COVID-19 Update (May 29)

MNO COVID-19 Support:

Weekly Telephone Town Halls have been postponed during the 2020 Election period, the MNO is continuing to provide updates to Citizens on recent and relevant developments. If you have any questions, please email: ElizabethH@metisnation.org. Questions will be incorporated into a frequently asked questions document which will be made available on the MNO website.

MNO Election 2020

Voting in the 2020 Metis Nation of Ontario election will conclude on Monday, June 1 2020 at 6PM EDT. Citizens who have not yet voted in this election are encouraged to visit the 2020 MNO Election page for information about the candidates and the election process, including how to cast a vote by telephone or online.

As per Article 35 of the Election Code, the Chief Electoral Officer will publicly announce the results of MNO Election 2020 and declare elected the Candidates who received the largest number of votes. This announcement will be posted at www.metisnation.org/election as soon as the results of the counts of all valid Ballots are confirmed the evening of June 1, 2020.

Additionally, pursuant to Article 9 of the Electoral Code, a list of the 2020 acclamations has been declared and is now available on the MNO’s Election page.

Extension of emergency orders in Ontario

Emergency orders established by the Ontario government have been extended to June 9, 2020, replacing the previously anticipated date of June 2. As a result, all public areas, including outdoor facilities, and bars and restaurants (excluding those open for takeout or delivery), will remain closed at this time. Gatherings will also continue to be limited to five or less people. For more information on the emergency orders in force across Ontario, see this link

MNO Emergency Supports Update 

Special Needs Support Program -- The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) has put in place several COVID-19 Emergency Financial Support Programs to assist MNO Citizens and families affected by the pandemic. To this roster the MNO has added a new Special Needs Support Program.  

Through the Special Needs Support Program MNO Citizens with children aged 0-21 years with special needs can receive a one-time benefit of $500 per child  up to a maximum of $2,000 per family to provide assistance during this time of physical distancing. This benefit is limited to one per household.

For more information, including qualifications please see this link.

A committed team of MNO staff are continuing to process citizen applications for all of the Emergency Financial Support Programs.  To date the team has worked with more than 1,300 applicants, and every day more support is getting out the door to Métis families. This work has been taking place in addition to delivering regular MNO programming, while staff are working from home! We thank all of our dedicated staff both for their willingness to adapt and for all of their hard work during this time.  

Federal and Provincial COVID-19 Updates 

Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA)

  • CECRA for small businesses will provide forgivable loans to qualifying commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of three monthly rent payments that are payable by eligible small business tenants who are experiencing financial hardship during April, May and June.
  • CECRA for small businesses will provide relief for small businesses paying less than $50,000 per month in gross rent that have either been forced to close due to the pandemic or have had their revenues severely impacted by at least 70 per cent
  • The program will be administered by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) on behalf of the Government of Canada and our provincial and territorial partners. For more information and registration see this link
  • See here for a fact sheet on federal and provincial supports
  • See here for a fact sheet on supports for small businesses.
  • Métis businesses are encouraged to reach out to the Métis Voyageur Development Fund for additional information and support.


Canada Child Benefit increase:

  • An additional increase of $300 per child is now available for families receiving the Canada Child Benefit as part of the May payment.
  • This additional payment represents a one-time increase for the 2019-20 benefit year
  • Starting in July, these CCB payments will increase again
  • See here for a fact sheet on supports for families 


Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) - Extended

  • Originally set to expire in June, the federal government will extend CEWS throughout the summer until end of August.
  • Wage subsidy program supports small and medium businesses that are facing revenue losses and to help prevent lay-offs, the government is proposing to provide eligible employers a temporary wage subsidy.
  • Eligibility has expanded to include tax-exempt Indigenous-owned corporations or partnerships, amateur athletic associations registered journalism organizations, and private colleges and training schools


Canada Summer Jobs (for Students and Youth)

  • The federal government has announced and launched a new Summer Jobs portal for students and recent grads (15-30) impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Canada Summer Jobs portal currently offers youth over 45,000 job opportunities, with more to be announced throughout the coming weeks and months.
  • Eligible students whose job prospects have been impacted are also reminded to apply for Canadian Emergency Student Benefits (CESB).


All available fact sheets can be found on the MNO’s COVID-19 updates page

Harvesting during COVID-19

As the weather continues to improve, it is likely many will choose to spend their time increasingly outdoors. The MNO urges its citizens to be cautious when outside of their homes and has published an informational pamphlet of best practices for harvesting safely during this period. 

Citizens are reminded to keep a distance of at least 2 arms lengths (approx. 2 meters) from anyone outside their household, and to limit groups to five persons or less. MNO Harvesters that have valid Harvester cards can camp on Crown Land in their traditional territory in order to exercise their Métis right to harvest.

Citizens should also note that the province wide fire ban put in place April 3, 2020 has been lifted. As of May 16, outdoor fires are again permissible in Ontario; however the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) will continue to assess and monitor the situation and place restrictions if necessary. At this time, certain high risk regions and municipalities, including Dryden and the City of Thunder Bay, will continue to observe the fire ban.

Any questions about harvesting should to directed to your Regional MNO Captain of the Hunt.

Volunteers for mask making

The MNO is grateful to recognize the many MNO Citizens who have answered the call for volunteer mask makers, and we continue to request skilled sewers aid in their production and distribution. Those who would like to request a mask or to volunteer to make masks are encouraged to contact their local Community Council Women’s Rep, MNO Women’s Council Regional Rep or email COVIDhelp@metisnation.org.

MNO Summer Youth Program (SYP)

The 2020 MNO Summer Youth Program (SYP) commenced last week, thanks to the dedication of MNO Education and Training staff and new opportunities afforded by video-conferencing technologies. Engaging online platforms like Zoom has allowed for more students than ever before to be accepted into the 2020 summer employment program. Last week, 30 enthusiastic Métis post-secondary students met virtually to begin their orientation to this unique program. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, these students will be working remotely to deliver popular Métis-based culture and history programming. Be sure to follow their journey by regularly checking the MNO website and social media channels for updates!

Métis youth seeking summer employment and employers looking to hire Métis youth should reach out to Rachelle Brunelle, Supervisor of Education and Training branch, at RachelleB@metisnation.org or by cell: 705-529-6175.

 Posted: May 29, 2020

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