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Whistleblower returns documents in hopes MANFF drops lawsuit

Whistleblower Ted Ducharme may have struck a deal to end a legal fight with his former employer.

Before court this morning, Ducharme turned over all documents he had collected while working for the Manitoba Association of Native Fire Fighters (MANFF) Inc. -- documents he claimed support allegations of misappropriation of funds designated for the care of First Nation flood evacuees.

"I do not possess any other documents from (MANFF)," Ducharme told Justice Shawn Greenberg, as a MANFF counsel held up a plastic bag of documents that Ducharme had given him minutes earlier. "That's everything."

Outside court, Ducharme said MANFF's counsel had implied that the non-profit agency would drop its lawsuit against him now that the documents were returned.

MANFF is suing Ducharme, alleging it suffered financial damages and harm to its reputation after he showed the documents to the federal government, the Free Press, the CBC, and others.

Ducharme said returning his MANFF documents made no difference because others, including the federal government, had made copies.

Ducharme, who does not have a lawyer, told the court he will continue to abide by a court order made at the end of June which prohibits him from circulating copies of the MANFF documents.

MANFF had been in charge of registering and caring for the 2011 First Nation flood evacuees. In February, Ottawa launched an external review of MANFF's operations after allegations it had misspent funds and had not paid outstanding debts to two Manitoba hotels.

Ottawa announced in early June that a transition plan will be developed to address the long-term needs of the First Nation evacuees.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt said the transition plan will be based on recommendations by the Canadian Red Cross, which will work with the affected First Nation communities to conduct an assessment of the evacuees’ long term needs.


Updated on Thursday, July 11, 2013 at 12:24 PM CDT: Clarifies that the Red Cross has not yet replaced MANFF

4:12 PM: Clarifies June announcement from the government.

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