Federal Ministers led by the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations, and the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services Canada, met with the leadership of the Métis Nation in the third ministerial meeting under the Canada-Métis Nation Accord. The Accord is the Métis Nation’s component of the Permanent Bilateral Mechanism announced by the Prime Minister in December 2016. This process establishes regular meetings between the Crown and the Métis Nation to co-develop policy on shared priorities and monitor progress going forward.
Today’s meeting provided an opportunity for Ministers and Métis Nation Presidents to discuss the implementation of the Métis Nation investments in federal Budget 2018 related to the Year 1 priorities of employment and training, housing and early learning and child care. In the matter of the $450 million Budget allocation for the Métis Nation over 10 years for early learning and child care, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development joined Métis Nation Minister of Social Development David Chartrand in a review of the steady progress being made toward the release of those funds.
The Ministers and Métis Nation leaders also reviewed the progress that has been made on Year 2 priorities under the Canada-Métis Nation Accord. Minister Philpott and Métis Nation Education Minister Glen McCallum reviewed the work on post-secondary education which has led to a co-developed proposal for post-secondary education support for Métis students. Minister Philpott and Métis Nation Health Minister Clara Morin Dal Col looked at the progress being made on Métis Nation child and family services which will figure in the federal government’s proposed legislation in this area. They were joined by the federal Minister of Health, Ginette Pettipas Taylor, in a discussion of the significant strides that been made in the co-development of a proposal for achieving equity in a Métis Nation health policy.
Economic development was the focus of President Chartier who is also the Métis Nation’s Minister of Economic Development, Minister Philpott, Minister of Natural Resources Amarjeet Sohi, and Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation, Science and Economic Development David Lametti. Minister Bennett and President Chartier also reviewed the work on the recognition and implementation of an Indigenous Rights Framework which the Métis Nation strongly supports.
“We are definitely advancing on the priorities under the Canada-Métis Nation Accord”, said President Chartier. “There has been real progress in most areas and a few stumbling blocks, particularly in the area of economic development but the federal Ministers are showing good faith in trying to work out solutions to problems where they occur. This is what the Permanent Bilateral Mechanism is all about.”