Sunday, September 13, 2009

Patrick Brazeau, the scandal continues,

Frankly, I have blogged myself to death on this dude. But the scandal surrounding Senator Patrick Brazeau continues. I don't have anything left to add. Let's wait and see if "Bad Anon" comes a trolling to try to defend this one.

Bill Curry

Ottawa — From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Friday, Sep. 11, 2009 10:34PM EDT


Members of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples expressed shock over the “disturbing” financial situation left behind by Patrick Brazeau as they gathered for the first time since their former national chief was appointed to the Senate.

Delegates of the off-reserve aboriginal organization met in Ottawa Friday to elect a new national chief, but the vote was overshadowed by a report showing the congress posted a major deficit last year after a federal department demanded it pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses that had been ruled ineligible.

Beyond the mounting debt, delegates expressed concern when told Mr. Brazeau received severance when he left the organization, that he routinely flew first-class on congress business, and that a big-screen television for his office was originally described as a gift from the organization's auditor and then later paid for by the congress as an expense.

In a financial report tabled Friday at the congress meeting, national vice-chief Betty Anne Lavalée wrote that she first saw the organization's finances in February and found them “very disturbing,” a view she later voiced publicly in presenting her report to the delegates.

Ms. Lavallée wrote that she uncovered cheques that were issued without the required approval of the board of directors.

“Also, valuable items had been given away or removed from the building,” she wrote.

She clarified in an interview that the items were pieces of aboriginal art and one Inuit carving that was donated to charity.

“This entire situation, quite frankly, makes me ill,” she wrote.Delegates were still voting for a new national chief late Friday night. It is a position that involves taking part in first-ministers meetings and raising off-reserve issues with the prime minister and federal ministers. The congress receives about $5-million a year from Ottawa.

Ms. Lavallée was elected chief last night on the second ballot. The three other candidates for national chief included Kevin Daniels, Brad Maggrah and Alvin Chartrand. All four supported the need to advocate for improved social conditions for off-reserve aboriginals and to fight for the congress's provincial affiliates that are looking for federal funds.

The Globe and Mail reported in January that Health Canada has frozen its funding to the congress and was demanding repayment of up to $260,000 in expenses that were deemed ineligible. According to Ms. Lavallée, who took over responsibility for the congress's finances as interim vice-chief in January, that story led other departments to launch similar audits.

One of those audits by a branch of Indian Affairs called the Office of the Federal Interlocutor concluded that the congress must pay back $529,880 in expenses from the fiscal years 2004 to 2006. Mr. Brazeau worked at the congress from 2001 to 2008. He was elected vice-chief, with responsibility for the organization's finances, in 2005 and became national chief in 2006.

In an e-mail, Mr. Brazeau, who was named a Conservative senator nine months ago, said delegates were informed of the audit findings at last year's gathering. He said the television was not a gift from an auditor and that it remains the property of the congress. He also defended his first-class flights.

“As per standard policy and practice at CAP, executive members of the Congress often flew business class and/or utilized upgrade certificates,” he wrote.

“Ms. Lavallée, along with all other board members of the congress were given a full, open and transparent quarterly report regarding the financial state of affairs of the Congress,” he wrote. “All board members were given financial updates and had the opportunity to ask questions on the financial management of CAP's affairs.”

Mr. Brazeau built his reputation as national chief as an advocate for financial accountability among native leaders. He was particularly critical of native chiefs and the Assembly of First Nations, the larger national native group made up of chiefs from Canada's more than 600 reserves.

Mr. Brazeau has said that he was aware of the government's financial concerns and worked as national chief to improve the accountability of the organization.

PROGRESSIVE BLOGGERS

18 comments:

janfromthebruce said...

good post - this is not about native organizations but about not having a "good goverance" and oversight model in place.
So audits should be done on a regular bases, by an outside audit firm.
Why is it that cons appear to reward cons who play fast and loose with public dollars? I'm thinking Grant Devin here.

Anonymous said...

The real and ONLY scandal that occured at CAP was ... The real and ONLY scandal that occured at CAP was the attempt by certain former employees and several current CAP Board members to oust Brazeau from office last year and it didn't work.

