there is a humble, noble and ethical reason for my job ;) amazing how good I am in convincing myself !!!" Mr. Tourre said in an e-mail to Ms. Serres in January 2007.

That portion of the e-mail reflecting Tourre's conflicted views on his role in the subprime meltdown immediately followed another part of the e-mail that the SEC released in its complaint earlier this month.

The SEC's complaint only included Mr. Tourre referring to himself as "fabulous Fab" and talking about "standing in the middle of all these complex, highly leveraged, exotic trades he created without necessarily understanding all of the implications of those monstrosities!!!"

The SEC left out Tourre's ethical musings in its complaint.

Goldman Sachs released the Tourre emails over the weekend as it readies for its appearance before a Senate panel on Tuesday. Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein and Tourre are scheduled to testify, along with other former and current executives.

The collection of e-mails also show that Tourre was not the only person at Goldman with confidence the subprime market was doomed.

Daniel Sparks, a former head of the mortgages department at Goldman, is also expected to testify on Tuesday before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

"According to Sparks, that business is totally dead, and the poor little subprime borrowers will not last so long!!!" Mr. Tourre wrote in a March 7, 2007, email to his girlfriend.

Mr. Tourre - who refers to Serres at one point as a "super-smart French girl in London" - also tells her about selling to unwitting investors the type of synthetic collateralized debt obligation, or CDO, at the center of the SEC case.

The SEC charges that Tourre and Goldman fraudulently marketed an "Abacus" CDO by hiding vital information from investors, including the role that hedge fund Paulson & Co played in picking mortgage products tied to the CDO. Paulson & Co betted against the CDO.

"Just made it to the country of your favorite clients [Belgians]!!! I'm managed (sic) to sell a few abacus bonds to widow and orphans that I ran into at the airport, apparently these Belgians adore synthetic abs cdo2," Mr. Tourre wrote in June 2007.

Earlier in 2007, in an e-mail to a friend, Mr. Tourre shares his fears that the product he helped create is crumbling - and he has a sense of humor about it.

"It's bizarre I have the sensation of coming each day to work and re-living the same agony - a little like a bad dream that repeats itself," Mr. Tourre writes. "In sum, I'm trading a product which a month ago was worth $100 and which today is only worth $93 and which on average is losing 25 cents a day ...That doesn't seem like a lot but when you take into account that we buy and sell these things that have nominal amounts that are worth billions, well it adds up to a lot of money."

He added, "When I think that I had some input into the creation of this product (which by the way is a product of pure intellectual masturbation, the type of thing which you invent telling yourself: "Well, what if we created a "thing", which has no purpose, which is absolutely conceptual and highly theoretical and which nobody knows how to price?") it sickens the heart to see it shot down in mid-flight... It's a little like Frankenstein turning against his own inventor ;)"

Mr. Tourre, 28 when he wrote the emails, reflects on the strangeness of being so young, yet being in such a critical role with pressures from those above him at the firm to make money.

"... I am now considered a "dinosaur" in this business (at my firm the average longevity of an employee is about 2-3 years!!!) people ask me about career advice. I feel like I'm losing my mind and I'm only 28!!! OK, I've decided two more years of work and I'm retiring."

© Thomson Reuters 2010

"Greed is good!"

Michael Douglas in the 1987 film Wall Street for which he won an Oscar for Best Actor. Gordon Gekko will return in the sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps currently in post-production.

S.E.C. Accuses Goldman of Fraud in Housing Deal
By Louise Story and Gretchen Morgenson/Published April 16, 2010

The new Goldman Sachs global headquarters in Manhattan.
Employees in the lobby of the Goldman Sachs headquarters in Lower Manhattan on Friday. The S.E.C.'s suit is a black eye for the firm, a money machine at the epicenter of Wall Street power. (Diane Bandereff/Associated Press)

Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street powerhouse, was accused in a civil lawsuit filed Friday by the Securities and Exchange Commission which claims the bank created and sold a mortgage that was secretly intended to fail.

The move was the first time that regulators had taken action against a Wall Street deal that helped investors capitalize on the collapse of the housing market.

The suit also named Fabrice Tourre, a vice president at Goldman who helped create and sell the investment.

In a statement, Goldman called the commission’s accusations “completely unfounded in law and fact” and said it would “vigorously contest them and defend the firm and its reputation.”

The focus of the S.E.C. case, an investment vehicle called Abacus 2007-AC1, was one of 25 such vehicles that Goldman created so the bank and some of its clients could bet against the housing market. Those deals, which were the subject of an article in The New York Times in December, initially protected Goldman from losses when the mortgage market disintegrated and later yielded profits for the bank.

As the Abacus portfolios in the S.E.C. case plunged in value, a prominent hedge fund manager made money from his bets against certain mortgage bonds, while investors lost more than $1 billion.

According to the complaint, Goldman created Abacus 2007-AC1 in February 2007 at the request of John A. Paulson, a prominent hedge fund manager who earned an estimated $3.7 billion in 2007 by correctly wagering that the housing bubble would burst. Mr. Paulson is not named in the suit.

