premierPremier McGuinty at his most recent meeting with MNO officials in June 2012.
(l-r) Aboriginal Affairs Minister Kathleen Wynne, MNO President Gary Lipinski,
MNO Chair France Picotte and Premier McGuinty
(Ottawa, ON) Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) President Gary Lipinski reacted today to the announcement late yesterday that the Right Honourable Dalton McGuinty is stepping down as Premier of Ontario. “Premier McGuinty has dedicated 22 years of his life to the service of the people of Ontario,” stated President Lipinski, “on behalf of the MNO I want to thank him for that service.”

“I have had the opportunity to meet with, and work closely with, Premier McGuinty over the last several years,” explained President Lipinski, “and the Métis people of Ontario saw significant advances during his tenure.”

President Lipinski cited the signing of the MNO-Ontario Framework Agreement in 2008 as pivotal in building the positive relationship between Ontario and the Métis. “The Framework Agreement set the tone for our work with Ontario under Premier McGuinty and led to numerous similar agreements with government ministries, agencies and postsecondary institutions,” said President Lipinski.

“The Premier also played a major role in 2010 being declared the Year of the Métis. It was a historic and proud moment for the Métis to be recognized on the floor of the Legislature and this was indicative of the respect the Premier has always shown the Métis.”

In 2009, the McGuinty government established the Chair for Métis Studies at the University of Ottawa and in 2011 it signed an agreement to provide $30 million dollars of funding over ten years to the Métis Voyageur Development Fund (MVDF). “The kinds of agreements reached with the Ontario government under Premier McGuinty,” stated President Lipinski, “will improve the lives of Métis people in Ontario for many years to come.”

“We are very grateful for all of Premier McGuinity’ s efforts for the Métis and all Ontario citizens,” concluded President Lipinski, “and wish him well in all his future endeavours.”