PCMNO Meetings Held on April 23 and May 7, 2021
PCMNO Meeting Recap | Friday April 23, 2021
The Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario (PCMNO) met via Zoom on April 23, 2021 to review and discuss key items, including Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) investments and investment structures, the MNO Registry, self-government progress, and legal updates. A Telephone Town Hall has been scheduled for May 20th 2021
A recap of the March 12, 2021 PCMNO discussions is available on the MNO website.
MNO President Margaret Froh
MNO President Froh’s update began by welcoming newly appointed PCMNO Senator Garry Laframboise, PCMNO Executive Senator Rene Gravelle, and Chief Financial Officer Ursula D’Angelo. The President also recounted recent events and meetings that had taken place since the March 19, 2021 PCMNO Special Session, including:
- MNO Women’s Council (MNOWC) Women’s Leadership Gathering
- MNO Governance Workshop
- MNO-Canada Collaborative Forum
- Self-Government Negotiations Team meetings
- Finance and Audit Committee meetings
- MNO Regional Communities meetings on Resource Benefit Sharing (RBS) and Regional Implementation Agreements (RIA)
- MNO Council AGMs and Elections
- Telephone Town Halls with MNO Leadership and Citizens
A National Matters update from the President addressed the ongoing litigation and legal actions leveled against the Métis National Council (MNC) and the unilateral actions of President Clément Chartier. This decision to pursue legal action was not taken lightly, but was deemed a necessary next step following the refusal of MNC governance to fulfil its mandate and meet with MNO leadership to address issues in the appropriate forum.
The update also reviewed national level Senior Officials meetings held; budget submissions, and newly announced commitments to Métis communities under the 2021 federal budget.
Several Ministerial meetings have also taken place, including with Minister Marc Miller on the co-development of Indigenous health legislation; and Minister Carolyn Bennett on the status of federal recognition legislation.
Secretary Treasurer Update
Secretary-Treasurer Jo Anne Young
- Review of PCMNO Meeting Minutes for meetings held February 26, March 12, and March 19, 2021
- Review of PCMNO Record of Decisions Chart
- Adopted MNO Executive Committee Meetings shared with PCMNO for transparency and clarity
Group Investments Options
Jack Jamieson, Kain Big Canoe, T.E. Wealth
Representatives from T.E. Wealth met to discuss the MNO Prosperity Trust and the potential to explore opportunities for MNO Regions and communities to take advantage of financial resources and optimize their investment growth. Discussions centered on how the MNO can support Regions by identifying potential structures (such as a “one-pot” approach) and investment policies that serve the unique needs of communities.
The recommendations made will be optional, but participating Regions can benefit from targeted guidance and support that considers the community’s unique financial vision, assets and resources, opportunities, and implementation. Conversations with leadership and Citizens on investment options, including potentially creating a Métis mutual fund, will take place in the near future.
Métis Infinity Trustee Update & Background of MNO Solar
Michael Templeton and Colin Salter, PST and Trustee
Métis Infinity Trust independent trustees provided the PCMNO with background on the MNO solar projects; which included its origins, funding and partnerships, relationship to the MNO and Infinity Trust, and the adaptation of its organizational structures as the project has evolved.
Métis Infinity Investments Update
Scott Patles-Richardson, CEO Métis Infinity Investments
Following the report from Trustees, Scott Patles-Richardson, CEO of Métis Infinity Investments, presented an update on MNO’s economic development arm, Métis Infinity Investments, and project partners –including MNO Solar. The presentation reviewed and discussed
- Existing investment structures and how it benefits the MNO
- Commercialization of agreements, such as IBAs and MOUs
- Building capacity and with a focus on employing Métis Citizens
- Generating net profits/aggregate capital to be redeployed into growing the portfolio
- Review “active companies” such as Red Lake Plumbing and Heating; Infinity Equipment Rentals; Moncrief Construction; and other partnerships
As the MNO advances self-government, having a source of income and own source revenue will be a pillar of self-government. Economic development plays a key part in nation building, and will ensure funds continue to flow to programs for Citizens, education, infrastructure, and other similar supports and services.
Secretary Treasurer Jo Anne Young; MNO Director of Finance, Mary Jessop; and Bob Plamondon
Statement of Operations (Q3- for the period ended Dec 31, 2020).
- Standardized way of reporting to provide leadership a sense of financials that is detailed yet high-level and easy to understand
- Template developed to address unique (dual) needs of MNO as an organization; MNO as service provider AND government.