Goldman told investors that the bonds would be chosen by an independent manager. In the case of Abacus 2007-AC1, however, Goldman let Mr. Paulson select mortgage bonds that he believed were most likely to lose value, according to the complaint.

Goldman then sold the package to investors like foreign banks, pension funds and insurance companies, which would profit only if the bonds gained value. The European banks IKB and ABN Amro and other investors lost more than $1 billion in the deal, the commission said.

“Goldman wrongly permitted a client that was betting against the mortgage market to heavily influence which mortgage securities to include in an investment portfolio,” Robert Khuzami, the director of the commission’s enforcement division, said in a written statement.

The lawsuit could be a sign of a revitalized Securities and Exchange Commission, which has been criticized for early missteps in assessing the causes of the financial crisis. The agency appears to be tracing the mortgage pipeline all the way from the companies like Countrywide Financial that originated home loans to the raucous trading floors that dominate Wall Street’s profit machine.

At a conference in New Orleans on Friday, Mr. Khuzami indicated that he was scrutinizing other deals involving mortgage securities. “We’re looking at a wide range of products,” he said at a news conference. “If we see securities with similar profiles, we’ll look at them closely.”

Shares of Goldman Sachs plunged more than 10 percent in just the first half-hour of trading after the suit was announced Friday morning. They closed down 13 percent, at $160.70, wiping away more than $10 billion of the company’s market value.

Investors sold other bank stocks, as well, as rumors swirled about which other firms might become embroiled in the commission’s investigation. Next to Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank’s American shares had the steepest decline, falling 7 percent.

Goldman issued a second statement after the market closed saying that the firm had lost money on the deal in the S.E.C. case and that it provided investors with extensive disclosure on the deal. The firm said the losses in the deal came from the overall collapse of the mortgage market, not from the way the deal was structured.

The accusations amount to a black eye for the once-untouchable Goldman Sachs, a money machine that is the epicenter of Wall Street power. For decades, its platinum reputation has attracted top investors and stock underwriting deals.

Several of its former chief executives have gone on to high public office, among them Henry M. Paulson Jr., the former Treasury secretary, and Jon Corzine, the former New Jersey governor. (Henry Paulson and John Paulson are not related.)

In recent months, Goldman has been defiant in the face of criticism, repeatedly defending its actions in the mortgage market, including its own bets against it. In a letter published last week in Goldman’s annual report, the bank rebutted criticism that it had created, and sold to its clients, mortgage-linked securities that it had little confidence in.

“We certainly did not know the future of the residential housing market in the first half of 2007 any more than we can predict the future of markets today,” Goldman wrote. “We also did not know whether the value of the instruments we sold would increase or decrease.”

The letter continued: “Although Goldman Sachs held various positions in residential mortgage-related products in 2007, our short positions were not a ‘bet against our clients.’ ” Instead, the trades were used to hedge other trading positions, the bank said.

Goldman was one of many Wall Street firms that created complex mortgage securities — known as synthetic collateralized debt obligations — as the housing wave was cresting. At the time, traders like Mr. Paulson, as well as those within Goldman, were looking for ways to bet against the overheated market.

For months, S.E.C. officials have been examining mortgage bundles like Abacus that were created across Wall Street. The commission has been interviewing people who structured Goldman mortgage deals about Abacus and similar instruments. The commission advised Goldman that it was likely to face a civil suit in the matter, sending the bank what is known as a Wells notice several months ago.

The S.E.C. focused on only one Abacus deal in its complaint, but Mr. Khuzami said in a conference call on Friday that the commission continued to look at the rest. All told, $10.9 billion of Abacus investments were sold.

Mr. Tourre, the Goldman vice president named in the lawsuit, was one of the firm’s top workers running the Abacus deals, selling the investment to investors across Europe. Mr. Tourre was raised in France and moved to the United States in 2000 to earn his master’s degree in operations at Stanford. The next year, he began working at Goldman, according to his profile on the LinkedIn social network.

He rose to prominence working on the Abacus deals under a trader named Jonathan M. Egol. Mr. Egol, who is now a managing director at Goldman, is not named in the S.E.C. suit.

Goldman structured the Abacus portfolios with a sharp eye on the credit ratings assigned to the mortgage bonds contained in them, the S.E.C. said. In the Abacus deal cited in the S.E.C. complaint, Mr. Paulson pinpointed those mortgage bonds that he believed carried higher ratings than the underlying loans deserved.

Goldman placed insurance on those bonds — called credit-default swaps — inside Abacus, allowing Mr. Paulson to bet against the bonds while clients on the other side of the trade wagered that they would make money.

But when Goldman sold shares in Abacus to investors, the bank and Mr. Tourre disclosed only the ratings of those bonds and did not disclose that Mr. Paulson was on the other side, betting those ratings were wrong.

