Budget 2021 delivers important investments for the Métis Nation of Ontario


[OTTAWA, April 19, 2021] The 2021 Federal Budget was tabled in the House of Commons on April 19, 2021 and will deliver close to $18 billion of investments in Indigenous Peoples and communities. The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) is pleased to see substantial investments that align with MNO development goals and offer additional support to MNO citizens who continue to navigate the pandemic and its impact.

MNO has strongly advocated for new funding in key areas including COVID-19 recovery investments and mental health support. The budget included an announcement of $1.2 billion to continue supporting the COVID-19 response in Indigenous communities, as well as a $598 million commitment over three-years to a distinctions-based Mental Wellness Strategy.

MNO President Margaret Froh noted that “MNO applauds this ongoing commitment to support positive Metis mental health and well-being, and is committed to continue to work with Canada to co-develop distinctions-based health legislation and address the important gap for Métis citizens related to Non-Insured Health Benefits.” While the budget notes significant investments in the Non-Insured Health Benefits Program, there is no mention of Métis in this section. MNO will continue to work with the federal government to seek clarity in areas of the budget where distinctions-based language remains unclear.

In addition to Canada’s renewed commitment to childcare for all Canadians, the additional $2.5 billion investment to enhance the existing distinctions-based approach to Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care will support Métis Nation programming and capacity-building. This will go a long way in improving the quality of life of Métis children and families in Ontario.

MNO is committed to continuing to work alongside the federal government in good faith with the aim of strengthening this important relationship to advance the priorities and interests of Métis communities and citizens in Ontario.

“As signatories to the Canada-Metis Accord in 2017, and a ground-breaking core Self-Government Agreement signed with Canada in 2019, we are heartened to see the government’s continued commitment to Métis self-governance and to closing the gaps for Métis in Ontario,” stated MNO President Froh. “we also welcome Canada’s commitment to co-develop the Action Plan to implement legislation on United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).  These significant investments and commitments to action in today’s budget announcement from Canada represent important progress on this path of reconciliation.”

Other notable investments include:

      • $1.4 billion for the Covid-19 response and recovery through the Indigenous Community Support Fund.
      • $460 million to support language reclamation and revitalization, Indigenous cultural spaces, sport programming for Indigenous women and girls and events to commemorate the legacy of residential schools.
      • $4.3 billion for the distinctions-based Community Infrastructure Fund to support immediate demands and enable Métis citizens to build their capacity and improve their economic status.
      • An additional $2.2 billion over five years, and $160.9 million ongoing investment to address the national tragedy of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and gender-diverse people, anchored in the four interconnected thematic areas of culture, health and wellness, human security and safety, and justice.

Additional information on the 2021 Federal Budget can be found online at https://www.budget.gc.ca/2021/home-accueil-en.html