‘Third World Banking in Canada’

Corruption is one of the results of segregation and the unequal application of the law. While we acknowledge the actions of the two chiefs in the story below who have exposed ‘kickbacks’, as we have seen on numerous occasions these types of ‘payments’ – usually known as ‘consultant’s fees’ or something equally innocuous – are frequently a part of doing business with aboriginal Bands. Regardless of who ultimately bears the blame for this situation, the fact remains that this type of behaviour is an inevitable byproduct of segregation and Race Based Law: ERBLThirdWorldBankingInCanada800x800‘Winnipeg financial firm offered ‘kickbacks’ to chiefs to land business deals’  

“Two ‘First Nation’ chiefs say they were offered money as enticement to sign their communities up for ‘Bank of Montreal’ loan agreements, arranged by a Winnipeg-based financial firm that an internal document shows used “kickbacks” as a tool to secure clients. 

“The chiefs, from Manitoba and Saskatchewan, said they were offered money by senior officials with ‘The Usand Group’, which bills itself as a firm dedicated to helping ‘First Nation’ communities participate in the “global economy”, according to its website. 

“They said ‘Usand’ would arrange the loan agreements with the ‘First Nation’ and then approach the ‘Bank of Montreal’ to secure the loan. The loan total would include fees owed to Usand resulting from the firm arranging the agreement. 

“An internal Usand document obtained by ‘APTN National News’ shows the company used “kickbacks” as a potential tool for securing ‘First Nation’ clients. The document also outlined ways to keep the use of kickbacks from leaking publicly and suggested a mitigation strategy should the issue ever break out into the open. 

“APTN National News has also obtained a recording of a Usand official offering to arrange a meeting with a ‘First Nation’ chief to hand over “a finder’s fee” upon completion of a loan agreement.  

“Usand was founded in 2012 by Sean McCoshen… He said the firm was “borne out of discussions” with former ‘Assembly of ‘First Nations’ national chief Ovide Mercredi.

    “who was looking for ways to bring what he called proper financing to ‘First Nation’ communities across Canada”, said McCoshen, according to a transcript of the testimony. 

“Mercredi could not be reached for comment. Mercredi is listed as an adviser on the company’s website.  

{Ovide  Mercredi is also the President of the governing Manitoba NDP…} 

“McCoshen {previously} testified that Usand had so far arranged about $113 million worth of financing for ‘First Nation’ communities through “private markets or through bank debt financing”. He said Usand was, at the time, about to close $180 million worth of financing agreements with communities and was aiming for a total of $300 million “across the board, across Canada, with ‘First Nations’”… 

“Despite repeated requests, McCoshen would not make himself available for interviews… 

Getty-images
Getty-images

“However, an internal Usand document obtained by APTN National News {investigative journalism!!!} shows that the firm listed the use of “kickbacks” as a potential tool for use in securing deals with prospective ‘First Nation’ clients. 

“The document, a 2014 risk management plan, analyzed the potential risks associated with the use of “kickbacks.” The document outlined possible “preventive actions” to mitigate those risks along with “contingency plans” to counter any negative fallout from the use of the tactic. 

“The document suggested that “no written record of dealings” be made of any kickback arrangements which should be shrouded in “vague langue, ie: offer to ‘give money back to community to be used at their discretion.’” 

“In the event a kickback deal became public, the document suggested Usand employ a “positive PR strategy with (a) communications firm”… 

APTN-file-photo
APTN-file-photo

“Rolling River ‘First Nation’ Chief Morris Shannacappo says McCoshen offered him $100,000 if his Manitoba community signed on to a USAND-arranged, multi-million dollar loan agreement from the Bank of Montreal. 

“Shannacappo said the offer was floated to him during talks held about two years ago between Usand and his community, which was looking for an about $4 million loan financing deal to get out of a debt hole caused by band-owned business failures under the previous administration.

    “The boys, they called me out of the meeting after the lunchbreak when everything was good and presumed to go ahead with this company, Usand. And Sean, he offered me $100,000”, said Shannacappo. “If you sign on, we are going to reward you $100,000.” 

“Shannacappo said some of the elders were initially intrigued by Usand’s proposed arrangement and suggested the community sign on, but the council decided to take a pass and go a different route by working with the federal Indigenous Affairs department. 

“Shannacappo said the fees and structure of the deal worried him.