Mr. Tourre at one point complained to an investor who was buying into Abacus that he was having trouble persuading Moody’s to give the deal the rating he desired, according to the investor’s notes, which were provided to The Times by a colleague who asked for anonymity.

In seven of Goldman’s Abacus deals, the bank went to the American International Group for insurance on the bonds. Those deals have led to billions of dollars in losses at A.I.G., which received a $180 billion taxpayer rescue. The Abacus deal in the S.E.C. complaint was not one of them.

That deal was managed by ACA Management, a part of ACA Capital Holdings, which changed its name in 2008 to Manifold Capital.

Goldman told investors the mortgage bond portfolio would be “selected by ACA Management,” according to the deal’s marketing document, which was given to The Times by an Abacus investor. That document says Goldman may have long or short positions in the bonds. It does not mention Mr. Paulson.

ACA was not named in the suit. That firm was led to believe that Mr. Paulson was positive on mortgages, not negative, and so it did not see a problem with his involvement, the S.E.C. said. Mr. Tourre was aware of ACA’s misconception, the commission said.

In February 2007, Mr. Tourre met with both ACA and Mr. Paulson, and he sent an e-mail message to a Goldman colleague acknowledging the awkwardness of the situation. “This is surreal,” Mr. Tourre wrote.

Nine days later, a Goldman colleague wrote Mr. Tourre and said, “the C.D.O. biz is dead. We don’t have a lot of time left.”

The Abacus deals deteriorated rapidly when the housing market hit trouble. For instance, in the Abacus deal in the S.E.C. complaint, 83 percent of the mortgage bonds underlying it were downgraded by rating agencies just six months later, and 99 percent had been downgraded by early 2008, according to the S.E.C.

It takes time for such mortgage investments to pay out for investors who make bets against them. Each deal is structured differently, but generally, the bonds underlying the investment must deteriorate to a certain point before those who bet against the bonds get paid. By the end of 2007, Mr. Paulson’s credit hedge fund was up 590 percent.

Michael J. de la Merced contributed reporting.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Know your rights or they'll get trampled!

Good Day Readers:

Article III Chief Electoral Officer from the MMF's Constitution is reproduced below. Here are some obvious flaws:

3 (c) What if the eligibility of a candidate is initially denied by the CEO but information subsequently comes to light they indeed qualify? There is no right of appeal

(d) Same argument as 3 (c)

(e) Same argument as 3 (c) and (d)

(g) Why is this report never made public?

The two most significant shortcomings are:

(1) Nowhere is a ceiling placed on election campaign spending

(2) The Chief Electoral Officer is not empowered to conduct audits and force candidates to declare sources and amounts of campaign funding

Clare L. Pieuk
Article III Chief Electoral Officer

1. The Board of Directors of MMF shall appoint a person to serve as Chief Electoral Officer for each election. The person so appointed shall also have the responsibility to conduct any necessary by-elections while his/her appointment remains in effect.

2. The Chief Electoral Officer shall set, manage and conduct the election.

3. The duties and powers of the Chief Electoral Officer shall include but nto be limited to:

(a) Creating all forms, notices, ballots and documents as may be required.

(b) Appointing a Deputy Chief Electoral Officer and all Deputy Returning Officers and Poll Clerks

(c) Deciding the eligibility of all candidates to run for office. The decision of the Chief Electoral Officer shall be final and not the subject of appeal.

(d) Deciding all challenges to candidates. The decision of the Chief Electoral Officer shall be final and not the subject of appeal.

(d) Deciding the elibibility of all members to vote and all challenges to members. The decision of the Chief Electoral Officer shall be final and not subject of appeal.

(f) Preparing the List of Electors.

(g) Providing a written report to the Board of Directors of the MMF within 60 days from the date of the election.

(h) Taking all reasonable actions to ensure compliance with this by-law.

4. The Chief Electoral Officer shall ensure that all eligible electors of the MMF are permitted to vote and that no cherical mistake or omission results in the disenfranchisement of eligible electors.

June 10, 2010?

Good Day Readers:
Blogger Derryl Sanderson ( is claiming inside sources have told him the Manitoba Metis Federation's general election will be held June 10, 2010. Is anyone able to confirm this?
Article IV (Timing of Election) of the MMF's constitution states:
There shall be no more than sixty (60) days between the date of the notice setting the date of the election and Election Day. In order to calculate compliance with this provision the first day counted shall be the day after the date of the notice setting the date of the election and the last day counted shall be Election Day.
According to our calculations based on Article IV and counting from tomorrow, 60 days should take us to June 25 while June 10 is only 45 days. Is there a loophole in the election by-laws meaning the notice can be given less than 60 days? If so what is the minimum notification required or is there one?
Clare L. Pieuk

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Your brother's keeper?

The next MMF election place your bets here!

