While weekly Telephone Town Halls were postponed during the 2020 Election period, the MNO is continuing to provide updates to Citizens on recent and relevant developments. Town Halls are expected to resume and will be announced in the near future. If you have any questions, please contact: ElizabethH@metisnation.org.

MNO Election 2020 – The Votes Are In!

On June 1, the MNO Chief Electoral Officer officially declared the results of the 2020 MNO Election. We are pleased to welcome the following new and returning members to the 2020 Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario (PCMNO):

List of Elected Candidates (PCMNO)

  • Margaret Froh elected President of PCMNO
  • Hank Rowlinson elected Chair of PCMNO
  • Sharon Cadeau elected Vice Chair of PCMNO
  • Jo Anne Young elected Secretary-Treasurer of PCMNO
  • Tim Sinclair elected Region 2 Regional Councilor, PCMNO
  • Jacques Picotte elected Regional Councilor, Region 3, PCMNO
  • Mitchell Case elected Region 4 Regional Councilor, PCMNO
  • Andrew Dufrane elected Region 6 Regional Councilor, PCMNO
  • David Dusome elected Region 7 Regional Councilor, PCMNO
  • Peter Rivers elected Region 9 Regional Councilor, PCMNO

List of Acclaimed Candidates (PCMNO)

  • Theresa Stenlund acclaimed Region 1 Regional Councillor, PCMNO
  • Roger Rose acclaimed Region 5 Regional Councillor, PCMNO
  • Karen Derocher acclaimed Region 8 Regional Councillor, PCMNO
  • Hannah Bazinet acclaimed Post-Secondary Representative, PCMNO
  • Jordyn Playne acclaimed Youth Representative, PCMNO

Results for MNO Youth Council (MNOYC)

  • Samantha Picotte, Region 3 Youth Representative
  • Janna Rose, Region 5 Youth Representative
  • Jeffery Dusome, Region 6 Youth Representative
  • Dalton Latondress, Region 7 Youth Representative
  • Paige Coture, Region 8 Youth Representative

Results for MNO Veterans Council (MNOVC)

  • Brian Black, President
  • Lisa Tessier, Women’s Representative
  • Douglas Woods, Sergeant at Arms

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this election period came with its own unique challenges. To better facilitate this year’s online and telephone voting process, the MNO enlisted an independent, Indigenous-owned, third-party election services company, OneFeather, to assist in the election. Please refer to this document to view a full list of Certified Election Results provided by OneFeather.

Thank you to all of our Citizens that made their voices heard and voted in this election. For more on this year’s election view this link.

Ontario enters Stage 2 of reopening

The Ontario government has extended its emergency orders to June 30, 2020 a decision the province maintains is key to protecting Ontarians as the province begins to safely reopen.

However, the Ontario government has recently announced it is moving into Stage 2 and will be easing certain restrictions. As of June 12, some Ontario businesses and employees will be able to return to work, additional public recreational spaces will reopen, and places of worship observing social distancing will be allowed. The number of individuals allowed at social gatherings will also increase from five to ten. The decision was made in consultation with health officials, and took into consideration factors like lower levels of transmission, increased capacity in hospitals, and wider available testing.

For more information, including which regions will be entering Stage 2 and what businesses will be allowed to reopen, see this link.

Federal and Provincial COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP)

  • Ontario will invest $9 million to support consumers struggling to pay their energy bills during the pandemic.
  • CEAP will provide one-time payments to consumers to help pay down any electricity bill debt incurred over the COVID 19 period.
  • Applications will be available through local utilities in the upcoming months

COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program for Small Business

  • Ontario is investing $8 million to support businesses struggling with bill payments as a result of the outbreak

Disconnection ban on energy extended

  • The Ontario Energy Board will extend the winter disconnection ban until July 31, 2020 to ensure no one is disconnected from their natural gas or electricity service during these uncertain times.
  • Additionally, the government recently announced that it will continue the suspension of time-of-use (TOU) electricity rates
  • Starting on June 1, 2020, customers will be billed based on a new fixed COVID-19 Recovery Rate of 12.8 cents per kilowatt hour.

