The Law Society of Upper Canada last week hosted a special panel discussion on the continuing legal development of Métis rights.
The event, titled Métis Rights in an Era of Consultation and Accommodation — New Obligations, Opportunities, and Outcomes, was co-hosted by the law society and the Métis Nation of Ontario.
It was part of the law society's Public Education Equality Series.Panellists were to share their views on the advancement of Métis and aboriginal rights, and self-government issues regarding resource development.
The list of speakers included Pape Salter Teillet Barristers and Solicitors partner Jean Teillet, JTM Law lawyer Jason Madden, Bob Waldon of the Métis Nation of Ontario, and Calliou Group partner Tracy Campbell.
Monday, March 30, 2009
The Law Society of Upper Canada last week hosted a special panel discussion on the continuing legal development of Métis rights.
Posted by MetisMama at 11:51 PM
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Published Saturday March 21st, 2009
WAKAW, Sask. - The Jobin brothers were "scattered like rats" across the Prairies after Batoche fell.
The Canadian Press
Battle of Batoche: Ron Jobin, a former farmer from Domremy who discovered a passion for his Metis roots at around age 40, is working together with his long-lost family members to buy a tombstone for their common ancestor, who died from wounds sustained at the Battle of Batoche.
Second-oldest brother Ambroise, 34, had his leg amputated soon after the battle in a makeshift hospital in Saskatoon.
The other four brothers, one as young as 16 at the time of the Battle of Batoche, eventually turned up in northern Alberta, Manitoba and North Dakota. They and their five sisters had kids, who in turn had children, which led to yet another group of Jobin youngsters.
This generation of baby boomers was the one to bring the battle full circle. In June, through hard detective work back through the ages and some random good fortune, the Jobins got back together at Batoche for a family reunion.
One of their first orders of business was to erect a proper gravestone for their great-uncle. The North West Mounted Police likely gave him a wooden cross, but this would have rotted away.
And this brings us to today. Ron Jobin, a former farmer from Domremy, Sask., turned amateur family historian, and Beatrice Demetrius (nee Jobin), the Metis Nation of Alberta's genealogist and researcher, have been making slow progress in fundraising for their little family project.
They estimate that two simple headstones - the other one is for Joseph Ouellette, a 93-year-old Metis warrior killed on the last day of the battle and given his own casket and grave as a sign of respect for his age - would cost between $3,500 and $4,000. They've raised some money from Jobins across the country but still fall way short of their mark.
"When you look at the history books, it seems like only two men fought at this battle. And believe me, they're my heroes too. But I wanted these other men to be known," said Demetrius, who started fundraising for Ouellette two years ago.
To hear him talk about the battle is to bring it out of the history books, to make it seem as close as it is to his heart. He described how Ambroise, who sat on Louis Riel's council, walked with a limp and was shot in his only good leg in the last round of fighting.
"If you were not Protestant, white and English-speaking, they burnt your buildings down and drove you out of the area. And I'm not knocking these people. That's the way it was back then," said Jobin.
"The last day the Metis were out of ammunition. They were shooting horseshoe nails and stones out of their muskets. It was pretty well the end."
"I know that Ambroise was wounded and one of his buddies helped him. He crawled and got help, crawled about 30 or 40 yards, into some willows. His buddy said to him, 'Stay here, they won't kill you because you speak English.'"
"I remember my dad saying that his great-uncles would say that (Ouellette) could have got away, but he wanted to get one more redcoat. Just didn't quit. Eventually the redcoats got him."
Why does it matter what happened to such a distant relative?
"It's my culture, it's my family, and I want them to find their rightful places in history. I want my Metis people to honour these men, to find out and be proud that that's their soldier, that's their ancestor, and that they should recognize these men," Demetrius said, adding that she's always encouraging distant relatives of soldiers who fought at Batoche and other battles to dig deep into their family histories.
For Jobin, it's about knowing where he comes from, something that he says people seem to suddenly take an interest in when they reach middle age.
"If it had been of interest to me in high school, my history mark would have been a heck of a lot better than it was," he joked.
But in a turn to the more serious, Jobin said that things have changed and that there are more people looking to rediscover their Metis roots. Older generations often didn't even self-identify as Metis and Jobin had a friend whose Metis dad claimed to be Hawaiian, he said.
Demetrius agrees, adding that nowadays she gets people coming into her office all the time with lists of family names or photos of family members who "look First Nations" to see if their ancestors were Metis.
"We have a lot of adoptees trying to find out about their culture, trying to find out where they belong," she said. "After 1885 there was a big suppression and it was not so cool to be known as a Metis or half-breed. So if you could be something else, then that's what you were."
"They just wanted to get out of here because they'd end up like Louis Riel, hanging from a rope somewheres," Jobin said.
To see what's changed, all one has to do is look at the bent given to historical education these days. No longer are schoolchildren taught that the Metis soldiers were rebels and criminals, as Jobin was taught when he was a student.
Posted by MetisMama at 9:03 PM
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I wish to expand on some issues that have recently been brought to my attention in the world of Métis land.
It is the hope of most of us that we can learn and expand our understanding through our experiences. I recognize that some of our community have not had the good fortune of an education but as we go through life’s experiences we hope that we are able to develop knowledge and not have to repeat the mistakes of the past. I remember my grandmothers, aunties and mother saying to us a children – “When will you ever learn?”
So maybe with this post some broader critical thinking will happen and people will develop an understanding of a few issues that seem to have popped up on some internet sites as of recent regarding the Métis Judiciary Council decision that was released last week.
Shortly after the decision was released (the following day) we seen a position from Trevor Gladue reflecting that Audrey and the Judiciary Council were denying him his rights. That they were violating his right of “Freedom of Speech”. We have since seen others come up with this that was saying and then they quote the Wikipedia version of a universal definition that is mostly premised on old european history.
In Canada – we do not actually have a Section called ‘Freedom of Speech’. In fact, the terminology of ‘Freedom of Speech’ is a part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that was passed at the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948. The area of Freedom of Speech did not actually make a part of the articles of the Declaration – it was a part of the Preamble.
The preamble within the second whereas stated:
“Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,”
The part of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as is stated in the Canadian Constitution states:
2(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
It would be important to note that 2d. of the Charter also states that there is a freedom of association.
Now back to the reason for the post….
Mr. Gladue this weekend sent out a press release that said ‘Métis Nation of Alberta’s Judiciary Council Puts Lid on Freedom of Speech”
Now while the man recently was engaged in a position working for Muriel Stanley Venne as a Human Rights Coordinator – he appears to only put out rhetoric and does not seem to know the real issues relating to Human Rights.
Our Human Rights – whether we are talking about the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms or the United Declaration of Human Rights – every right has a responsibility. With rights they are all a part of the premise that it is your right and it is clear until it infringes on the rights of others.
The Supreme Court of Canada has heard many cases in relation to the Charter of Right 2(b) under the Freedom of Expression through media. It is a right if it is not defamatory, untrue, or presents an infringement on the rights of others or causes a detriment to others. Freedom of Expression is restricted if it poses a clear and present danger to safety or other public interests that is serious.