Frank Godon has left a new comment on your post, "Anyone know?"
I believe David Chartrand has to ask the Chief Electoral Officer to set a date. From what I read in Derryl's blog ( he hasn't talked with the CEO yet. So if it is this week it can be 60 days or more after the chosen Electoral Officer is asked to set it.
Hope this helps - we need to keep a close watch on the next few days - my guess would be the week of June 21 to 25. Hey maybe you should set up a betting pool. Give me June 21st if you do.
Dear Candidate Godon:
Thank you for writing. We have three questions:
(1) Who will be the Chief Electoral Officer?
(2) What are their qualifications?
(3) How much will they be paid?
As for setting up a betting pool, sure let us know your guess.
Clare L. Pieuk

Anyone know?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Blogger Derryl Sanderson is pumped again!"

What is the exact date?
Dear Anonymous:
Thank you for writing. As you can see from the Derryl Sanderson article no exact date is given. Anyone know?
Clare L. Pieuk

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Blogger Derryl Sanderson is pumped again!

Manitoba Metis Federation General Election Called

Current Manitoba Metis Federation President David Chartrand has announced this morning, the MMF has requested the Chief Electoral Officer set a date for the MMF elections which will now be held a mere two months away.

Chartrand wasted no time in announcing his intent to run for the MMF's top job but also showed a marked proactive movement towards democracy by stating he will NOT promote himself nor his platforms during the MMF Metis Hour X 2 weekly radio program ..... now to keep an ear open for the traditional David Chartrand praising from the host of the program, Ray St. Germain.

Metis News and Stuff will have much more to print in the next few days as these Manitoba Metis Federation elections can get a little hairy. MN & S will dish the dirt and platforms from various candidates who care to send Metis News and Stuff any campaign material. and bear in mind, I will have more in depth insider information as the election gains speed.

I'm pumped. MN & S is back.
Good Day Readers:

"..... a marked proactive movement towards democracy by stating he (David Chartrand) will NOT promote himself nor his platforms during the MMF Metis Hour X2 ..... ."

Hardly! As Mr. Sanderson will recall during the June 2006 election he complained to the Canadian Radio - television and Telecommunications Commission, which regulates licensing of radio and television stations in Canada, that NCI Radio was allowing President Chartrand to promote his campaign while not giving other candidates equal air time. Essentially Native Communications Incorporated got a cease and desist letter from the CRTC.

Clare L. Pieuk

"Go ahead make my day threaten me!"

Good Day Readers:

On Wednesday of this week CyberSmokeBlog ran an e-mail received from The Public Eye entitled, The top ten "Murrayisms" of all time!

Truth To Power (;

At the time we added our favourite three. While not a "Murrayism" the following is quite instructive. It comes from an October 1994 Statement of Claim filed by Luba Audrey Gallinger against Walsh Micay & Company, Murray N. Trachtenberg, Paul Warren, and Darrel Donen. Page 8 paragraph 15 states:

The plaintiff states that the defendant, Murray Trachtenberg, was negligent as follows:

(a) in failing to advise the plaintiff at the outset or make her aware that there was a conflict of interest or potential therefore and in further failing to advise the plaintiff at the outset to seek outside counsel as the plaintiff might have a claim against Walsh Micay & Company;

(b) in failing to assess the file and provide the plaintiff with the proper advice or at all as to the claim seeking to set aside the Will on the basis of undue influence;

(c) failing to protect the plaintiff from a lawsuit as commenced by her brothers;

(d) in not having the matter settled at the earliest possible time;

(e) in failing to determine that the method of obtaining instructions from the residual beneficiary's father was improper. (emphasis ours) "Go ahead make my day!" As an Officer of the Court "threaten" me with a complaint before the Law Society of Manitoba's Disciplinary Committee.

Clare L. Pieuk

Friday, April 23, 2010

While Wall Street burned they watched porn!

Amid Meltdown, Some SEC Staffers Surfed Net for Porn
April 22, 2010
Associated Press

WASHINGTON—Senior staffers at the Securities and Exchange Commission spent hours surfing pornographic Web sites on government-issued computers while they were being paid to police the financial system, an agency watchdog says.

The SEC's inspector general conducted 33 probes of employees looking at explicit images in the past five years, according to a memo obtained by the Associated Press.

The memo says 31 of those probes occurred in the 2 1/2 years since the financial system teetered and nearly crashed.

The staffers' behavior violated government-wide ethics rules, it says.

It was written by SEC Inspector General David Kotz in response to a request from Senator Charles Grassley (R., Iowa).

The memo was first reported Thursday evening by ABC News. It summarizes past inspector general probes and reports:
■A senior attorney at the SEC's Washington headquarters spent up to eight hours a day looking at and downloading pornography. When he ran out of hard drive space, he burned the files to CDs or DVDs, which he kept in boxes around his office. He agreed to resign, an earlier watchdog report said.
■An accountant was blocked more than 16,000 times in a month from visiting Web sites classified as "Sex" or "Pornography." Yet he still managed to amass a collection of "very graphic" material on his hard drive by using Google images to bypass the SEC's internal filter, according to an earlier report from the inspector general. The accountant refused to testify in his defense, and received a 14-day suspension.
■Seventeen of the employees were "at a senior level," earning salaries of up to $222,418.
■The number of cases jumped from two in 2007 to 16 in 2008. The cracks in the financial system emerged in mid-2007 and spread into full-blown panic by the fall of 2008.
California Rep. Darrell Issa, the top Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said it was "disturbing that high-ranking officials within the SEC were spending more time looking at porn than taking action to help stave off the events that put our nation's economy on the brink of collapse."