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.
  • *Businesses that are renters in Parks Canada places are not eligible for the CECRA program because they, or in some cases their landlord, are on federal lands renting from a federal agency. COVID-19 Supports for these businesses will be announced in the near future.

Métis Emergency Business Financing

  • The Métis Voyageur Development Fund (MVDF), with investments from the Government of Canada, is providing new financial supports for small and medium Ontario Métis businesses impacted by COVID-19
  • New MEBF program offers short-term, interest-free loans and non-repayable contributions up to $40,000 to qualifying businesses (includes past and current clients of MVDF).
  • Find additional details on the MEBF program including eligibility at this link. More information can also be found on the MVDF webpage: MVDF.ca.

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


Update on MNO Emergency Supports

The MNO continues to offer a suite of emergency support programs to Métis citizens and families affected by COVID-19 – including the recently introduced Special Needs Support Program. Supports available through the MNO range from Income Relief, Rent Relief, Food Security, Family Supports (including the new Special Needs Support Program), and Technology Funds.

As of June 8, the MNO has received 1,863 individual applications for financial support. The MNO has provided emergency supports to more than 640 Métis citizens. The MNO’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Team reports that the number of Métis children benefiting from these programs has also increased to 736, with many families now eligible for additional financial support to help those caring for children with special needs. Many applications are still in progress.

A total of $1,280,577 has been mobilized as emergency supports across MNO communities.

All individuals with questions or concerns related to COVID-19 are encouraged to contact the MNO’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Team by phone 1-800-263-4889or email COVIDhelp@metisnation.org.


Reopening of Ontario parks

As of June 1, the Ontario government is gradually reintroducing recreational camping in Ontario Parks and on Crown land to allow more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, while staying safe and practicing physical distancing. Backcountry camping is available at Ontario Parks, including access points, paddle and portage routes and hiking trails. Additionally, Ontario Parks will be expanding day-use activities to include picnicking and off-leash pet areas.

Drive-in theatres and batting cages are also now open in Ontario.


Harvesting during COVID-19

The MNO urges its Citizens and Harvesters 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 – this increases to ten persons or less as of Jun 12, 2020 for those communities falling into Stage 2 of the Ontario Government’s reopening guidelines.

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.

For more information on Restricted Fire Zones and where Ontario has placed restrictions see this page.

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

MNO Summer Youth Program (SYP)*

The MNO’s Summer Youth Program is now entering its third week with 28 Métis students divided into six regionally-based teams. Despite the pandemic, these enthusiastic students are adapting well to the team-based virtual environment and are embracing novel opportunities to learn and share Métis culture and history. The students are taking full advantage of available technologies as they channel their collective and individual creativity into projects and programming.

New to this year will be the production of “Métis Minutes,” short informational videos modeled after the Canadian Heritage series, but created by the youth to highlight aspects of Métis history and culture. In addition to this series, the students will be producing instructional videos to educate communities on traditional Métis arts, such as finger-weaving, embroidery and more.

Be a part of their journey by regularly checking the MNO’s website and social media channels for updates!

* Note that Métis youth seeking summer employment and employers looking to hire Métis youth should reach out to MNO Education and Training at RachelleB@metisnation.org or by cell: 705-529-6175.

Volunteers for mask making

Despite the improving weather and gradual reopening of Ontario spaces, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to place significant pressure on many families and communities across the province. At this time, we continue to seek volunteers to aid in the creation and distribution of masks and other necessary supplies.

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.

Community Councils and Zoom

During the Coronavirus pandemic, technology has no doubt played a significant role in how we maintain connections with our loved ones, communities and collegues. Video-conferencing is becoming a new norm and a popular vehicle for remote work communications for many organizations, including the MNO. To ensure that MNO staff and Community Councils are able to keep the necessary lines of communication open, easy, and accessible, Zoom accounts have been made available to any interested party.

If you are unfamiliar with how Zoom works, don’t worry. The MNO’s Information & Communication Technology Team has put together a helpful How-to-Zoom Guide to walk you through the process.

Posted June 12, 2020