Brazeau found out about it, cleaned things up and fired a few people, which I'm starting to think might be "Crazy Bitches R Us".

I have a funny feeling the entire story will come out on the scandal at CAP and the ones who will come out looking stupid are Erin W., Jade H., Cathie G., Lillian G., Betty L. I think the former comms guy at AFN, Brian H. may have sent a few emails to INAC reps and lying about CAP.

In terms of the Curry story, CAP bought a tv - big deal. The tv is still at CAP.

In terms of business class tickets, big deal. Gee, I wonder if Clem Chartier, Bev Jacobs, Shawn Atleo fly economy - I don't think so.

Ineligible expenses, the story says it was for an audit that covered 2004-2006. Brazeau became chief in 2006. Those ineligible expenses were the contracts that the Board gave themselves in the amount of $12,000 each/year and Brazeau got rid of that practice. Too bad the story doesn't report on that but that's typical Curry. Oh, and lets not forget about Curry. He's in fact on AFN's pro bono list. The pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together. Stay tuned for the entire picture.

Ward of the State said...

Hey Bad Anon, how are you? As you no doubt noticed I knew you would be back. Hope you had a good summer.

I have to confess to you, and the world at Crazy Bitches R Us that I slightly edited your post. I replaced the last name of the individuals you listed with initials (with the exception of public figures). I don`t think this is the place to make personal attacks. So here I have let you make your point but allowed the folks you are firing at some degree of anonymity.

I have some issues with your logic regarding Bill Curry. “He's in fact on AFN's pro bono list.” I have no idea what your vivid imagination has conjured up, but the Globe and Mail like most media have strict guidelines against gifts, freebies and junkets. I am sure he is not getting free goodies from the AFN. But let’s say by some wild stretch of the imagination he is. --- what does that have to do with Patrick Brazeau or CAP? I have not seen the AFN comment one single time in any of these articles. The comments have come from former employees, CAP board members, and an ex-wife. This wild accusation would make more sense if you said Curry was taking kickbacks from CAP.

You are standing on more solid ground when you argue “In terms of the Curry story, CAP bought a TV - big deal. The TV is still at CAP. In terms of business class tickets, big deal. Gee, I wonder if Clem Chartier, Bev Jacobs, Shawn Atleo fly economy - I don't think so.”

I don’t know how other leaders fly, but you are probably right, I assume they all use business class. Also all NGOs do have TV’s for media monitoring etc. I don’t begrudge them that.

So let`s get down to the pointy end of the stick here. You and Bill agree CAP`s financial mishaps happened between 2004-2006. Patrick was elected Vice-Chief in 2005, and National Chief in 2006.

Normally those in leadership are supposed to understand what is happening with finances, but if that is not enough, there’s always CAP`s constitution, available at: http://www.abo-peoples.org/CAP/About/CAP_ByLaws_Constitution_2007.pdf (More below)

Ward of the State said...

Section 4.09 outlines the responsibilities of Vice-Chief which include minutes and finances. I have pasted below for your convenience:

4.09 Duties and Functions of Vice-Chief. The Vice-Chief shall be vested with all the
powers and shall perform all the duties of the Chief in the absence or inability or refusal to act of the Chief. In addition, the Vice-Chiefs duties shall include:
a) responsibility for keeping accurate minutes of all meetings;
b) care and custody of the minute books of the Congress and all other documentation
and registers of the Congress, financial and otherwise;
c) care and custody of all the funds and securities of the Congress ensuring that same
are deposited in the name of the Congress at such bank or banks or with such
depositary or depositaries as the Board may direct;
d) being custodian of the Seal of the Congress;
e) the preparation of the annual budget for the Congress, showing expected revenues
and expenditures, and the presentation of appropriate and accurate financial
statements for each General or Special Assembly of the Congress, and for the Board
of Directors as may be requested;
f) such other duties as may be assigned to the Vice-Chief by the Board of Directors.

As the National Chief the role is not so clearly defined but section
4.07 states that his duties and functions include ``general charge and supervision of the affairs of the Congress``.

So really, no matter how you slice it, and even if staff disliked him or had it in for him—whatever- he is still responsible.