He said in a statement that SEC officials "were preoccupied with other distractions" when they should have been overseeing the growing problems in the financial system.

An SEC spokesman declined to comment Thursday night.

Former SEC spokesman Michael Robinson said he shares the public's outrage about SEC staffers who enjoyed porn on the taxpayer dime when they were supposed to be keeping the markets safe.

"That kind of behavior is just intolerable and atrocious," said Mr. Robinson, now with Levick Strategic Communications. He said he expects SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro and her team are "very focused on" the issue.

Ms. Schapiro has had other worries in recent days. She has been parrying Republican attacks after announcing civil fraud charges Friday against Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Republicans have questioned the timing of the charges. They were filed as the Senate prepared to take up a sweeping overhaul of the rules governing banks and other financial companies.

Republican lawmakers also accused the SEC of being influenced by politics. The SEC's commissioners approved the Goldman charges on a rare 3-2 vote. The two who objected were Republicans.

Ms. Schapiro is a registered independent who has been appointed by presidents of both parties.


U.S. jurors to be vetted for anti-Canada bias
Canadians on trial for allegedly hiring hit man
Adrian Humphreys, National Post
Published: Thursday, April 22, 2010
One juror question asks if they have read, seen or heard anything that makes them "associate Canadians with violent crimes?"

Lawyers for two Canadians accused of plotting to kidnap and kill a lawyer to recover lost millions say anti-Canadian sentiment among jurors must be weeded out before their trial can start in Boston.

A motion at the trial of Nicholas Djokich of Calgary and Eginardo "Angelo" De Angelis of Montreal asks that potential jurors be asked three questions to detect any hostile bias against Canada, including: "Is there anything about the country of Canada, Canadian nationality, or anyone associated with Canada that would affect your ability to be fair and impartial?"

Another asks if they have read, seen or heard anything that makes them "associate Canadians with violent crimes?"

The third questions whether the accused men's Canadian citizenship would "make it difficult for you to fairly and impartially decide this case?"

Mr. Djokich, 59, and Mr. De Angelis, 76, face charges of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire after allegedly paying a man to pluck a Canadian lawyer from his tropical island estate, force him to turn over millions lost in an investment and then kill him.

The man was given the photograph and address of the intended victim, Richard DeVries, a lawyer from Calgary now living in the Bahamas.

According to the indictment, Mr. Djokich said he and colleagues had previously kidnapped William "Willie" Lenz, a Calgary businessman who he said was also involved in the wayward investment, and cut off one of his pinkie fingers with pruning sheers to make him sign a money transfer.

The men did not know the purported hit man was a U.S. government agent, and the conversations were secretly recorded.

"This guy was writing like you wouldn't believe after he lost his finger," Mr. Djokich said about the incident, according to documents filed in court.

"Oh, that'll do it to you," replied the purported hit man.

"Well, the thing is this," said Mr. Djokich, "the next day, he was going to taste one of his balls."

Mr. Lenz signed a wire transfer for $15-million during his ordeal, prosecutors say. The bank, however, required him to appear in person to receive the money and the kidnappers received nothing.

The hit man was told there were other targets after the lawyer was dealt with, including Mr. Lenz, a man in Detroit, another in London and a "Frenchman."

If enough money was forthcoming from Mr. DeVries, the police agent was allegedly told, they would likely not need to "wipe out" Mr. Lenz but rather just "put him in a wheelchair."

With those sorts of sordid details and the high stakes -- if convicted, the accused face a possible penalty of life in prison -- asking possible jurors about their feelings on Canada is a suitable precaution, said Bradford Bailey, lead lawyer for Mr. Djokich.

"Any time you have a client from another country, it is his attorney's obligation to probe juror prejudices to make sure there isn't any xenophobia, any anti-foreign sentiment, to make sure jurors selected are as fair and impartial as they can possibly be," he told the National Post.

How smart is your phone?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Threatening the MMF?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Bizarre, petty and childlish in Courtroom 330!"

