(Left to right) Minister of Aboriginal Affairs David Zimmer, MNO Director of
Intergovernmental Relations Joanne Meyer, MNO Chair France Picotte,
Premier Kathleen Wynne, MNO President Gary Lipinski and MNO Associate
Chief Operating Officer Margaret FrohOn December 16 at Queen’s Park in Toronto, an MNO delegation led by President Gary Lipinski and including MNO Chair France Picotte, MNO Associate Chief Operating Officer Margaret Froh, and Joanne Meyer, Director of Intergovernmental Relations, met with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Aboriginal Affairs Minister David Zimmer, Deputy Aboriginal Affairs Minister Deb Richardson as well as Assistant Deputy Ministers Alison Pila, Hillary Thatcher and David Didluck.
These annual MNO-Ontario meetings traditionally take place prior to Christmas and provide both governments the opportunity to review past successes, ongoing cooperation and discuss upcoming areas of common interest. “The positive tone of this meeting, like those of the past, underscores the benefits of working together,” commented President Lipinski.
Key discussion points included the MNO-Ontario Framework Agreement, the latest version of which was signed in 2014 for a five-year term. The annual meeting provided an excellent opportunity to evaluate the progress on its objectives. “The Framework Agreement,” stated President Lipinski, “continues to be the foundation of our strong relationship with Ontario. It outlines clearly where our two governments will collaborate for the benefit of Métis people, families and communities.”
“Working together, the MNO and Ontario have made significant advancements this year under the Framework Agreement, including the recent passage of the Métis Nation of Ontario Secretariat Act, the first ever Métis-specific legislation in Ontario that recognizes the MNO’s unique governance structure. Major advancements for Métis and other Indigenous peoples in Canada were discussed with the Premier, including the launch of the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls, and the Final Report that was issued yesterday by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.”
“As these meetings take place at the highest level,” explained President Lipinski, “they provide the direction necessary to ensure continued progress on a whole range of issues important to Métis in this province. We are very pleased that Ontario continues to recognize the role of the MNO as representing Métis interests in this province.”