gary-trudeauMétis Nation of Ontario (MNO) President Gary Lipinski offered his congratulations to Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau for his convincing election victory on October 19.

“We were very pleased that Prime Minister-designate Trudeau addressed important Métis issues during the campaign and are hopeful that his commitment to advancing and achieving reconciliation with the Métis Nation can become a reality,” explained President Lipinski.

In its Métis-specific policy platform, the Liberal Party committed to a renewed “nation-to-nation relationship” with the Métis Nation as well as “establish[ing] a federal claims process that sets out a framework to address Métis rights protected by s. 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, recognize Métis self-government, and resolve outstanding Métis claims against the Crown.” It also committed to “undertak[ing] a collaborative review, in partnership with Métis communities, of existing federal programs and services available to the Métis Nation, to identify gaps and areas where strategic investments are needed in order to improve Métis quality of life” and creating a five-year Métis Economic Development Strategy with an immediate investment of $25 million over five years.

“The MNO looks forward to working together with the new Liberal Government in implementing these Métis-specific commitments, amongst other commitments to Indigenous people, for a stronger Métis Nation and Canada. In particular, the commitment to finally engage in a meaningful process to address Métis rights and claims is a significant breakthrough for our rights-bearing communities here in Ontario,” said President Lipinski.

During the campaign, Prime Minister-designate Trudeau also committed to meeting with the Métis Nation’s leadership on an annual basis in order to ensure a new, collaborative and respectful relationship is built. “We are looking forward to our meetings with the new government,” explained President Lipinski, “as we believe these will provide the opportunity for the Métis Nation and Canada to begin the important work of meaningful reconciliation.”

Published on: October 20, 2015