By James Rose
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The Supreme Court of British Columbia has dismissed a lawsuit filed by suspended former Métis Nation British Columbia president Clara Morin Dal Col as an abuse of process and a collateral attack.
“I’m happy that this part of the court case is over and MNBC is moving forward,” said MNBC Regional Director Deb Fisher. With Morin Dal Col expected to appeal, Fisher was unable to comment much further on the court’s decision.
Morin Dal Col’s lawsuit concerned two motions passed by the MNBC board this past January; one of which temporarily suspended her with pay.
Christopher Yates, board director for the West Kootenay Métis Society, wrote a letter explaining Morin Dal Col’s removal from MNBC leadership stems from an incident whereby the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) was placed on probation in 2018 over concerns with its citizenship registry.
After MNO failed to submit to a registry audit, the governing body was placed on suspension in 2019. Morin Dal Col supported upholding the suspension, and it was for this reason, Yates posits, she was removed from her MNBC leadership position.
“The judge recognized the powers under the MNBC Constitution of the Board of Directors to suspend a board member,” according to a press release issued by MNBC. The judge found Morin Dal Col’s proper recourse was to pursue an appeal to the MNBC’s judicial body, its senate, as dictated by MNBC’s constitution. Morin Dal Col may still wish to pursue an appeal.
The judge noted that MNBC had on previous occasions advised Morin Dal Col to appeal to the senate and offered to shorten the timelines for that appeal. The judge dismissed Morin Dal Col’s claim that the senate was biased, holding that her claim was unsubstantiated on the evidence submitted to the court.
Clara Morin Dal Col was unable to be reached for comment before press deadline.