To have an understanding of the freedom of expression people need to recognize it based on society’s other rights and freedoms. The Supreme Court Cases in relation to Freedom of Expression has tried to identify the values that it tries to protect and who is entitled to the protecion. It has also dealt with what exactly is meant by expression.
It would be nice to believe that if Trevor wants to continue to become the advocate of Human Rights that he goes to a course or program and develops an understanding of them so that when he presents ‘Trampled Rights’ in a document he has a better understanding of what his real rights are.
As for his trampled rights – we all have rights that can be suspended based on our behaviors. If our behaviors present us as a danger to society – we are sentenced and lose rights, privileges and freedoms.
When you look at the decision of the Métis Judiciary Council – they clearly outline evidence of untruths, misrepresentations, distortions and fabrications that resulted in the Métis Nation being detrimentally affected. He set out to try and create the illusion of financial irregularities and improproties while he participated in Executive meetings and engaged in decision making roles in relation to those very finances. He attempted to severe Government agreements and create extraordinary situations of foreclosures on commercial property holdings and other assets of the Métis Nation of Alberta.
Based on the decision (found at http://www.metis.org/MNAHome/Home.aspx) it was clearly demonstrated that this was an attempt for Trevor to politically personally gain in the September 2008 election. He used his position to try and generate a sense of unstable organizational finances. The government and financial institutions have worked with the Métis Nation of Alberta and have found absolutely no evidence of the allegations that were made. There is still no quarter of a million dollar deficit, funding irregularities or misappropriated funding. Trevor generated these illusions in an attempt to gain the leadership of the Métis Nation of Alberta. It was not for the benefit of Métis people in Alberta – it was just another political power struggle.
The Métis Judiciary Council’s role is to ensure that Métis leaders live up to a standard that complies with their ‘Oath of Office’ and not be a detriment to the nation. That was the responsibility that was given to them by the Métis people in Alberta and even though their task is arduous it resulted in privileges that Métis people have being suspended – much like if you were sentenced in a court.
If Trevor believes he was unjustly judged he has avenues of appeal – none of which happen when you continue to distort the truth through Press Releases.
Posted by MetisMama at 11:18 PM
Thursday, March 12, 2009
The previous post is the text of a 15 page decision based on a complaint that was filed May 2008. The decision began as community meetings in Pincher Creek, Medicine Hat and Rocky Mountain House. The individuals from these communities had been getting information in relation to the MNA Board dispute, media releases, blog sites and passed on correspondence. They were very concerned and began asking questions and attending meetings.
When they realized that what was being portrayed was misrepresented information they hosted community meetings that passed resolutions to remove Mr. Trevor Gladue from his position as Vice President of the Métis Nation of Alberta. Those meetings successfully passed Special Resolutions to move forward with an action. They were advised by their community that someone needed to do something to set the record straight.
For Bev Weber and Jeanette Hansen, they would not gain personally by the effort, for them it was a matter of principle. In fact, it cost them both money and time to personally commit to using the internal mechanisms of the Métis Nation to address the concerns. They had to travel to Edmonton to participate in the hearing, pay to have the packaged couriered to the Judiciary Council, pay for hotel rooms to participate, help cover the costs of their witnesses to come and be in the hearings and have the courage to carry the process forward and have faith in the mechanisms that were established by the Métis in Alberta many years ago.
The Métis Judiciary Council [MJC] is a committee that was established over a decade ago to oversee the internal issues of the Métis Nation of Alberta. It was suppose to be the avenue of addressing internal conflicts without going to court. The MJC is made up of six individuals who are appointed or re-appointed every three years. Each of the six regions is suppose to select an individual to represent the 6 Regional Council’s on the Judiciary Council. The President of the Métis Nation of Alberta or the Provincial Vice President do not get to select anyone. The chair and co-chair of the Judiciary Council is selected by the MJC from amongst themselves. They are all volunteers who come together to work for Métis people in Alberta. The deliberations of the MJC are all specifically around the role that have been given in the bylaws.
In the matter of Trevor Gladue, the six members reviewed the complaint, participated in the hearing and unanimously agreed that the actions of Mr. Gladue were in violation of his Oath of Office and detrimental to the Métis Nation of Alberta. Two of the six MJC did not support the length of suspension that Trevor received – the other four supported the suspension being until 2015. It is the longest suspension that has ever been given out .
The person who is responsible for the matter is not the MJC, Bev Weber or Jeanette Hansen. The responsibility lies with those individuals who chose to misrepresent facts, tell mistruths and mislead the Métis people for their own political gain. There was a definite attempt at the time to upsurge the power of the President .
In politics, it is fair game to take a run against the incumbent leadership. It is even fair to have an opposing political opinion to the existing leadership or a new vision and direction that you may like to see for the Métis people, but we do not need to tear the Métis Nation down, create financial hardships or misrepresent facts to do that. In truth, the Métis people will probably have a great deal more respect for honesty and integrity for anyone who wants to lead them.
As a community person, we only hope that we can learn to work through our differences and recognize that the decisions we make as leaders often effect others in ways that are not always visible. Our community needs people who can find a way to work together – even when the decision that gets approved is not liked by them.
Posted by MetisMama at 5:05 PM
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The following is the transcribed decision of the Judiciary Council. Please forgive any unintentional typos or formatting errors that may have resulted from this process. - Metis Mama
Decision of the Métis Judiciary Council
Docket Number: 008-02
Hearing Date: October 18, 2008
The Métis Judiciary Council (MJC) derives its authority pursuant to Article 29 and Article 30 of the Métis Nation of Alberta Bylaws. The Complaint Submission filed by M. Jeanette Hansen and Bev Weber on or about May 29, 2008 alleging:
1. Suspension of Privileges – under the Métis Nation of Alberta Bylaws we would like to bring allegation forward to the Judiciary Council for the determination of potential actions concerning the Vice President of the Métis Nation of Alberta. We believe the segment of the bylaws that the Métis Judiciary Council is required to review with regard to this matter is as follows:
The Métis Judiciary Council may suspend any member’s rights other than the right to vote at an annual assembly, special meeting or general election for any conduct or act, which the Métis Judiciary Council determines is, has been, or will be, gravely detrimental to the Métis Nation or the interests of the Métis Nation.
2. In addition, due to the Oath of Office and the statement in the MNA Bylaws – we believe that the Vice President, Trevor Gladue is in violation of that Oath.
Each Provincial Council member shall conduct himself or herself in a dignified manner at all meetings of the Métis Nation and according to his or her oath of office to the Métis Nation.
The MJC followed the Policy and Procedures for Resolving Disputes of the Métis Judiciary Council. These Policy and Procedures were ratified as per Article 30.1 (1) of Métis Nation of Alberta Bylaws at the 70th Annual Assembly in Slave Lake, Alberta on August 7,8, 9, 1998.
