Ontario Premier Supports Métis Nation of Ontario

December 18, 2009 --- Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his government to reconsider its position on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Premier presented the letter to Métis  Nation of Ontario President Gary Lipinski December 17 at a private meeting at Queen’s Park. The letter states that as Premier, he believes that the Declaration reinforces his government’s commitment to “engaging in meaningful and constructive dialogue on the future of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples” because of the significance ascribed to the Declaration by Métis and First Nations people.

The Premier goes on to say that reconsidering its position will help to demonstrate a willingness on the part of Canada to engage in real dialogue that will lead to transformative change in the lives of Aboriginal peoples in Canada.

“I am extremely encouraged both by the gesture and the language in the letter I received yesterday from Premier McGuinty,” President Lipinski said. “This proactive approach to fostering a more positive relationship with the Métis proves once again the commitment on the part of the province to live up to the MNO-Ontario Framework Agreement which was signed in November 2008.”

In the letter, Premier McGuinty also points out that Canada would not be alone in reconsidering its position on the UN Declaration. Australia has already changed its position and signed on and both New Zealand and the United States are reconsidering.

The letter was only one of several topics covered in the meeting which was also attended by France Picotte, Chair of the MNO. Additional details about the meeting will be available in the coming days.

For more information contact Janet Leader, MNO Communications at janetl@metisnation.org

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