Elections for MNC President to Proceed – Métis Leaders Deplore Need for Court Order

by NationTalk on September 19, 20072033 Views


OTTAWA, Sept. 19 – Elections for President of the Métis National Council (MNC) will take place on October 13 – 14, 2007 in Ottawa as proposed by four of the five members of the MNC Board of Governors, despite the interventions by former MNC President Clem Chartier and the President of the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF), Chartier’s only supporter on the MNC Board of Governors.

The Ontario Superior Court approved the order, which was jointly requested by all parties in the dispute. The Order upholds the provisions of the MNC By-laws concerning the selection of delegates. Mr. Chartier and Mr. Chartrand dropped their attempt to have the court alter the By-laws. The Order also appoints MNC Chief Administrative Officer, Dale LeClair to run the day-to-day operations of the MNC until the holding of the elections. “We deplore the fact that this decision had to be taken by a court when we, the leaders of the Métis Nation, had set the dates for this election a few weeks ago on July 31st, 2007,” said Métis Nation British Columbia President Bruce Dumont. “This whole needless costly exercise led by the former MNC President and his only supporter among the MNC Board of Governors was a colossal waste of time, energy and money.”

Audrey Poitras, President of the Métis Nation of Alberta said, “I am relieved that we can go ahead with our Elections for MNC President but I really question why it is that we had to go through all of this when we had set the stage for this to happen at our Board of Governors Meeting six weeks ago. Nothing has been accomplished by this needless court case other than some publicity for some people and a huge cost to the Métis Nation.”

“This whole court action was an incredible waste of time and financial resources that have taken away from the fight for our rights, including our land rights,” said Métis Nation – Saskatchewan President Robert Doucette. “I cannot understand why former MNC President Clem Chartier and his only supporter on the MNC Board of Governors would have caused us to spend tens of thousands of dollars in this useless court case instead of putting that money into fighting our land claims and hunting rights cases in Saskatchewan and elsewhere in the Métis Nation.”

“It is astonishing to see that the MNC was taken to court by its former President and his only supporter on the MNC Board of Governors and that its’ four other governing members would have to defend the MNC and the rights of the Métis people to make its own decisions according to its own laws,” said Métis Nation of Ontario President Tony Belcourt. “This was a shameful, costly and needless act which is inexcusable.”

The Order by the Superior Court of Ontario was by consent of both the Plaintiffs (Chartier/MMF) and the Defendants (MNC/Dumont/Poitras/Doucette/Belcourt). The Court did not choose sides, rather it ordered that which was agreed to by both parties in negotiations. For the full text of the Order, see the following websites:
– www.metisnation.ca
– www.metisnation.org

For further information: Bruce Dumont, MNBC, (604) 219-0157; Audrey Poitras, MNA, (780) 490-8188; Robert Doucette, MN-S, (306) 343-8285; Tony Belcourt, MNO, (613) 791-5056

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