At the time of receiving this Complaint Submission the MJC was in the process of working on other Complaint Submissions and had held this Complaint as a Pending Complaint. The MJC reviewed the Complaint and determined that the Complaint Submission is within the MJC mandate, has merit and is legitimate. The Respondent was forwarded the entire Complaint Submission and was given longer than the required time noted in the Bylaws to respond to the Complaint; the MJC did not receive any response or communication from the Respondent. Following procedure, the MJC once more reviewed the Complaint Submission and determined that a Hearing would be held to adjudicate the Complaint. ‘Notice of Hearing’ was forwarded to both Complainant and Respondent; another copy of the complete Complaint Submission was included with the documents and was forwarded to the Respondent. A Hearing date was chosen that again allowed for a longer than required time frame.
- At the commencement of the Hearing, both the Complainant and Respondent were apprised of the process used by the MJC to adjudicate complaints and both parties were introduced to the Members of the Judiciary Council; Recorded Hearing Evidence confirms that both parties accepted the ‘Hearing Process’ and the ‘Members of the Judiciary Council’.
- Complainants raised two documents for Preliminary Judgment regarding new Written Submissions recognizing that the ‘Notice of Hearing’ seven-day time limit had lapsed. Recorded Hearing Evidence confirms that the Respondent was asked if he objected to the ‘Out of Time Written Submissions’ being presented and considered during the hearing. The Respondent objected to the first document that was a new list of witnesses. The MJC determined through deliberations that it would not allow the “Out of Time” new list of witnesses’ to be submitted or considered during the hearing. However, the Respondent did not object to the second document which was the January 18, 2008 Métis Nation of Alberta, Provincial Council Meeting Minutes. It was determined that Complainants, Respondent and eligible witnesses were involved in the January 18, 2008 meeting and all would have the opportunity to speak to it. The MJC accepted this document for consideration.
- Complainants also raised a Preliminary Summary Question requesting clarification as to whether the Respondent had received “Monetary Benefit” through his involvement with the Métis Matter’s publication; a publication, which through recorded Hearing evidence confirms, the Respondent informed the MJC that he and his wife had started and have since ended. The MJC, through deliberations, determined that this question was not appropriate at this time and would not be allowed.
- Through recorded Hearing evidence it was identified that the Respondent was asked if he had been provided the information contained with the Complaint Submission to which the Respondent acknowledged that he had been sent two complete copies and did receive both copies of the Complaint Submission. The Respondent also stated, when asked if he had provided any written submissions or witness lists to the MJC, he replied that he “did not provide nothing.”
- The Respondent opined in his opening statement, as confirmed through recorded Hearing evidence, that he felt it would be inappropriate for the MJC to rule on anything regarding the file against Mr. Boucher as it was at the time of this Hearing before the ‘Courts’. The MJC, after deliberations regarding the Boucher Decision concern, advised that this hearing was not convened to discuss the Rick Boucher Decision but the MJC was prepared to hear any public or private presentations that may reference the Boucher Complaint, which would be useful in determining the issues involved within the Complaint Submission being addressed at this Hearing.
- It is confirmed through recorded Hearing evidence that the Respondent stated for the record he felt he was being taken to task for speaking his mind. Mr. Gladue felt that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms granted him the right to speak his mind whether it is in public or private.
- It is confirmed through recorded Hearing evidence that the Respondent, Mr. Trevor Gladue, advised the MJC that he intended to only present his opening statements then would be leaving the hearing to attend to personal business. It is also confirmed through recorded Hearing evidence that the Respondent was continuing without witnesses for his defense or his forfeiting the right to cross-examine the Complainants witnesses; Mr. Glade acknowledged that he had many times stated that “He was moving on”. The MJC through deliberations continue without him, the Judiciary Council would listen to the Complainants examination of witnesses and Complaint Submission, and render a decision even though the Respondent chose, of his own volition, to leave the Hearing before its completion, as noted in the Métis Nation of Alberta Bylaws 31.1 (c) and also noted in the Métis Judicial Council’s Policy and Procedures for Resolving Disputes 8.1 The Hearing proceeded and sworn testimonial evidence was heard form the following witness: Marlene Lanz; Lorne Gladue; Cecil Bellrose; Audrey Poitras.
- As per MNA Bylaws Article 13.6, factual evidence shows that the Respondent, Mr. Trevor Gladue, wore to the “Oath of Office” on September 24, 2005 for office of the Métis Nation of Alberta – Provincial Vice-President. That “Oath of Office” reads as follows:
“I, Trevor Gladue, am a Métis.
As a Métis I honour with pride the blood of both my mother and my father.
As a Métis I acknowledge the rich history of my people and the courage and dedication of our leaders.
As a Métis I pledge to preserve the spirit and enhance the identity of my people.
As a Métis I accept my responsibility to put service to my people ahead of self interests, and to honour the spirit and letter of the written and unwritten laws of God, Canada and the Métis Nation.”
- Through factual evidence it was determined that the Respondent was in attendance at the MNA Provincial Council Meeting on February 7, 2007 at which time the following motion was made”
“MOTION #2 Marlene Lanz moves that the Métis Nation of Alberta continue to pursue from Health Canada direct funding arrangements for Health initiatives earmarked for Alberta Métis. Seconded by Rick Boucher – Motion Carried.”
It was discovered through testimonial evidence given during the Hearing that all Provincial Council Members present at this meeting were provided the Aboriginal Human Resource Intitiative Information package.
3. Factual evidence shows that an email was sent on April 25, 2007 by the Respondent, (identifying his office Métis Nation of Alberta email address) to Ken Bourque; Rick Boucher; Joe Chodzicki; Tim Collins; Bev New; regarding “terms of reference”. The email stated – that included with the “term of reference” from the last advisory meeting at Slave Lake, and was attached a contact list for the advisory committee.
a.The “Term of Reference” are titled “Métis Nation of Alberta Region One Provincial Advisory Committee” included were”
Mandate – to provide consultation and direction to the hiring of the necessary human resources, and developing and implementing existing policies which will reflect and open, transparent, and accountable process as reflected in the signing of the contribution agreement between the MNC and the Métis Nation of Alberta – Region One, to the Aboriginal Health Human Resources Initiative program and the Aboriginal Health Transition Fund. – Advisory Committee; Code of Conduct; and Remuneration.
b.Factual evidence also reveals that attached to the email was a page listing all the Métis Nation of Alberta Region One – Provincial Advisory Committee Members of which the Respondent, Mr. Trevor Gladue, Provincial Vice President, Métis Nation of Alberta, is listed as holding the official position of the Métis Nation of Alberta “Provincial Representative”.
c.Supporting factual evidence also reveals that a publication – ‘Métis Matters’, on July 2007, Page 5, ran an editorial entitled “Working with You” By Trevor W. Gladue, (in the official capacity as) Provincial Vice President, MNA, in which Mr. Gladue wrote: “This process is being guided by a Métis Nation of Alberta Provincial Advisory Committee (MNAPAC)”.
