MNC Elections in February



    TORONTO, Jan. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - An agreement-in-principle has been reached
by all five members of the Métis National Council (MNC) Board of Governors
(BOG) and past-President Clement Chartier to hold elections for MNC President
at a General Assembly in Ottawa on February 23-24, 2008. The agreement was
reached in Toronto yesterday at a "settlement conference" before Justice Todd
Ducharme of the Superior Court of Ontario. The settlement conference was
directed by the court at the request of four of the five BOG members in
December.
    "The decision about when and how to hold elections for our National
President was made by Métis people and not the mainstream courts and I am very
grateful that our position in this matter has prevailed," said Métis Nation of
Ontario (MNO) President, Tony Belcourt, who was speaking at a News Conference
on behalf of the four members of the Board of Governors who were the
"defendants" in the court case brought by Past MNC President Clement Chartier
and Manitoba Métis Federation President David Chartrand. The other members of
the Board of Governors include Métis Nation British Columbia (MNBC) President,
Bruce Dumont; Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) President Audrey Poitras; and,
Métis Nation - Saskatchewan (MN-S) President Robert Doucette.
    "We are thankful to have had a Métis Judge to facilitate our settlement
conference and assist us in achieving this agreement," said MNBC President
Bruce Dumont. "Our concern is to get to an Assembly as quickly as possible,
hold elections and then restore the strength and value of the Métis Nation to
its proper place. I am pleased that we are now able to move ahead with the
full support of all five members of the Board of Governors."
    "To us the issue has always been about self-government and that means
that we, ourselves, decide on our issues and not the courts of mainstream
Canada. To go to the courts undermines all of our positions that we are a
self-governing people. Keeping the decision on the issues of election of our
National President in our hands and out of the courts is considered by us to
be of monumental significance to the Métis Nation. I am very pleased that we
worked this out amongst ourselves and that we can now move forward on behalf
of the Nation," said MNA President Audrey Poitras.
    "I'm concerned about what all of this has been costing the Métis Nation
at a time when we should be focusing or directing every available dollar to
fighting for our harvesting and land rights, instead of attempting to get the
courts to intervene in our decision-making process," said MN-S Robert
Doucette. "It is important that we work together to restore a positive working
relationship amongst ourselves and to put all of our efforts into collectively
addressing our issues with the federal government. To me, this agreement means
we can finally get things back on the right track," added Doucette.




For further information:

For further information: Chelsey Quirk, Communications Assistant, Métis
Nation of Ontario, (613) 798-1488, Ext. 104, Cell: (613) 299-6085,
chelseyq@metisnation.org; Bruce Dumont, MNBC, (604) 219-0157; Audrey Poitras,
MNA, (780) 490-8188; Robert Doucette, MN-S, (306) 343-8285; Tony Belcourt,
MNO, (613) 798-1488


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