- Summary level broken into Governance, Programs, and Enabling Functions
- Expenses identified range from salaries/benefits, program costs, support for individuals and families; MNO Communities, workshops, and monitoring, evaluation and learning; among others
- Proposed template to serves as a financial tool for MNO leadership that is understandable, useful and thorough; and assists PCMNO and budget holders in making informed decisions when carrying out their duties
Finance and Audit Committee, Proposed Resolutions
The MNO Finance and Audit Committee recommended the PCMNO approve the following three resolutions, including; two “Infinity Trust Draft Resolutions” on 1) Appointment of Trustees, 2) Banking Resolution to Appoint Signatories; and 3) the Appointment of Secretariat Signatories for banking purposes with TD Canada Trust.
Regional Bank Accounts
Jason Madden and Ajay Winterburn, PST
Under the MGRSA, the MNO has reiterated the commitment to governance at the provincial, regional and local level. It is recognized that capacity, structures and support must be enhanced and built to support the autonomy, authority and responsibility that will exist at all levels of government. The PCMNO discussed potential models and options to continue to push down and flow funding regionally and locally during this critical capacity building stage. Discussions focused on the potential for establishing regional bank accounts as a mechanism and discussions involved:
- Region designates Community Councils to administer funding
- Region designates MNO administration administers funding
- MNO Region pursue Interim Regional Incorporation
The PCMNO also reviewed and discussed:
- A briefing note prepared by legal counsel on the opening of regional bank accounts
- Who would serve as signatories to accounts, and the role of the MNO
- Recommended solutions to mitigate potential liabilities promote accountability and transparency to citizens
- How this funding mechanism could be used as a model for other agreements (IBA, RBS)
- How these accounts would be complemented by MNO policies and procedures
While a resolution was prepared regarding the opening of regional bank accounts, the decision to approve the resolution was tabled so further discussions could be held. It was emphasized that the concept of regional bank accounts was being explored and outlined as an additional option for Regions and Councils to explore and was in no way being prescribed or implemented as a mandatory next step.
Following the PCMNO meeting a special session was scheduled with the Regional Councillors to go into further detail and address additional questions. The Regional Councillors were also encouraged to share and discuss the memo about the option of regional bank accounts with their Community Councils.
- Secretary-Treasurer and Director of Finance provided a briefing note to PCMNO on adjustments to travel expense claim rates, and PCMNO passed a resolution approving these changes
- As a follow up matter to an Expression of Interest that was circulated, posted on the MNO website seeking applicants for a Chief Electoral Officer position to oversee MNO Community Council elections as per MNO Electoral Code the PCMNO appointed Paul Devillers.
PCMNO Meeting Recap | Friday May 7, 2021
The Provisional Council of the Métis Nation of Ontario (PCMNO) met via Zoom on May 7, 2021 to review and discuss key items, including Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) strategic planning processes; a draft 2021-22 budget; PCMNO portfolio appointments; MNO Advisory Council and Branch reports; and the MNO Registry, self-government progress, and legal updates. A Telephone Town Hall with leadership has been scheduled for May 20, 2021.
MNO President Margaret Froh
In her President’s Update, MNO President Froh commented on the many milestones that have been achieved by the MNO over the years, including at the provincial, regional and local levels. In her update, the President referenced the
- Over 24,000 registered MNO Citizens
- 315 MNO staff members
- Ongoing building of capacity within the MNO; including appointment of Chief Financial Officer and multiple new hires to support MNO regions in advancing self-government
- $7.5 Million in direct support distributed to Métis families since beginning of pandemic
- Aided over 1,800 Métis children
It was confirmed that the Interim Fiscal Financing Agreement (IFFA), which will assist in building a solid foundation for Métis self-government, has been provided by Canada and that in accordance with a past resolution there is still work to come for PCMNO to consider and approve an allocation plan. Reference was also made to federal recognition legislation that is detailed in Chapter 4 of the MNO’s Metis Self Government and Recognition Agreement (MGRSA) as an important step in giving effect to the agreement and which has been part of the process for all Indigenous Self-Government Agreements.
The MNO continues to advance self-government work across its regions, including the Region 4 Huron-Superior Regional Métis Community and the recent signing of their Regional Implementation Agreement (RIA).
At a national-level, the MNO senior officials continue meeting weekly with counterparts within Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA), Métis Nation Saskatchewan (MN-S), and Métis Nation of British Columbia (MNBC) to talk about commons goals and issues as each collectively works to push for change within the Métis National Council. And, it was emphasized that as has always been the case the MNO continues to make every effort to work with every other Métis government to address shared goals keeping in mind that the priority is to advance in the best interests of families and communities in Ontario.