4. Part of the Complaint Submission evidence contained a letter to the Honorable Premier of the Province of Alberta, dated November 2, 2007, indicating that there is a grave financial situation at the Métis Nation of Alberta. The letter, written on Métis Nation of Alberta letterhead, says that although there have been many attempts to call a Provincial Council meeting, Ms. Poitras has unilaterally approved over forty thousand dollars in funding to her lawyer with regards to a Judiciary Complaint Submission by Ms. Poitras against Rick Boucher. The letter identifies part of the MNA Bylaws by identifying that all parties before the Judiciary Council are allowed to be represented by a lawyer at their own expense, again indicating that the MNA President is using public funds to address her personal concerns. The letter requests that the Government of Alberta conduct a Forensic Audit of MNA finances. The Respondent, Trevor Gladue, indicates his official position within the MNA as Provincial Vice President, was the first signatory of the letter followed by six other MNA Provincial Council members. The typed-copied individuals on the letter were Minister of Justice, Minister of International and Intergovernmental Aboriginal Relation (IIAR) and an Assistant Deputy Minister. Also, a hand written addition to the letter indicated a copy was forwarded to Audrey Poitras, President MNA.
a. Factual evidence confirms that the Government of Alberta responded in a letter dated December 12, 2007. The letter directs that the Government has found no legal grounds which would require a forensic audit of the MNA financial records and the Provincial Government is not becoming involved with the internal governance issues of the MNA. This letter was addressed to all who had signed the November 2, 2007 letter and copied to Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Minister of IIAR, Assistant Deputy Minister First Nation and Métis Relations IIAR, and Audrey Poitras, President, MNA.
b. Sworn testimonial evidence identifies that the President of the MNA did not receive a copy of the November 2, 2007 letter, which was written on Métis Nation of Alberta letterhead, nor did the President know of the allegations contained in the November 2, 2007 letter until a Government of Alberta Justice representative sent the responding letter noted above in 4.a.; indicating they were going to forward an official response to the allegations noted in the November 2, 2007 letter. Ms. Poitras stated that she had her assistant search all documents and eventually called the Provincial Government’s Justice department to find out what letter they were referring too. When the MNA President received the official response letter of December 12, 2007, the allegations contained in the November 2, 2007 letter were made known to her.
c. Factual evidence shows that a “NEWS RELEASE” titled Métis Nation of Alberta 2.5 million in deficit: Province called in to Investigate – dated November 06, 2007; For Immediate Release. The Release identifies that Audrey Poitras, President of the Métis Nation of Alberta, authorized personal expenditures not allowed under the MNA Bylaws. The Release also indicates that expenditures are being paid contrary to the Bylaws and are over $40,000. The Release has Mr. Gladue, in the capacity as MNA Vice-President, quoted as stating “To further her own personal agenda at the Judicial Council she has used the MNA bank account; There are private expenses wrongly being taken out of the public purse. Ms. Poitras is jeopardizing our core funding from the province. Many of our regions and staff are being put at risk by her actions” The release ends with “For further information contact: Trevor Gladue, Provincial Vice President MNA 780-919-2766.1. There is factual evidence showing that the November 6, 2007 News Release, titled “Métis Nation of Alberta 2.5 million in deficit: Province called in to Investigate” was sent to a computer Internet blog website from Métis Matters. It states “In a press release sent to Métis News and Stuff from Métis Matters, an Alberta based newspaper and website”. Through recorded Hearing evidence it is confirmed that Mr. Gladue had testified earlier that he and his wife won Métis Matters. At the end of the ‘posting’ it states “Thanks to Métis Matters (firstname.lastname@example.org) for sending this important release.” Also included with the complaint submission evidence is the address of the following site: http://derrylsanderson.blogspot.com/ is a blog website operating out of Winnipeg, Manitoba”.
5. Included with the Complaint Submission evidence is a letter dated September 4, 2007 regarding the Framework Agreement. It is a letter, written on Métis Nation of Alberta letterhead, which is addressed to all Provincial Council Members from the Respondent. The letter indicates that the Executive Council had signed a seven-year framework agreement. Mr. Gladue states that he has a concern with the clause within the Framework Agreement: “whereas this agreement does not affect, abrogate or derogate from, or recognize or affirm any constitutional or aboriginal rights of the MNAA or its members,” The Respondent further indicates that Ms. Poitras actions will relinquish our Métis rights and that the Agreement should have been approved by all Provincial Council Members.
a. Complaint submission evidence contained a letter dated September 11, 2007 to Trevor Gladue, Vice President of the MNA, from Audrey Poitras, President of the Métis Nation, copied to all Provincial Council Members and MNA Directors, informs that a Legal Opinion is attached to the letter from a well-respected Métis Lawyer who represents the Métis Harvesting Rights among others. The opinion states that the clause Mr. Gladue has a concern with is in no way construed to be “giving away” our rights.
b. Through factual evidence it is shown that a duly called Provincial Council meeting was called and held on January 18, 2008. At the meeting many motions were raised and seconded, all regarding an attempt by some to deal with other issues instead of dealing with the Framework Agreement that was on the meeting’s Agenda. It is confirmed through sworn testimonial evidence that after much confusion the meeting was adjourned with nothing accomplished.
c. Factual evidence was presented that identifies on January 22, 2008 a letter was sent to the President of the MNA from Mr. Trevor Gladue as Vice President of the MNA, as well as a Press Release was emailed from the Respondent also on the same day. Both documents are very similar in what was stated by Mr. Gladue in the official capacity as MNA Vice President – that the president of the MNA stormed out of the Provincial Council Meeting, denying the Provincial Council an opportunity to deal with the “Financial Crisis”. The documents raise the point that the President does not want anyone to see her actions or question her motives.
d. It is confirmed through Complaint Submission evidence that the President of the MNA sent a letter on January 31, 2008 informing the Provincial Council Members that on January 7, 2008 a meeting was held with the Provincial Government advising that a resolution from Provincial Council approving the Funding Agreement was needed in order to forward any funds set aside for the MNA. The letter indicates that at the January 18, 2008 duly called Provincial Council meeting motions were made to place other items ahead on the agenda thereby creating an impasse until adjournment. Additionally, the letter indicates that some form of agreement was reached in order to help with the Regional Offices; however Region I and Region V had not met the reporting requirements to achieve the direct interim funding arrangements. The letter also indicates that Ms. Poitras as President and Chief Executive Officer had to make some hard decisions, laying off staff and removal of support to the office of the Provincial Vice President, in order to deal with the critical financial situation.
e. The Complaint Submission evidence includes a letter dated March 20, 2008 addressed to Ms. Audrey Poitras, President MNA form Honorable Minister of Aboriginal Relations, Gene Zwozdesky. The letter indicates that he is aware of the MNA internal issues that have prevented the ratification of the Framework Agreement, in spite of the Presidents efforts to resolve the issue. The Honorable Minister informs the MNA President that March 27, 2008 is the last date that the Government is willing to allow for the Provincial Council Resolution supporting the Framework Funding Agreement.
