Shortly after the Prime Minister’s announcement of Bernard Valcourt, Member of Parliament of Madawaska-Restigouche (New Brunswick), as the new Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, the Minister telephoned President Chartier and it was agreed to meet as soon as possible to maintain the momentum on Métis Nation issues.
During the meeting held earlier today, President Chartier provided an overview of the Métis Nation and its governance through the Métis National Council. He also briefed Minister Valcourt on the engagement and achievements of the Métis Nation and the Government of Canada under the Métis Nation Protocol, the basis of the relationship since its signing in 2008. They discussed the upcoming signing of the Governance and Finance Accord and the renewal of the Métis Nation Protocol.
President Chartier and the Minister also discussed the Métis Economic Development Symposium (MEDS) process between the Métis Nation leadership and federal and provincial governments, from Ontario to British Columbia and the commitment from the 2011 MEDSII to have their respective officials reporting back to principals with a draft national Métis economic development strategy in 2013.
“I was very encouraged by Minister Valcourt’s openness and interest in working with the Métis Nation and his commitment to continue working with the Métis National Council on the renewal of the Métis Nation Protocol, and through it, the relationship between the Métis Nation and the government of Canada“ stated President Chartier.
Vice-President Chartrand who also participated in the meeting stated:“ The Minister was quite receptive to our message that the Métis Nation is keen on doing business. Having served years back as a Minister who took a lead role in kickstarting some of our key economic development engines like capital corporations, he is well qualified to assume the Ministry and I look forward to working with him.”