Saskatchewan Metis Leader Hands In Resignation

Thursday, May 04, 2006 at 15:49



Disputed Metis Nation of Saskatchewan president Dwayne Roth is resigning.


He made it official at a press conference this morning.


Roth says he has been planning his resignation for a number of weeks.


He says he has stayed on for as long as possible without a salary and he can no longer afford to remain in the post.


He insists he isn’t making this decision out of political pressure or to get a deal done with the provincial and federal governments, both of which suspended funding to his group after the controversial 2004 MNS election.


Roth also says repeated calls for his resignation by his critics had no bearing in this move.


According to Roth, the Provincial Metis Council recently adopted a proposal that will see the federal, provincial and Metis governments oversee an independent and accountable MNS election as early as this fall.


He says details of the proposal continue to be worked out.


The federal and provincial governments halted funding to the MNS in the months after Roth’s controversial election win in 2004. Nine people have been charged with forgery in connection to that election, including two who have been convicted after entering guilty pleas.


In recent weeks, the MNS situation has caused a split at the Metis National Council. At least two provincial Metis organizations saying they won’t take part in MNC meetings with MNS representatives.


Federal Metis Interlocutor Jim Prentice echoed those sentiments last month, as well.


As for his future plans, Roth is not ruling out running in the next MNS election. However, he says his immediate focus will be on finding gainful employment.


Meanwhile, one of the presidential candidates from the 2004 Metis election says he’s glad a new vote will be held.


However, Alex Maurice says he will want to see changes in how the election is to be carried out.


Maurice wants recommendations from the panel chaired by Metis academic Maria Campbell to be followed in the next campaign.


Those include the establishment of an independent body to run the vote, the presence of an independent accounting firm and an electoral officer with the proper background.


Maurice adds he intends to run in the next campaign.