f. Factual evidence identifies that on March 23, 2008, a notice to hold a Provincial Council Meeting via phone conference was recorded through the Respondents email. Mr. Gladue responded on March 24, 2008, requesting a scan of the documentation that was being couriered to the council, this message was being couriered to the council, this message was also sent through his phone email.
g. Factual evidence identifies that on March 28, 2008 the MNA issued a Press Release. The release indicated that an attempt to hold a Provincial Meeting Conference Call regarding the resolution required for ratifying the Framework Agreement failed. The press release identifies Honorable Minister Gene Zwozdesky’s letter. It also reveals that seven Provincial Council members made themselves unavailable for the conference call, they included, the Respondent, Provincial Vice President Trevor Gladue, along with six other Provincial Council Members.
h. Factual evidence confirms that on April 1, 2008, the Respondent issued a communication, through his official MNA email address, addressed to all media outlets in the Province, indicating that the failure of the MNA Framework was the President’s fault. Mr. Gladue, identified as MNA Vice President, indicates that the majority of Provincial Council failed to receive adequate notice. The communication reveals part of the MNA Bylaws, that council members must be notified of meeting five days in advance. The Respondent, Mr. Gladue, indicates that he has limited abilities to perform the duties of his position because his cell phone has been cut off. Again, Mr. Gladue reiterates that the non-derogation clause of the Framework Agreement doesn’t recognize Métis rights affirmed by the Powley case.
6. The MJC was forwarded, through the Complaint Submission, factual evidence regarding numerous emails between the Respondent, Mr. Trevor Gladue and the Manager of Aboriginal Markets in Alberta for the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).
a. The information indicates that the Respondent, through Mr. Gladue’s – Métis Nation of Alberta email address, contrary to established protocol, is revealing to the RBC representative that the MNA is not utilizing proper process in signing and approving financial transactions. The RBC representative indicates that the Respondent, as Vice President of the MNA, is part of the allowed individuals having signing authority as of September 26, 2005, along with the President, the Secretary, and Treasurer, of the MNA.
b. Factual evidence shows that the Respondent, through Mr. Gladue’s – Métis Nation of Alberta email address, contrary to established protocol, reveals to the RBC representative that, in part, according to the MNA Bylaws the President needs the Provincial Council approval on financial matters before any financial budgetary requirements take place, Mr. Gladue also forwards the MNA Bylaws to the RBC representative. The RBC representative advised Mr. Gladue that nothing is going to change and that the RBC is not going to interpret the MNA Bylaws, and suggests that should the Respondent, Mr. Gladue, have a complaint, that Mr. Gladue utilize the dispute process of the MNA Bylaws, namely the Judicial Council.
c. It is shown through factual evidence Mr. Gladue responds, (through his – Métis Nation of Alberta email address) to the RBC representative that the credibility and integrity of the Judiciary Council has been called into question and the Mr. Gladue will forward further documentation to support this accusation. The RBC representative informs Mr. Gladue that he will not be involved in the internal matters of the MNA and is reaffirming that RBC is not prepared to change anything.
d. Again, through factual evidence it is shown that the Respondent, through Mr. Gladue’s – Métis Nation of Alberta email address, contrary to established protocol, then alludes to the RBC representative that the MNA is going to change financial situations concerning the Métis Nation Holdings Company. The RBC representative informs Mr. Gladue that the MNA has attempted to do nothing and that the current process identified within the contracts will continue, as they always have.
Factual evidence shows the Respondent, Mr. Gladue was aware, through his Oath of Office, that he “acknowledge the rich history of his people and the courage and dedication of our leaders; also that he put the service to his people first and to honour the spirit and letter of the written and unwritten laws of God, Canada and the Métis Nation.” Mr. Gladue, throughout the many factual evidentiary documented press releases reassures his knowledge of the Métis Nation of Alberta Bylaws; which include Article 13.6:
“Each Provincial Council member shall conduct himself or herself in a dignified manner at all meetings of the Métis Nation and according to his or her oath of office to the Métis Nation.”
It is shown through evidence that Mr. Gladue, as Vice President of the MNA should have been aware of the MNA’s information regarding the issues surrounding the Health Agreement in which the Métis National Council was attempting to unilaterally direct. Factual evidence shows that Mr. Gladue participated in the February 7, 2007 Provincial Council meeting where, through sworn testimonial evidence which identifies that, updated information on the Health Agreement was presented and discussed and whereby a motion was made and passed that, without anyone participating, being either against or abstaining, directed the Métis Nation of Alberta to continue to pursue through Health Canada direct funding arrangements for Health Initiatives for Alberta Métis.
Although Mr. Gladue was aware of the MNA’s direction regarding the Health Initiatives, factual evidence shows that Mr. Gladue disrespected the process of governance for the Métis Nation of Alberta by participating in coordinating and representing an illegitimate “Métis Nation of Alberta-Region One Provincial Advisory Committee (MNAPAC)”, to deliver the Health Initiatives regardless of the Métis Nation of Alberta, Provincial Council directives.
Factual and sworn testimonial evidence confirms that the Respondent, Mr. Gladue, has brought an unjust negative focus from all levels of Government and Supporting Financial Institutions who are instrumental in the enhancement of Métis People. Factual evidence shows that Mr. Gladue orchestrated numerous misrepresentations of facts, on official Métis Nation of Alberta letterhead, and official Métis Nation of Alberta communications equipment, by attempting to alarm high-ranking Government Officials with misleading information alleging, “that a serious breach of By-laws has occurred”, disrespectfully suggesting that the leader of the Métis Nation of Alberta is individually determining management of the affairs of the Métis Nation of Alberta. It is also confirmed through factual evidence that Mr. Trevor Gladue failed to respectfully allow the internal Authoritative Institution, Métis Judiciary Council, due process by firstly not flowing the legitimately accepted procedures of the MNA for questioning matters of the Métis Nation of Alberta before presenting a misinterpretation of law to various levels of Government and the media in November of 2007, of which most inappropriately indicated that it was Officially from the MNA; all the while Mr. Gladue, along with six other Provincial Council members, had submitted a complaint on this issue to the Métis Judiciary Council on September 19, 2007, disrespectfully misrepresenting the facts before any ruling of the matter was determined.
Recorded Hearing evidence confirms the Respondent, Mr. Gladue, raised the defense that through the Charter of Rights – he has the right to speak his mind. Although Mr. Gladue feels he has the tight to speak his mind it does not surrender his obligation of Office of Vice President of the MNA, to put his service to the Métis people or the processes of the Métis Nation of Alberta ahead of published personal perception; nor does it forfeit Mr. Gladue’s respectful recognition to the dedication of our leaders and the respectful duties of our leaders.