And if the board tried to remove him, they have that right. Here is what the constitution says:

``4.10(1) Suspension or Removal by Board of Directors. The Chief or Vice-Chief may be suspended or removed from office at any regular or special meeting of the Board called for that purpose, by the affirmative vote of at least three-quarters of all the directors then in office (but excluding the officer whose removal is sought) for engaging in conduct detrimental to the interests of the Congress, or for failure or refusal to carry out the functions of his or her office in a manner conductive to the attainment of the objects of the Congress, or for gross incompetency, gross misconduct, dishonesty, or prolonged illness.``

But if you take such offense to Bill Curry`s articles – why post here. Nuttin` I can do about it. Why not give Bill a ring and tell him how you feel?

Oh and by the way, I am none of the women you named. Just a crazy bitch who knows how to use google.

Ward of the State said...

Hello Jan, welcome to Crazy Bitches.

Please meet Anon, who I like to call bad Anon, who spends his evenings googling Patrick Brazeau's name and coming to his rescue from bloggers like us, who are scandalized by what we've seen reported in the paper.

But you raise a good point. This is not about Native organizations. And I agree with your second point. The buck should not stop with the "appointee." Accountability require the appointer to answer a few pointed questions.

wideye said...

janfromthebruce is correct because it is about good governance. There should be regular audits done by outside agencies. Except in this case Patrick's Executive Assistant was having an affair (behind her husband’s back) with CAP's (outside) auditor (he was married too and yes they left their spouses to marry each other in a fairy-tale true love kinda ceremony....)and then Pat, his communications guy (aka bad anon), the executive assistant (and her lusty new man who is good with the books and faster with the numbers) all became good drinking buddies.

So yes there should be an audit conducted by an outside agency that also has no relation to the client they are about to audit. That’s not to say that the lusty man cannot work for the agency contracted to perform the audit but he should not be conducting it. It doesn’t look good and provides an opportunity for people like me ask all kinds of questions about conflict of interest and conjecture all wicked types of scenarios.

But honestly, I want to know more about the TV – if it was originally listed as a gift from the lusty auditor and then later paid for by the Congress - who received the cash? Did the lusty auditor receive compensation or did the CAP audit show a receipt from a retailer? How do I know the lusty auditor and his new busty beau didn’t come up with a scheme (over pillow talk and between gasps I’m sure) to bilk CAP of a couple grand? Maybe the 52” Flat-screen (I have no idea what it is but I’m sure it wasn’t a 21” Citizen with DVD included) “fell off a truck” and they didn’t actually pay anything for it in the first place....maybe they made enough cash from the deal to pay for a weekend tryst somewhere? I don’t know but it sure is fun to guess. She's now Pat's assistant in the Senate eh? I wonder if they were gifted a "new TV" in their new digs on the Hill?

Bad anon thinks he knows us.....that means we know you too. We may have even had a few beers together (Did you say anything you might have regreted?) How well do we know you, what secrets have you disclosed to us? When will we drop the bomb on you? You must be afraid. I know you are afraid you will lose your meal-ticket (and you will, it’s just a matter of time) and now you begin to worry is your reputation smashed forever, will you ever be taken serious or get another job anywhere else? (...rumour on the ground is that we are all laughing at you.) Silly wabbit.

Last thought: How like Pat and his bum-buddies the Conservatives.... to be the top guy(s) in charge and still deny culpability. Creepy.

Anonymous said...

If you people would really be interested in the truth and the real scandals, you'd report on the fact that the Native Women's Association of Canada are in serious financial trouble. As a metter of fact, the President needs to repay close to $100,000 to the federal government.

MNC: owe over $2 Million in health funding.

AFN: former chief's travel budget was over $400,000 and his total salary and expenditures approximately $750,000.

If those aren't scandals, I don't know what is. However, all your postings on Senator Brazeau are more about the fact he's a Conservative (and you can't accept that) more than a tv, business class travel and disallowed expenses. BTW, I heard from a former CAP employee named Mark G(I'll save you the edit) that 80% of the disallowed expenses were because of the provincial affiliates and not cap. In addition, brazeau scraped the $12,000 contracts that the board of cap gave themselves.

