Permanent Bilateral Mechanism
MNO Acting President France Picotte (left) with theHonourable Patricia Hajdu (centre) and ManitobaMétis Federation President David Chartrand (right)at the Permanent Bilateral Mechanism meetingon September 21, 2017. Click here for larger picture.
The Canada-Métis Nation Accord that was signed by the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) and the other governing members of the Métis National Council (MNC) on April 13 of this year set up a permanent bilateral process that included a number of regular meetings between Métis Nation leaders and the Prime Minister and/or various federal cabinet ministers. One of these gatherings, the Métis Nation Permanent Bilateral Mechanism Leaders Meeting, took place on September 21 in Ottawa. The MNO was represented at the meeting by Acting MNO President France Picotte.

Attending the meeting, along with the Presidents of all the MNC governing members were Dr. Carolyn Bennett, the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs; Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services; Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development; Patricia Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour; Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health; and Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs.

Discussion at this meeting focused on veterans, housing, early learning and child-care; employment and training; and health.

“I was pleased, on behalf of the Métis Nation of Ontario, to participate today participate in the Métis Nation Permanent Bilateral Mechanism Leaders Meeting,” stated Acting President Picotte. “These meetings demonstrate there is a new relationship between the Crown and the Métis Nation based on recognition, rights and respect. We believe we are now moving forward in the spirit of cooperation and partnership. We will work with the federal government to realize our shared vision of a renewed relationship with the Métis peoples of Canada, for the benefit of all Canadians.”

The permanent bilateral process established in the Canada-Métis Nation Accord includes annual meetings with the Prime Minister, semi-annual meetings with the Minister of Indigenous Affairs and key Cabinet Ministers, and quarterly meetings with various Assistant Deputy Ministers and other senior officials on joint issues of concern to the Métis Nation.

“This kind of accountability and access will significantly advance reconciliation between Canada and the Métis Nation,” stated Acting President Picotte. “The MNO will use these new mechanisms and our exploratory discussions process with the federal government to strengthen our role in improving the lives of Métis people in Ontario. We will continue to work to support Métis community health and well-being; creating opportunity for our Métis children and youth to be the best they can be; protecting and promoting the Métis Way of Life and the environment; advancing the self-sufficiency and sustainability of our nation; and stimulating economic development for our citizens. At the heart of everything that we do are our MNO citizens, families and communities,” said Acting President PIcotte.

Posted: September 22, 2017