Pathetic (colourful descriptive deleted). Didn't he also accuse your former lawyer Jeff Niederhoffer of threatening the MMF?
Dear Anonymous:
Thank you for writing. Sorry for removing your descriptive but we thought it better.
We don't recall our former lawyer Mr. Jeff Niederhoffer threatening the MMF but get this. During Fall of 2005 now former MMF Plaintiff and provincial Board of Director Richard DeLaRonde sent me an e-mail which included his cellular number asking I contact him as he wished to talk about the lawsuit. I e-mailed him requesting he get in touch with Jeff Niederhoffer given he was acting on my behalf which he subsequently did.
When Murray Trachtenberg (; found out the two had talked he complained to Mr. Niederhoffer that he shouldn't have spoken with Mr. DeLaRonde ..... Dhhhhh! Pathetic indeed! Makes one wonder if Counselor Trachtenberg has a persecution complex we already know he's obsessive-compulsive.
Clare L. Pieuk

The football!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Bizarre, petty and childlish in Courtroom 330!"

Dear Anonymous:
Thank you for writing. Murray Trachtenberg's behaviour the other day while exiting the courtroom reminded us of the little boy who brings the football to a game but when you refuse to play by his rules takes it and goes home. To Counselor Trachtenberg we say, "You know what you can do with your football!
Clare L. Pieuk

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The top ten "Murrayisms" of all time!

Anonymous has left a comment on your post, "Bizarre, petty and childish in Courtroom 330!"


I've just had a telephone conversation with our mutual friend Vic Populi, who I understand is on a well-deserved vacation in Athens, Georgia (though always taking care to maintain his internet access). He tells me he just sent you an e-mail, and that he would have no objections whatever if you published it on CyberSmokeBlog. I haven't seen it, but from what I hear, it is quite funny and surprisingly non-defamatory.

Something tells me that Vic's e-mail, as well as, this one should properly have been sent on April Fool's Day .....

Dear Anonymous:

Thank you very much for the heads up. Yes, we have received Mr. Populi's e-mail entitled, "The top ten Murrayisms of all time!" Before we get to that we'd like to add our three to the list:

1. The Mysterious Depositor

Back in April 2005 Murray Trachtenberg filed a Statement of Claim for Walter Joseph Chartrand (Plaintiff). At one time there was a Walter Chartrand brother to MMF President David Chartrand who worked at Federation headquarters in in security/janitorial services. Page 6 paragraph 13 of the S/C states:

"Upon investigation, the plaintiff was able to ascertain that in October, November and December 2003, a person or persons unknown to the plaintiff had deposited money into the plaintiff's Royal Bank chequing account which money was then automatically withdrawn by Chrysler to pay the monthly payments on the vehicle. The December amount of money deposited to the plaintiff's account by the person or persons unknown was insufficient to cover the December payment to Chrysler with the result that other cheques written by the plaintiff were regturned NSF and the plaintiff incurred bank service charges as a result."

2. Do As I Say Not As I Do

On March 19, 2010 provincial judge Timothy Preston issued a written decision not to allow cameras in the courtroom for the upcoming inquest into the death of Brian Sinclair. Murray Trachtenberg is junior Counsel for the family. Paragraph 12 states in part:

"..... Mr. Trachtenberg eloquently argued in oral submission that it is time for the Court to "open its doors" to everyone.

This is the same person who "eloquently" argued at the first Pre-Trial Conference (September 8, 2008) in the MMF's defamation lawsuit against CyberSmokeSignals there should be a publication ban on these proceedings thereby denying you the readers access to some vital information - Murray "Mr. Inconsistency" Trachtenberg.

Prolific, production line MMF defamation lawyer Murray Trachtenberg ("The Human Gestetner Machine") late at night in the basement of his law office cranking out more Statements of Claim against self-represented Defendants who dared to criticize David Chartrand!

3. The thin-skinned Murray Trachtenberg

While exiting the courtroom after a recent (April 19, 2010) Manitoba Court of Appeal appearance Murray Trachtenberg was heard to remark in response to opposing Counselor's remark, " It's far from over Murray"

"It does not behoove you as counsel to make threats to me as I am leaving the courtroom."

Now for The Public Eye's top 10 Murrayisms.

Clare L. Pieuk


Truth To Power -;


What most people don't realize about Manitoba Metis Federation counsel Murray Trachtenberg is that he is more, much more, than a legal wunderkind. Admittedly, his role as counsel to the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Terry Belhumeur and yourself will itself prove sufficient to ensure him a place in Manitoba legal history. Personally, I believe it has been brilliant strategy. Very soon, Mr. Trachtenberg will obtain a seven-figure judgment against you. Fight all you like, he's coming at you like a gestetner and you will have no choice but to cough up the dough.

When you and your ex-comrade Mr. Belhumeur pay up, his clients will have more money than they know what to do with. Truly, it will be the litigation lottery. They will be driving around in Camaros, and will be able to order more pizzas and get more haircuts than they ever thought possible in a human lifetime. Surely even a scofflaw such as yourself can appreciate how nice this would be for them? As a judgment debtor, you will contribute to a fine - and early - Christmas for the entire MMF board.

Their counsel Murray Trachtenberg will have made it all possible. However, Mr. Trachtenberg over the years has proven - to me, at least - that he is much more than a legal hatchetman. Very few know of it, and those who do wish they didn't, but Mr. Trachtenberg also has an uncanny knack for one-liners. In following his career over the past few years (my personal observations of selected Trachtenberg courtroom performances, coupled with additional research and perusal of materials on the public record), I have discovered that Mr. Trachtenberg is a comedic genius as well as a legal one.