It is further identified, through factual and testimonial evidence that Mr. Gladue has misled the public by formally portraying there was no Provincial Council meeting for over a year; regarding the attempt by the President of the Métis Nation of Alberta in late March of 2008, to prevent the failure of ratifying the Alberta Government/Métis Nation of Alberta Framework Agreement, that would ensure that economic support of Métis in Alberta would continue. The misrepresentation of the facts continued by failing to identify there was one duly called and attended Provincial Council meeting no less than 3 months previous (January 18,2008), this action has inappropriately and disrespectfully blamed one of the leaders of the Métis Nation of Alberta, the President.
Also, factual evidence shows Mr. Gladue has brought disrepute to the Métis Nation of Alberta by stating, through documented email messages, to a Financial Institution Representative, misleading the Financial Institution into thinking that the MNA (Executive Officer’s, of which Mr. Gladue was a part of) intended to change the banking resolutions of one of it’s corporate entities. Mr. Gladue indicted that a Provincial Council Resolution was needed to effect any change in the MNA’s financial practices. The Financial Representative reaffirmed the governance structure of the MNA, which through Mr. Gladue’s position he had been a part of for a number of years, and advised Mr. Gladue that the Métis Judiciary Council was available for his complaint.
While the Respondent, identified in recorded Hearing evidence, feels that the Charter of Rights allows him to question the Institutions of the Métis Nation of Alberta, it is his membership in the Métis Nation of Alberta, also allowed through the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, that is stated in the MNA Bylaws, Article 1-1.1 Name and Objective, he, Mr. Trevor Gladue is “To promote the cultural, economic, educational, political and social development of Métis in Alberta and Canada”. Mr. Trevor Gladue’s elected position in Office, as Vice-President of the Métis Nation of Albert, directs that he conduct himself in a way that does not bring harm to the Métis Nation (dignified manner). It is factually documented that Mr. Gladue again disrespectfully and inappropriately failed his responsibility to put service to his people, the Métis Nation of Alberta and its’ Institutions, ahead of self interest by stating to outside sources, his personal unproven opinion, “that the credibility and integrity of the Métis Judiciary Council has been called into question and the Judiciary Council cannot be effective at this point”.
Factual evidence shows at numerous times during the time frame of this complaint Mr. Gladue inappropriately and contrary to established process and protocol, utilized official Métis Nation of Alberta letterhead, official Métis Nation fax cover letterhead, official Métis Nation of Alberta electronic communication devices and his title as Vice-President of the Métis Nation of Alberta on formal documents and communications to outside sources of the Métis Nation of Alberta. These actions again have shown that Mr. Gladue has displayed conduct unbecoming his “Oath of Office” by not allowing proper governance of the MNA as is directed in the MNA Bylaws Article 18 – Duties of the Executive Officers; 18.1 The President (leader) of the Métis Nation shall: (g) be the spokesperson and chief negotiator for the Métis Nation.
Through recorded Hearing evidence it is clearly shown that Mr. Trevor Gladue allowed the Hearing to continue before witnesses were examined or allowed to be cross-examined; also through the recorded hearing evidence it is identified that Mr. Trevor Gladue left the hearing of his own volition, stating that he was “Moving On”, Although Mr. Trevor Gladue feels he is “Moving On” the actions that Mr. Gladue has displayed, as confirmed through evidence of this complaint, are a clear breach of Mr. Trevor Gladue’s duty to office and procedure. It has also been shown through sworn testimonial evidence that Mr. Gladue has brought hardship and unsubstantiated mistrust to the Métis Nation of Alberta, although Mr. Trevor Gladue is “Moving One” the Métis Nation of Alberta must now rebuild its’ credibility and gain back the trust lost as a result of Mr. Trevor Gladue’s gravely harmful actions.
The Métis Judiciary Council has determined, for the reasons set out above, that Mr. Trevor Gladue is in breach of Article 13 (Powers of Provincial Council) of the Métis Nation of Alberta, specifically Article 13.6 – “Each Provincial Council member shall conduct himself or herself in a dignified manner at all meetings of the Métis Nation and according to his or her oath of office to the Métis Nation.”
As an elected member of the Provincial Council Mr. Gladue has a responsibility to handle any disputes that arose in a dignified manner and took an Oath to place service to his people ahead of his own interests and to honour the spirit and letter of the laws of the Métis Nation. The actions he took outside of the forum and process of the Provincial Council including the press releases, letter to Government and to the Mets Nation’s bankers, and attacks on the integrity of the Métis Judiciary Council were actions that breached his responsibility to the Métis Nation and his Oath of Office.
The Métis Judiciary Council has also determined that Mr. Trevor Gladue’s actions, set out in the Reasons section above, are gravely detrimental to the Métis Nation under Article 9 (Suspension of Member’s Rights) of the MNA Bylaws, specifically Article 9.1 – “The Métis Judiciary Council may suspend any member’s rights other than the right ot vote at an annual assembly, special meeting or genera election for any conduct or act which the Métis Judiciary Council determines is, has been, or will be, gravely detrimental to the Métis Nation or the interests of the Métis Nation.”
The Métis Judiciary Council recognizes that there was a serious dispute among members of the Provincial Council. However, a member of the Provincial Council does not have the right to issue press releases and to write letters to Government and to the Métis Nation’s bankers suggesting misconduct of Officers of the Métis Nation and insolvency of the Nation. A Provincial Council member also does not have the right to attack the integrity of the Métis Judiciary Council simply because he does not agree with a decision it has issued. Disputes between Provincial Council members must be resolved internally using the process established under the MNA Bylaws.
The Métis Judiciary Council has also found that these press releases and letters contained information that was false or misleading and that in all of these cases Mr. Gladue failed to follow the appropriate internal procedures for questioning decisions and actions conducted through the processes of the MNA that he disagreed with. The Métis Nation cannot function if each member of the Provincial Council feels free to issue statements and write letters providing misleading or partial information in order to gain a perceived advantage in an internal dispute.
These statements and attacks by Mr. Gladue as a Provincial Council member could have seriously damaged the reputation and status of the Métis Nation in the eyes of the public, the Government, and its bankers. They also bring harm to the reputation and status of the Provincial Council by ignoring the process established and expected under the MNA Bylaws for members of the Provincial Council to resolve disputes. This conduct by an elected member of the Métis Nation of Alberta, to further his position in an internal political dispute is conduct that is gravely detrimental to the Métis Nation under Article 9.1.
It is therefore the decision of the Métis Judiciary Council to suspend Mr. Trevor Gladue’s “Rights” as per Métis Nation of Alberta Association Bylaws Aritcle 7.1.4 from:
(a) the opportunity to be a candidate for an elected office in the Métis Nation;
(b) the opportunity to hold an elected office in the Métis Nation;
(c) the opportunity to be appointed to the Métis Judiciary Council or Council of Elders;
The term of these rights are to be suspended effective immediately as per Article 9.2, of the Métis Nation of Alberta Association Bylaws, commencing March 4, 2009 and shall be in effect until March 4 2015 at 23:59 hours.
The Métis Nation of Alberta – Métis Judiciary Council.
