Duty of the Crown and Ontario Métis
Based on credible Métis rights assertions and claims throughout Ontario, the provincial government has accommodated Métis rights on a regional basis, within Métis harvesting territories identified by the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO). This accommodation has been held to be legally enforceable by the Ontario Court of Justice in 2007 in R. v. Laurin.
In Métis traditional harvesting territories, the Crown’s duty to consult is triggered when it plans, undertakes or authorizes a policy, project or development that has the potential to affect the rights, interests or way of life of the regional Métis communities that rely on these territories. Industry may undertake procedural aspects of the Crown’s duty, but the duty itself remains solely with the Crown.
The MNO, in partnership with its Community Councils, has established a process to achieve effective consultation with Métis in Ontario. This process requires government or industry to provide written notice to the potentially affected regional rights-bearing Métis communities. Through established Regional Consultation Protocols, the MNO and its Community Councils will undertake an assessment of all consultation requests.
Following this, a response from the regional rights-bearing Métis community will be provided, identifying whether consultation is required, and, if so, how consultation should take place. It is at this point that a formal consultation process would begin.