The Manitoba Metis Federation

The Manitoba Metis Federation

October 15, 2007 18:16 ET

MMF Disappointed That MNA President's Actions Made Election Impossible

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Oct. 15, 2007) - 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," said MMF 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 it clear 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 This resolution has never been rescinded and has been confirmed by practice at subsequent Assemblies.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, the MNC 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 Vice President 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 weekend we are confident our Chief Administrative Officer will continue to ensure 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."

Contact Information

  • The Manitoba Metis Federation
    Nicole LeClair
    Director of Communications
    (204) 586-8474 ext. 374 or Cell: (403) 232-5737
    The Manitoba Metis Federation
    Cara Lytwyn
    Communications Assistant
    (204) 586-8474 ext. 217 or Cell: (204) 793-8781