As proof of this contention, the conclusion of hours of careful legal research and round-the-clock surveillance of Mr. Trachtenberg, I forthwith present for your consideration my Lettermanesque "Top-Ten List" of Mr. Trachtenberg's funniest statements. The absurdist humour of the following comments is only strengthened when you consider the jaw-dropping possibility that he may have intended them to be taken seriously:


10. "As at the time of swearing this Affidavit I have had no response to this letter."

9. "My instructions are to oppose any request for an adjournment."

8. "I suggest that you immediately request the person responsible for the publication of this affidavit on Truth To Power to remove it from the blog."

7. "The plaintiffs state that the indication by counsel for the defendants that these documents would be provided 'for the public record' was meant to intimidate them in the pursuit of this action."

6. "I suggest that you immediately remove these defamatory items from your website and issue a full and complete retraction and apology to Mr. Chartrand and the Board of Directors of the Manitoba Metis Federation Inc. in order to mitigate the damages that will be sought from you."

5. "With respect to the remainder of the questions of the plaintiffs, they object to answering on the grounds that the questions are irrelevant and/or scandalous and/or vexatious."

4. "I am not leading my own witness!"

3. "None of the positions on the MMF Board of Directors, except for the office of President, are salaried positions."


1. "It does not behoove you as counsel to make threats to me as I am leaving the courtroom."

This list is by no means exhaustive. I invite you to think up your own. It's easy and fun!

The Ol' Vic

Thank you Mr. Populi!

The Public Eye (Truth To Power -;

Good Day Readers:
We'd like to thank Mr. Populi for reproducing our article from yesterday, "Bizarre, petty and childish in Courtroom 330!" in which publicly financed, prolific, production line, serial kvetching MMF defamation lawyer Murray Trachtenberg claimed he was "threatened" by opposing counsel as he exited the courtroom after a session in the Manitoba Court of Appeal.;
We were positioned in the front row of the public gallery near the door so were in an excellent position to hear the exchange. It that was a threat so is saying, "Hello how are you today." Talk about mischaracterizing a situation!
This comes from a lawyer who has no hesitation whatsoever misusing the law in the Federation's classic, textbook SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) in an attempt to threaten, harass, bully and intimidate self-represented Defendants. Talk about an abuse of the legal system!
Mr. Trachtenberg has shot himself in the foot again on this one! You can read the complete article on Mr. Populi's blog.
April 20, 2010
The System
Bizarre, petty and childish in Courtroom 330!
Clare L. Pieuk

Bring in the clowns!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Bizarre, petty and childlish in Courtroom 330!"

Wha ..... whaa, must have been a hell of a day eh? And can't wait to see who will be the first one to take the stand! Just can't wait Clare ..... definitely doing my happy dance. It's like how can any level minded Metis vote these people back in at the next election. Methinks they belong more at the clown convention being held in the big city this week.

Again, Wha ..... whaa, once all is exposed there will hopefully be people picketing them out of town ..... all eligible voters of Manitoba, the Metis and all others deserve to hear answers from each of them that takes the stand. They can't drop like flies now it's too late. They must face you, Clare, and defend "Dav and Murr" (Team TRACHTENBERG - chartrand) ..... can't wait, can't wait, can't wait .....

Dear Ooo...
As always thank you for writing. If Team TRACHTENBERG - chartrand push this beyond asinine lawsuit to trial Anders Bruun a highly successful, very well respected Winnipeg lawyer and Consul to the Danish government for Manitoba will conduct the cross-examinations. Murray "Don't threaten me!" Trachtenberg will regret this ill-conceived and ill-advised lawsuit. His "brilliant" strategy will expose each of his Plaintiffs' to the rigours of testifying under oath. It won't be pretty!;

Clare L. Pieuk

Does David Chartrand earn more than Premier Selinger?

Good Day Readers:
Approximately a year ago we telephoned the Premier's Office to ask where his salary and that of his Cabinet could be found on the internet. Not a problem. We were directed to a provincial website and there they were! By the way, did you know the MMF's provincial Board of Directors is larger than Mr. Selinger's Cabinet? You can even go to the Manitoba Archives to ask for the "Blue Book" which displays the name of every civil servent earning more than $50,000, their department and exact salary.
David Chartrand's annual financial remuneration, on the other hand, is "top secret" even though the Federation is taxpayer financed.
Clare L. Pieuk
Alberta native chief makes 30% more than premier
Kevin Libin, National Post
Published: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 Echo Enoch Cree Nation Chief Harry Sharphead (right) at a swearing in ceremony in Enoch, Alberta. Mr. Sharphead has cut his salary twice, to $180,000 a year -- about the same as a $274,000 income earned ...
There are reasons Alberta's Ed Stelmach might envy the chief of the Enoch Cree First Nation that sits on Edmonton's western flank, just 17 kilometres from the Premier's own office. Although Mr. Stelmach's Cabinet tried quietly to hike their salaries dramatically in 2008, making him the highest paid premier in the country, the raises didn't stay quiet: Snoopy reporters found out by searching online government records, and the voters' outrage at the stunt still infects the Progressive Conservative government's popularity like a lingering cold sore.