All six Métis Judiciary Council members who heard evidence and deliberated the Decision were in favour of the breach of Article 13.6 and Article 9.1 of the Métis Nation of Alberta Association Bylaws. However, two of the Métis Judiciary Council members who heard evidence and deliberated the Decision were in Dissent of the term of Order and want it to be known that they wanted a shorter period of time.
The following six members of the Métis Judiciary Council heard evidence and formed the Decision on the evidence presented:
Bertha Clark-Jones – Region 1: Dissent on Term.
Oscar Lacombe – Region II.
Toby Racette – Region III.
Dale Friedel – Region IV.
Ken Shaw – Region V; Dissent on Term.
Bonnie Bell – Region VI.
Prior to release of the Decision, two members of the Métis Judiciary Council, who participated in the hearing and deliberations, have since been replaced. The two new appointed members did not participate in this Decision making process.
Posted by MetisMama at 1:33 PM
Former Vice-President suspended for actions detrimental to the Métis Nation of Alberta
March 9, 2009 (Calgary) – In a decision issued Friday, March 5 2009, the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) Judiciary Council suspended Trevor W. Gladue, the former Vice-President of the MNA, for a period of six (6) years, for conduct deemed harmful and inconsistent with Mr. Gladue’s responsibilities as the Provincial Vice-President.
Two Métis Local Presidents from MNA Region 3, Bev Weber from Rocky Mountain House, and M. Jeannette Hansen from Medicine Hat respectively, brought the action forward against Mr. Gladue, in May 2008. The Métis Judiciary Council (MJC) heard the case on October 18, 2008.
The MJC listened to testimony from four (4) witnesses in addition to the testimonies from the two MNA Local Presidents who initiated the action against Mr. Gladue. The MJC reviewed documented evidence to substantiate the allegations that Mr. Gladue used his office and influence to: a) undermine the positions taken by MNA President and Provincial Council; b) to prevent Provincial Council from voting on key and urgent matters; and, c) to spread false, prejudicial information and a misrepresentation of facts about MNA finances to banking institutions with whom the MNA conducts its business. In addition, the MJC reviewed evidence of letters sent by Mr. Gladue to senior Government officials and Ministers alleging misconduct against the MNA with respect to its financial integrity.
In a unanimous decision, the Judiciary Council held that Mr. Gladue actions were not in keeping with his sworn Oath of Office and that his conduct was gravely detrimental to the Métis Nation and suspended Mr. Gladue as per MNA Bylaws Article 7.1 (a) (b) and (d).
Appearing only briefly at the hearing due to other personal commitments, Mr. Gladue, stated in his own defense that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms gave him “the right to speak his mind. The Judiciary Council ruled that his Charter defense did not absolve him of “his obligation of Office of Vice-President of the MNA to put his service to the people or the processes of the Métis Nation of Alberta ahead of published personal perception.”
Bev Weber, who is now the elected Vice-President from MNA Region 3 stated, “If anyone has hurt or wronged Mr. Gladue, it was he himself, by resorting to actions that supported a personal agenda without regard for his responsibilities to the Métis people and Mr. Gladue is to be held accountable for his actions.”
“Mr. Gladue has instead left a legacy of harm in his wake. The current Provincial Council now has the duty to rebuild the trust of our Nation, government, banking institutions and all those with whom we deal with in a professional capacity,” said Weber.
“This decision confirms that the process by which the people of our Nation can request a review of behaviors that are harmful to our Nation is fair and effective process and protects us from the wrongful actions taken by those we put into office,” said Métis Local President from Medicine Hat, Jeannette Hansen.
The suspension takes effect March 4, 2009 and will not interfere with Mr. Gladue’s rights to vote at MNA Assemblies or elections, but does disqualify him seeking or holding elected office in the MNA until March 4, 2015.
Decision of the Métis Judiciary Council, Docket Number 008-02
For further information:
Bev Weber at email@example.com
Posted by MetisMama at 10:45 AM
Sunday, March 8, 2009
The Canadian theme for International Women’s Day 2009 is “Strong Leadership. Strong Women. Strong World: Equality.”
The Status of Women through the Canadian Government says, “the theme reflects the government’s firm belief that increasing women’s participation and access to leadership roles and opportunities will help women and girls thrive, reach their full potential and fulfill their dreams, and help build a more prosperous Canada.”
Annually on 8 March, thousands of events are held throughout the world to inspire women and celebrate achievements.
Today needs to honour our Aboriginal women leaders who despite much adversity – work to represent their communities. Many of them often act unselfishly – working to the betterment of their nation. They often work with little or no resource and continue to strive to achieve the best results they can.
In a time – where so much public attention has been placed on the missing and murdered Aboriginal women of our communities – very little attention is ever given to the contributions of many Aboriginal women in their schools, jobs and families. Many Métis, Inuit and First Nation women have worked hard and have many personal and professional accomplishments to brag about.
We do not want to forget the need to deal with the atrocities of our missing and murdered Aboriginal women but we would like to see the natural leaders of our community recognized for their work.
Today – take a moment and thank them for their contributions.
Posted by MetisMama at 4:14 PM
Saturday, March 7, 2009
On Friday evening, March 6, 2009 I happened to be watching APTN National News (West). Not that I normally take the time to watch this news source – but someone called to say they had seen Trevor Gladue being interviewed in an earlier broadcast. He was being interviewed by one of the correspondents about the fact that a decision had been released by the Métis Nation of Alberta’s Judiciary Council.
Trevor had been taken last year to the Judiciary Council by two community women who alleged that he was a detriment to the Métis Nation of Alberta for his actions. There was a hearing last fall. The decision must have been sent out to the respondents and the defendant in the latter part of the week.
Trevor announced that he was found guilty by the Judiciary Council for being a detriment and that his privileges were being suspended until 2015. This means that he will not be able to hold an appointment, employment or political position until his suspension is up. He will still be allowed to participate in community meetings, vote and practice other rights that are outside of the privledges that are identified within the bylaws.
Now to hear his interview on APTN he reacted in a manner that was much expected. He started talking about Audrey Poitras and tried to say this was an attack by her and made it sound like this was an Audrey action after the election.
As Trevor knew – this was a process that began early in the Spring of 2008 – long before the election - with community meetings that alleged he was acting in a self serving process. Audrey did not coordinate – or even attend those meetings.
The actual decision that was heard by our Quasi Judicial Review will be public. As soon as it is – we will make sure it is published or place a link to where it can be accessed.
Posted by MetisMama at 10:47 PM
I was looking at some news/blog alerts that came my way. I found some entertaining bits on the Cybersmoke Site http://cybersmokeblog.blogspot.com/ .
So MMF is going to trial again. I could be wrong but isn't that right around the election in Manitoba? What was specifically posted was:
Because of a publication ban on Pre-Trial Conferences covering the Manitoba Metis Federation's alleged defamation lawsuit against www.CyberSmokeSignals.com, (CI 05-01-41955) we are only allowed to tell you the following:
(1) The first Case Management Meeting will be held Monday April 6, 2009 at 10:00 a.m.