    “It looks legit, but the cost of legit on their side is pretty high and if you know economics or studied economics you are able to figure that out right quick”, he said. 

“Shannacappo said he also told his community about the McCoshen’s offer.

    “I knew I would go down and lose an election over it. It wasn’t fair to the people”, said Shannacappo. “I said, my government doesn’t work that way.”  

APTN-Photo
APTN-Photo

“Carry the Kettle {a ‘nation’ of 2,491 people} Chief Barry Kennedy said he was offered $25,000 by John Miswagon {a former chief}, Usand’s vice-president for ‘Aboriginal Services’, if he signed on to $12.6 million financing deal for his Saskatchewan community. That loan would also come from the Bank of Montreal.

“Kennedy had been trying to stop the deal which had been agreed to by band councillors behind his back. Kennedy is currently in a dispute with his council and the proposed arrangement with Usand has been put on hold until after the March band election… 

“Kennedy provided APTN with a text message from Miswagon stating

    “we share finder’s fees up to 1 per cent of total loan we get ‘FN’s!(sic). 

“Kennedy also recorded part of his October 2015 conversation with Miswagon when the $25,000 “finder’s fee” was discussed. According to the recording, Miswagon offered to hand-deliver the money to Kennedy…  

“Kennedy said he discussed the recording with a federal ‘Indigenous Affairs’ official who suggested he take the issue to the RCMP. Kennedy said he is planning on approaching the Mounties. 

“The department issued a statement saying they began an investigation into Kennedy’s allegations against Usand in 2015…

“APTN phoned Miswagon repeatedly over the past two days, but his cell phone rings and rings before going to voicemail.  

“None of the companies or individuals named in this story have been accused of committing any crime.”

–‘Winnipeg financial firm offered ‘kickbacks’ to chiefs to land business deals’,

Jorge Barrera, APTN, January 21, 2016

@JorgeBarrera    jbarrera@aptn.ca
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COMMENT: “So a Native, Miswagon, deals with the Chiefs and Councils and offers them kickbacks. Nothing new. From experience, that is how Natives do business. They demand kickbacks for themselves. Kudos for the 2 Chiefs who have refused.”
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“Corruption has played a major role in this game since the beginning.”  

http://aptn.ca/news/2016/01/21/winnipeg-financial-firm-offering-kickbacks-to-chiefs-to-land-business-deals/ bribery-corruption-payoff“The RCMP have reportedly been called in after two ‘First Nation’ chiefs said they were offered “finder’s fees” to sign up their communities for Bank of Montreal loans in deals set up by a Winnipeg financial firm.

“In an internal company document, the Usand Group listed “favours” as part of a business strategy identified as a risk to be managed if word of them ever leaked. That document circulated widely Thursday around the Winnipeg financial brokerage and its business dealings with ‘First Nations’… 

“In both cases, the chiefs claim senior officials with Usand offered to sign up their communities for loans in exchange for finder’s fees. Usand is a Winnipeg brokerage reported to hold more than $100 million in loans and business deals exclusively with ‘First Nations’. 

“Kennedy said he was offered $25,000, plus one per cent of the $12.6-million loan.

“A one per cent finder’s fee”, he said. 

“Usand was started by Manitoba lawyer Sean McCoshen, described as a commercial lawyer and merchant banker in a glowing ‘Canadian Business Journal’ feature that said he launched the brokerage in 2012 to fill a gap for “proper financing and investment solutions within Canada’s ‘First Nations’.” The company was born after extensive discussions with former national chief Ovide Mercredi, who remains listed on the company’s website as a senior adviser. Mercredi did not return a call Thursday.

“The internal document, titled the ‘Usand Group Risk-management Plan 2014’, identified “kickbacks” as “any favour that might become publicized”, and advised there be “no written record of dealings, and to refer to them verbally in “vague language, i.e. offer to ‘give money back to the community to be used at their discretion.]’ “. The plan called for “discussions prior to approval for any kickbacks. Try to utilize as a last resort”, it stated… 

“The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network broke the story early Thursday, posting interviews with the Carry the Kettle chief and a Manitoba chief. It also posted an audio recording between the Carry the Kettle chief and former senior Usand official John Miswagon, where finder’s fees were discussed.

“In the audio, a man’s voice is heard describing a finder’s fee, to Kennedy. It’s the same $25,000 fee Kennedy told the Free Press he reported to the RCMP he was offered. Kennedy said he was the one who released the recording. 