Harry Sharphead is luckier. First Nation governments needn't post financial disclosures on any irksome web-sites, and band council meetings close their doors as often as they open them -- which might explain another reason the Premier might have to be jealous of the chief: For managing a band of scarcely 2,000 people, Mr. Sharphead makes, after taxes, 30% more than the head of Canada's fourth-largest province.

This information comes from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, which learned it only thanks to a "brown envelope" passed its way with a note from an anonymous Enoch Cree band member who had been unable, after repeated attempts, to get his own band's financial records from council, or from the Indian Affairs department.

One leak after another brought it to light.

This is, often, the only way First Nations people find out how their politicians spend band money, and how much of it they're taking home with them.

"So often, the story we hear from people on reserves is they ask for this information and they're denied.... They'll ask their chiefs and they'll say, 'Buzz off,' " says Colin Craig, the federation's Prairie director.

Politicians in Canada's federal, provincial and municipal governments, as well as Crown corporations, have their earnings publicly disclosed, Mr. Craig points out. Not so for public officials on reserves.

To his credit, Mr. Sharphead, elected in July, is a bargain compared with his predecessor: Chief Ron Morin was, at one point, paying himself $327,712 out of band funds, which -- because on-reserve incomes are tax exempt -- was roughly the equivalent to a $515,000 income off reserve.

Mr. Sharphead has cut that twice now, most recently in November when, in a letter to the Enoch Cree finance manager, he said he would take only $180,000 a year -- about the same as a $274,000 income earned off-reserve, still $60,000 larger than the Alberta Premier's pay-cheque.

"Equality amongst our people is critical to the growth and solidarity of our community," wrote Mr. Sharphead, who did not return phone calls. "We must lead by example."

Yet average Enoch Cree members, according to the CTF, were reportedly as in the dark about the salary revisions as they were about the original arrangements, which also saw an average salary of $175,725 for the 10 band councillors, and six-figure incomes for a third of its senior bureaucrats.

Meanwhile, just a third of Enoch Cree band members have jobs; among those who do, average earnings, according to the most recent data available, were just $16,000 a year. The Enoch Cree band has run up in recent years millions in debt. Leaked band records show the Enoch Cree receive about $9-million a year in federal funding.

"I am writing this letter out of pure frustration," wrote the CTF's source. "I live on the Enoch Cree Nation and we should have no problem providing for our people. The problem is the greed of our leadership and the lack of motivation. They know that there is nothing we can do to change the policies. We are under a different system than the real world.... We have nowhere to turn."

In December, it was another brown envelope to the CTF that revealed that band councillors on Manitoba's Peguis First Nation were earning up to a quarter-million tax-free dollars.

Technically, concerned band members do have somewhere to turn: Indian Affairs and Northern Affairs Canada requires, in funding agreements with First Nations, that bands provide records to any member wanting them.

Councils don't necessarily comply, and anyone getting too pushy risks ending up on council's bad side, potentially affecting when they get off the waiting list for home repairs, or a job with a band-owned business.

While First Nations are heavily subsidized by Canadian taxpayers, and must file financial reports with the ministry, the government cannot release them publicly. A 1988 court case ruled that the records might reveal details of income from "proprietary" band-owned businesses -- the Enoch Cree has oil revenues, owns a casino and a golf course, and a few retailers (their gas bar recently slashed employees' wages by 30%) -- and so were exempt from access to information requests. However, Mr. Craig believes there is nothing to prevent an interested federal government from changing laws to allow it.

But in the peculiar world in which First Nations exist, where funds come from a third party to be redistributed by Ottawa, band councils don't necessarily feel the fiscal accountability to members as do elected officials off-reserve, who know it's voters who pay their salaries.

"Even on most of the best-run reserves, most money flows from other sources, so voters don't make a connection between policy and reaching into their own pockets," says Tom Flanagan, a University of Calgary political scientist and co-author of Beyond the Indian Act: Restoring Aboriginal Property Rights. "So, it's more demands -- 'What can you do for me?' -- rather than 'How can you prudently manage affairs so I don't have to pay as much?' "

About a quarter of First Nations levy some tax, he says, but usually on leaseholders (like mining companies), who often aren't members. Rarely is it enough of the financial picture that members feel it in their pocketbook when councils act irresponsibly.

Not that this is necessarily the case with Mr. Sharphead. Mr. Flanagan argues that it's possible that Enoch Cree band members might think their chief is worth every penny he earns. Of course, without the help of that anonymous note, few band members would have been able to make that judgment.