Kathleen Wynne (left) with MNO President
Gary Lipinski (right) in 2008

(Ottawa – October 21, 2011) Yesterday, Premier Dalton McGuinty announced his new cabinet, which included a new Minister of Aboriginal Affairs (MAA). Kathleen Wynne who previously served as the Minister of Transportation and Minister of Education is the new MAA Minister, taking over from Chris Bentley who moves on to become Minister of Energy. “The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) worked closely with Minister Wynne when she was Minister of Education,” explained MNO President Gary Lipinski, “we found it a very productive relationship as evidenced by the strides Métis people in Ontario have made in the education sector over the last several years.”

The MNO expects the positive relationship between the MNO and the MAA will continue under Minister Wynne. “We enjoyed a strong working relationship with the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs under Ministers Bentley and Duguid, as we did with Minister Wynne when she was Minister of Education,” stated Lipinski. “Collectively, we were able to advance many important issues. We look forward to continuing that type of productive relationship, including building on the commitments in the MNO-Ontario Framework Agreement.”

Based on the direction from the 2011 MNO Annual General Assembly, MNO citizens have identified the ongoing advancement and recognition of Métis rights; accessing economic opportunities for Métis; and Métis inclusion in child and family services as key priorities for the MNO. As well, the MNO will continue to work with the McGuinty Government in order to realize legislation that would recognize Ontario’s Métis and the MNO’s governance structures.

“We look forward to engaging with Minister Wynne and the rest of the McGuinty Government to move forward on our mutual goals and objectives. I have confidence that by working together — we will continue to achieve results for Métis citizens, families and communities in Ontario,” said Lipinski.