“Kennedy said the voice on the audio is Miswagon, a former chief of the Pimicikamack Cree in Cross Lake.” 

–‘FN’ chiefs say they were offered ‘finder’s fees’ to sign up their communities for bank loans’,

Alexandra Paul, Winnipeg Free Press, 01/21/2016
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COMMENT: “I’m glad the Chiefs who reported the situation to the police recognized a bribe when they saw one.  

“An ethical finders fee works this way; one Band used the financial services of the bank and tells another band, “They were great. You should check them out.” Band two checks out the bank, and decides, yes they have a good product and signs up. Band number one gets the finders fee.  

“This isn’t what happened. They offered a bribe directly to the Chief of the band, so he would use his political influence to persuade the band that they should borrow money from this bank. The Chief isn’t personally taking out a loan. They would be buying his influence. This is textbook corruption…”
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“Although a literal bribe (and that’s what this is) was not accepted (good on those that didn’t), the attempted briber is open to scrutiny to say the least. Dependent on previous occurrence and level of impropriety, the level of penalty can vary:  

“the Canadian Criminal Code, which criminalises corruption of Canadian public officials and corrupt behaviour in certain transactions among private parties.”

http://www.blakesfiles.com/Articles/2013_Blakes_Law_Firm_Anti-Corruption_Review.pdf
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“All construction contracts up north for the past decades have included a set aside allowance for the Band Council. They were intended for use by the band involved, but many of these set asides ended up in Chief and friends’ hands. Payola up north has been going on for as long as construction has been going on up north. We are talking hundreds of millions of dollars. I would like to have an audit of every contractor who worked up there to show who received the set aside monies and where they were spent.”
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“Advice given by Mercredi on how to conduct business with First Nations is not open and transparent as Mercredi decides to clam up – any wonder he opposed the ‘First Nations’ Transparency law.”
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“I don’t bribe ‘First Nations’, although on more than one occasion I have been asked. As a result, I have never received a dime of ‘FN’ business EVER. But, I have a clear conscience!”  

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/Finders-fees-for-loans-may-be-probed-366155811.html the-bad-corruption-8Related:
“In one instance outlined in court documents, the company claims Sachigo Lake ‘First Nation’ demanded close to a quarter of its exploration budget – about $1.2 million – for its 2012 drill campaign, calling it an “administration fee”.  

“When the company refused to give in, the ‘First Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 814 people} served them with an “eviction” notice {from what is no longer aboriginal land}, forcing them to stop exploration work and leave the area.”
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“Two employees from a Sudbury-based junior mining company were held hostage for one day by members of a northwestern Ontario ‘First Nation’ band in 2011, in an attempt to obtain payment from the company as it carried out a gold exploration activity…

“…The company contends it was forced to pay $40,000 to the ‘First Nation’ to free two workers, who were “physically detained”, along with some equipment…”
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“Northern Superior Resources is the fourth mining company to sue Ontario for failing to protect it from the illegal behavior and immoral demands of so-called “affected” nearby ‘First Nations’ bands.  

“The first two, ‘Platinex’ {$5 million} and ‘God’s Lake Resources’ {$3.5 million}, were paid off with millions of taxpayers’ dollars. ‘Solid Gold Resources’, and now ‘Northern Superior Resources’, both justifiably want similar compensation from Ontario for being thrown to the wolves of ‘First Nations’ bottomless “consult and accommodate” demands.  

“The combination of Supreme Court of Canada jurisprudence, and our provincial and federal Crowns’ timid, passive and enabling response to it, has created a Third World business environment in Canada’s wilderness areas, where Crown sovereignty and the rule of law are now afraid to go…”
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“On the sidelines of the mining industry’s massive annual conference in Toronto in early March {2012}, a group of disgruntled junior exploration companies held a private meeting.  

“Calling themselves ‘Miners United’, the ad-hoc group of about 60 small-firm executives shared concerns about the concessions and cash they say native bands expect from companies looking for minerals on Crown lands…  

“But there is a growing backlash among junior miners about these agreements.  

    “There’s a revolt taking place, frankly”, said Neal Smitheman, a lawyer with ‘Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP’ who acts for junior mining firms in disputes with aboriginal groups and who spoke at the Toronto meeting. “What’s being asked of them has nothing to do with ‘consultation’. It has everything to do with ‘compensation’.”   

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