MNO President Gary Lipinski (left) with the Honourable Dr. Eric Hoskins (right),
Minister of Children and Youth Services
Prior to the 2011 Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Annual General Assembly (AGA) in August, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) released its Children First: Report on the Status of Aboriginal Child Welfare in Ontario. As the Métis were neither consulted on, nor included in the Report, the AGA passed a resolution that the MNO prepare a parallel report on Métis children to supplement the MCYS Report and set up a meeting with the Minister of Children and Youth Services to discuss the lack of Métis perspective in Children First Report.
That meeting took place on March 21st between President Gary Lipinski and Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Children and Youth Services. Although he was not Minister when the Report was released, Dr. Hoskins is very well versed with MNO’s concerns and indicated that he was pleased that the MNO initiated its own Report. The Minister committed to reading the MNO Report, which should be released before Easter, and to considering its contents along with the original MCYS Report.
“This was a very positive outcome for the Métis in Ontario,” stated President Lipinski, “and demonstrates the value of the working relationship the MNO has built with the Ontario government in the last four years. The foundation for this relationship was laid down when we signed the MNO-Ontario Framework Agreement in 2008, and continues to reap benefits for our people today.”
In the spirit of the Framework Agreement both the Minister and President Lipinski agreed that their respective staffs should continue working together starting with at least two of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services’ new strategies: Children and Youth Mental Health and Addictions as well as the new Youth Framework Strategy.