(2) The next Pre-Trial Conference (6th) has not yet been scheduled
(3) Dates have now been set for the trial. They are March 1, 2010 to April 9, 2010 (except for April 2 and 5 which are Easter holidays)
We apologize for not being able to provide you with more information.
Clare L. Pieuk
It also appears like Mr. Pieuk is not an eligible candidate for the upcoming election - but the MMF will be spending more on legal fees then it did trying to persecute Yvon Dumont for a $1. Oops sorry meant prosecute.
At the rate this case seems to be going - Mr. Chartrand won't have a land claim trial to campaign on for the upcoming election but he will certainly have his share of the vexatious and silly kind. Maybe someone should do a sitcom on this stuff for APTN.
Posted by MetisMama at 10:07 PM
Independent Aboriginal News Group Formed to Provide Critical Analysis and Truthful Information Concerning Indigenous Issues
The Intelligent Aboriginal News Service has partnered with progressive bloggers to form the Aboriginal News Group, an International association representing Indigenist blog-journalists covering Indigenous/First Nations news.
Mar 06, 2009 – In recognition of the socio-political disparities and biases inherent within corporate owned and operated mainstream news agencies and the under-reportage of issues that document and objectively investigate matters of human rights and genocide within the Native American press, the ANG will work to promote grassroots-produced Indigenous news material to the global news reading public via promotion of Indigenous blog-journalists who provide accurate and authoritative news, analysis and opinion pertinent to the continued Indigenous struggle for survival under existing colonialist nation-states and neoliberalism.
Posted by MetisMama at 9:53 PM
If you are Aboriginal and make statements at a conference you are charged with Hate Crimes – If you are a Canadian MP and write racially hateful brochure and send them on taxpayer dollars to your constituents –
- there is no Crown Prosecutor charging you for hate crimes;
- there is no public stripping of all his positions (he continued to be an Independent MP until he lost the next election but was denied membership in the Conservative Party and the Alliance Party); and
- public citizens have to try and see solace in a system that does not have any real authority and lets him off on the technicality that it outside of their jurisdiction.
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruled that the mailouts are not subject to the Canadian Human Rights Act because they do not provide a service to the public but rather to MPs by allowing them to share their political views with constituents. One of the pamphlets known as "Stop Indian Crime," showed a photograph of the Oka protest in Quebec in 1990. The caption under the photo described an aboriginal protester as a terrorist.
Even though Pankiw states he was cleared The [CHRT] identified that the act states that communication-related discrimination is limited to statements that are transmitted by telephone or over the Internet. It does not apply to parliamentary householder pamphlets.
No racism in Canada – is there? March 21 is designated by the United Nations (UN) as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. The government funds events to have us to live in racial harmony. Just a thought – maybe equal justice – equal treatment – are a beginning for seeing a country that is racially harmonious.
Human Rights Commission clears ex-MP of racism charge
By Lana Haight, Saskatoon StarPhoenix
March 6, 2009 9:01 PM
SASKATOON — The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal announced Friday it has dismissed complaints that former member of Parliament Jim Pankiw distributed racist pamphlets to constituents.
“The particular facts of the complaint just don’t mesh with the (Canadian Human Rights) Act,” said Jay Watson, who represented Pankiw at the human-rights hearings in Saskatoon in October 2008.
“They don’t ever get to the question of whether they were discriminatory, because (the act) simply doesn’t apply.”
In 2002 and 2003, when Pankiw was MP for Saskatoon-Humboldt, he distributed three “householder” brochures with slogans, including “Stop Indian Crime” and “It’s Clear Who the Racists Are.” The cost of producing and mailing the pamphlets, intended to enable MPs to stay in touch with their constituents, was covered by the House of Commons.
“All of the complainants were concerned that the householders did expose, not were likely to expose, but did expose First Nations people and people of aboriginal descent to hatred or contempt,” said Susan Gingell, one of nine people from the Saskatoon area who complained to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
“I feel in a way that the decision was about technicalities (more) than it was about justice,” added the university English professor, whose adopted daughter is of aboriginal descent.
“Stop Indian Crime,” referred to aboriginal protesters in Oka, Que., in 1990, as terrorists. Inside, it criticized the then-Liberal government’s “two-tier justice system — essentially giving Indians a ‘get out of jail card.’ ”
In October last year, Pankiw acknowledged he was referring to Section 718-2e of the Criminal Code, which states, “all available sanctions, other than imprisonment, that are reasonable in the circumstances should be considered for all offenders, with particular attention to the circumstances of aboriginal offenders.”
For three days in October, the three-person tribunal heard evidence from four of the nine complainants, and from Pankiw. Lawyers representing Pankiw, the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the House of Commons presented arguments in the case.
On Friday, the tribunal released a 13-page decision, dismissing the complaints because the householders weren’t goods or services, nor were they notices, signs, symbols, emblems or other representations. The federal act, unlike the Saskatchewan Human Rights Code, does not cover articles, statements or publications.
“Not all discriminatory conduct is caught by the (Canadian Human Rights Act),” said the ruling.
Pankiw was relieved, but not surprised by the decision.
“This is a very good decision for all Canadians, because censorship did not win the day,” he said. “The truth is not a crime.”
Pankiw says this decision closes a chapter, but not the book, on his public life. He is prepared to keep spreading his message that special race-based privileges have to come to an end.
“I don’t know why it’s me that has to carry this load,” said Pankiw, who added he had considered running for a Senate seat, but that won’t happen, now the prime minister has appointed senators to fill the upper chamber.
Pankiw was first elected to the House of Commons in 1997 and was re-elected in 2000. He lost his seat in the 2004 election.
Much to Mr. Brazeau and Mr. Harper's delight the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal seems to be a very ineffective mechanism for dealing with Human Rights Complaints. See the Article in the Ottawa Citizen called "Harper Must Help Resolve Rights Case"
Posted by MetisMama at 9:08 PM
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
I was checking out the Cybersmoke Blog Site today....
Specifically the articles on:
The Manitoba Metis Federation's alleged defamation lawsuit! and The Red Baron's back! and Murray Trachtenberg and the Law Society of Manitoba!
Now I was wondering.....
How many of those MMF Board of Directors are still willing to be named individually on the lawsuit with Terry Bellhuemer and Clare Pieuk? They seem to slowly be dropping off – one by one. It also begs to be asked – being the MMF is named and then independently each of the plaintiffs is named – if Murray loses this one – are the plaintiffs, individually willing to pay the costs that may be awarded to the respondents?
Between Murray’s bill and the great unknown on a lawsuit that already seems to have gone no where endlessly while the cheque register is ringing for the lawyer – I would advise each of the MMF Board – DO THE SAFEST THING – FILE YOUR LETTER OF DISCONTINUANCE – this could get expensive.
Just a thought.
Posted by MetisMama at 1:36 PM