I've sent this information to Curry but he hasn't published anything. It's in black and white and it's all fact. Makes you wonder why he's not publishing these stories, which are based on facts.

Ward of the State said...

Am I interested in the truth, of course. And hey I publish your comments don't I? Even the nasty and/or nutty ones. (Sometimes they are unique mix of both)

I don't think I need to go over all the many arguments. Suffice it to day that Patrick parrots key messages that paint all of our people as at best incompetent and at worst corrupt which is unfair, untrue and racist. I don't care if his affiliation is conservative, liberal or Marxist. Anyone who spews that Uncle Tom crap has a serious hate on for our people, card-carrying Indian or not. It's disgusting that he tries to spin it as activism or accountability. And therein lies the reason that he has drawn so much media attention to himself, and has become something of a joke here at Crazy Bitches R Us.

He's made hurtful accusations; his information was generalized and drove mistrust between Canadians and First Nations, by telling them every program dollar spent was going into a black hole. He did this without facts, and even at times in spite of facts to the contrary, (and you have seen this outlined in my previous posts.) He did this not for the benefit of his people, but for his own benefit.

Now it turns out that he was leading an organization that was the worst example and has embarrassed our people even further.

If you didn't understand that from previous posts, now you know.

As to your points about other organizations, 1) The MNC's mistakes have been well-documented and for sure have to live with the mistakes they have made. They spend the money on health care, but outside the boundaries of what their CA allowed. Forgive me if I am not too riled up. I'm not, after all, Metis.

2) If you’re going to be taken seriously: you need to substantiate your accusations.

The Million dollars at NWAC: prove it.

It's widely known that Phil Fontaine did earn a 6 figure salary (as did Brazeau), sitting around the $100,000 mark. How you arrived at your figure, who knows? You'll forgive me for not quite taking you at word since some of your past postings (including the recent one about Bill Curry being on some sort of AFN pro bono list) are laughable bordering on nutbar.

Even f true, this is not an issue of misspending. Government and private interests were happy to fund flights, hotels and travel for Phil (as they do for themselves and other leaders, including Brazeau). Whether this is a good thing or not, whether government money should be a key source of funding is an ethical issue which has certainly been raised on Crazy Bitches R Us. And if you read those posts you'll know where I stand.

(I can tell you don't care for Phil, much. It must burn you to know he is now making over a quarter of a million dollars a year consulting in the private sector.)

Having said that- let's pretend that every other NGO in existence is frivolously misspending dollars on chocolates and champagne. It doesn't make Patrick any less accountable for what happened at CAP. You know that old saying about two wrongs not making a right?

I mean you might as well tell Bill Curry that the liberals stuffed their pockets with taxpayer money in ADSCAM and that seven bank chiefs were arrested in Nigeria last month for incurring billions of dollars in bad debts.

I can just see Bill nodding, "Oh I see, everybody does it. So should I just stop writing about Patrick, or should I just stop writing about misuse of taxpayers dollars generally?"

Anyway, I'm bored now. Post if you want, I'll put them up (so long as they don't cross a line where you're just name calling again, as you did a few months ago. But like I said, this is getting to be a yawner for me as it's the same thing over and over, so unless you have something new and interesting to say I won't be replying. It's just too monotonous.

Anonymous said...

Hey CBRU!

Hope you publish this because these are facts. I'm a former Board members of CAP and I know everything about the issues discussed here. First, Patrick Brazeau is the most accountable leader I have ever seen and I previously worked with Jim Sinclair, Dwight Dorey and Harry Daniels. Under Brazeau's helm, he didn't have an expense account like other leaders did, he din't have a truck purchased for him(which is something the Board and Betty Ann Lavallee sanctioned) for Dwight Dorey and Brazeau even refused increases to his salary.

Former National Chief Brazeau also created different levels of accountability when he was there(ie a financial comptroller in addition to the finance committee, the board, the finance officer and the auditor. If you guys really understood how organizations are run, you would know that the Board is the body that makes decisions and not the Chief. As such, I invite you to look at CAP's by-laws to this effect.