It was reported that MNO was made aware that MNC did indeed make a separate budget submission to Canada. And that in spite of the ongoing extreme dysfunction of MNC and complete lack of proper engagement with its governing members Canada has confirmed that MNO will be part of any distinctions-based budget commitments; including the federal budget and future Covid-19 funding supports.
Métis Rules of Order & Code of Conduct
MNO Chair Hank Rowlinson and Vice-Chair Sharon Cadeau
The PCMNO heard a verbal report on the work to update the Métis Rules of Order, which provides guidelines around interactions in meetings and strengthening within the MNO leadership at all levels a culture of respect. The Rules of Order were brought to PCMNO in March 2021 for review and feedback; and future engagement sessions are to be scheduled with MNO regional and local leadership, community councils, captains of the hunt and advisory councils for additional feedback and discussion.
Strategic Plan Project Introduction
MNO Chair Hank Rowlinson and MNO President Froh
As the MNO advances self-government, a strong strategic planning process that fully engages the MNO secretariat and leadership is necessary. Establishing a strategic planning process will allow MNO to identify its vision and mission; while considering and analyzing the MNO’s unique strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges.
A high level overview of this important work will ensure PCMNO can understand and set direction for next few years, including identifying key strategic priorities and objectives, so that operational plans can be developed and implemented. Discussions included supporting Regions and Councils in their strategic planning conversations and how these processes can be envisioned to have involvement and the voices of all Citizens included in future plans.
2021-2022 Draft Budget
Secretary-Treasurer Jo Anne Yong and Chief Financial Officer Ursula D’Angelo
Following the development of a reporting template framework (raised and discussed at the previous PCMNO meeting), the Chief Financial Officer presented on strategic initiatives, and financial plans for the allocation of funds/resources in delivering MNO programs and services, and governance. The presentation on the draft 2021-22 budget,
- Addressed the purpose of the budget, and summarized how governance, support services, and programs are funded
- Provided a breakdown of the 2021-22 budget process, and how future processes will incorporate strategic planning goals
- Reviewed funding agreements with Canada, Ontario, proponents and other partners
- Also reviewed funding distribution ($92.7 M, includes $7.2 M for Covid funding)
- Reviewed financial oversight, transparency and accountability, and contractual obligations
- Emphasized importance of financial literacy within leadership to fulfil duties and meet MNO goals
Two Requests for Action were directed that
1) Staff schedule training workshops for PCMNO on reading of financial statements, budgets and audits; and
2) Finance and Audit Committee review requests from PCMNO to understand needs and provide an update report and recommendations to PCMNO relating to:
a) Quarterly Financial Statements
b) Quarterly report on MNO 135 programs and services and financial breakdown
PCMNO Portfolio Appointments
A presentation was provided to the PCMNO introducing the topic of portfolio appointments (also known as provincial secretaries), how key files align with the interests of PCMNO, and the considerations around recommendations that had been provided through the Governance Compensation Framework. The Finance and Audit Committee were tasked with reviewing this in more detail at their next meeting.
As the MNO is building capacity at local and regional levels, the appointment of a series of key portfolios is a strategic and important step in building capacity and advancing key priorities. Future discussions will clarify the roles and responsibilities of portfolio holders and relationships to MNO staff; and how positions may be supported.
PCMNO Councilor, Advisory Council and Branch Written Reports
Prior to the May 7 PCMNO meeting, update reports were provided by various PCMNO Councilors, MNO Advisory Councils and MNO Branches for a discussion and Q&A period. Included in the reports were updates from:
- PCMNO Councilors for Region 8 Karen Deroucher; and Region 1 Councilor Theresa Stenlund
- Written Reports from MNO Branches:
- Healing & Wellness; including Métis Resource Home Recruitment
- Mental Health and Addictions; Justice Program and Covid-19 activities
- Information and Communications Technology
- Self-Government Update
- Education and Training
- Housing and Infrastructure
- Lands, Resources and Consultations
- Intergovernmental Relations; including an audit of IR staff and activities
- MNO Women’s Council (MNOWC) Leadership Gathering Report; and MNO Veterans Council (MNOVC)
Additional discussions took place on data being collected by Registry on Citizens and use of services; and how this data could be used to inform decisions at the PCMNO level. A Request for Action was made for staff to confirm whether a future MNO Registry Branch update can include data on the number of people who applied for support/services and were either not eligible or there was no program/service to meet the request.
A Telephone Town Hall with MNO Leadership was held May 20, 2021