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Locked in a legal battle.

The Metis National Council (MNC) and the former lieutenant governor of Manitoba are going to court.

The MNC is suing Yvon Dumont for $47,000. The sum represents monies paid to Dumont while he was governor of the national council.

Dumont is the former president of the MNC (1988-1993), and the former president of the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF), serving from 1984 to 1993. Dumont served as lieutenant governor of the province from 1993 to 1999. He became governor of the MNC in 1999, but ran for MNC president in 2001 while still holding the position, a ceremonial, non-political, non-partisan office.

Jason Madden, MNC legal council, said the position of governor was created with Dumont in mind after his term of lieutenant governor. Dumont accepted the position, but there were no written terms of reference for the role.

Dumont lost the 2001 election and continued his duties as governor.

Madden claims that written terms of reference for the position of governor were then prepared by the MNC and Dumont. The lawsuit is based on Dumont's violation of an agreement not to run for any political office when he agreed to serve as governor, he said.

Madden provided Windspeaker with a copy of a letter written by Dumont dated Jan. 22, 2001 addressed to Gerald Morin, then-president of the MNC.

"Although acceptance of the offer as it stands means that I must remove myself from the possibility of holding office anywhere in the Metis Nation, I accept that this is not only reasonable, but that, in order to be effective and to have the appearance of being completely politically neutral in the position, it is necessary," wrote Dumont.

On Jan. 17, 2003 Dumont sent a letter to the MNC in which he resigned the position of governor of the MNC.

On Jan. 28, 2003, a list of candidates for the office of president of the MMF was released and Dumont's name was on the list.

Dumont subsequently lost the election to David Chartrand and promptly launched a lawsuit contesting that result.

Dumont lost the legal action and Chartrand remained in office.

Madden contends that Dumont breached the terms of reference regarding the office of governor when he ran for office in the MMF election.

Dumont has filed a statement of defense in which he claims that no contract for employment or for services existed between him and the plaintiff.

Dumont also claims in his statement of defense that he had a verbal agreement with Morin allowing him to run for office in the Manitoba election.

Dumont supporters claim the MNC lawsuit is an attempt to discredit Dumont before the upcoming MMF election in 2006.

Chartrand claims the suit has been in the works for some time, but that it was not going to proceed until the Dumont suit contesting the 2003 MMF election was decided.

Chartrand said the MMF also has legal action planned against Dumont after the MNC suit is decided.

By George Young

Windspeaker Staff Writer

COPYRIGHT 2005 Aboriginal Multi-Media Society of Alberta (AMMSA)
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Title Annotation:news; Metis National Council and Yvon Dumont
Author:Young, George
Publication:Wind Speaker
Geographic Code:1CMAN
Date:Sep 1, 2005
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