Next, Brazeau also canned the contracts that the Board gave themselves because he thought that was a conflict of interest.

No wonder CAP board members are turning on him because he took away over $10,000 year from all of them. So no wonder the knives are out for him. Wait, Betty Ann will probably reintroduce these funds because she is one to vote in favour of these things when it benefits her.

Brazeau is controversial and some people don't agree with him, although many do but unaccountable he is not. I invite those making, printing and taking about these allegations to once and for all prove them. In essence, there is the key isn't it?

Anonymous said...

C'mon Irene, post the factual and relevant posts.

Anonymous said...

C'mon Irene "two face" Badwin,

Publish what's relevant and factual. I thought you said you were interested in the truth.

Ward of the State said...

Jesus dude, have some patience will ya? I don't live on my blog.
FYI - I am not Irene either. LOL. You sure have a long list of women you're angry at, though. Therapy can help.

Good-Anon said...

I see that Bad-Anon is on the prowl on Facebook. Just check out the Facebook groups "Lets Support Jade Harper and the Other Women Who Have Spoken Up" and "Natives Against Patrick Brazeau". Clearly Bad-Anon (Al) is now claiming to be an elder lol

Ward of the State said...

Hey Good Anon, Welcome back! I was unaware of those sites thanks for sharing. Will definitely check them out.

Yes Bad Anon continues to spend his evenings googling the Brazman's name. So far he has pretended to be several people, on this very site.

Having said that, it does appear the latest post in this thread, which starts "Hey CBRU! Hope you publish this because these are facts...." is from a different Anon. It's a different location an IP address. Also slightly less ludicrous than Bad Anon's posts. If I had to guess, Bad anon is Al Flemming, recent anon could be the Brazman himself.

We have been getting quite a few hits from Parliament’s server on this one. One of them from a private home (indicating they signed on to this server from their residence).

We also have a rather even-handed Anon who identifies as a current member of CAP on our other post about CAP elections. I will name that individual "Insider Anon."

In the end, despite all the back and forth between these other Anons about who is to blame for the books over at CAP, I do hope the organization pulls itself together. Some may disagree with me, but there is a role for organizations like CAP, if they can pull the pieces back together.

Anonymous said...

Again misinformation. The financial issues with CAP do not stem only from 2004-2006.
Those of us who were present and able to question the Audit, including former CAP Vice Chief, and former staff for OMAA, which has since closed its doors, Frank Palmater, when he questioned where this deficit came from the response was, that some of this deficit came from when he (Mr.Palmater) was in office, so while Patrick may hold much of the responsibility of the current state of affairs, he is not alone!!! We need and want someone in office who is accountable and transparent to its membership...

wideye said...

Ooooooooooo.... maybe Harper can make Mr Palmater a Senator too.

Good-Anon said...

My only question is why did Brazeau always deny that CAP was in financial trouble and he was this sort saviour who walked in and cleaned up everything? Seems to me like the pillar of transparency and accountability doesn't like to practice what he preaches. He was and still is quick to run down the chiefs across the country but yet the organization he was head of is 3/4 of a million in the hole.

wideye said...

Why did Brazeau always deny CAP was in financial trouble? Ummmm....ummmm I suppose he has his reasons but I like to guess about these things. I like to guess that he lied because he was taking advantage of the situation for his own personal gain but I stress - this is me guessing. Because we will never know the truth I think we can guess all we want - kinda make a game of it.

Maybe he didn't say anything because the guys he drinks with told him not to worry. So he didn't. Maybe he was just trying to impress a girl...or boy...(I don’t know, I mean he is pretty and he does spend a heck of a lot of time on his appearance – not that all gay men spend time on their appearances and that non-gay men don’t – I’m just being open minded here.) Maybe he just forgot to inform his constituency. ....OH OH! I know! Maybe the board of directors of CAP held him down and threatened him and his family with harm if he said anything. Maybe Brazeau is actually the unspoken hero in this whole saga and we are all much maligning him and he is actually our saviour...OMG I want him now....sooooo bad. (HAHAHAHAHAHA – cough, cough...blechk that was harder to write than I thought.)

 
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