(March 19, 2019- Ottawa, ON) Finance Minister Bill Morneau tabled the 2019 federal budget today in Parliament, paving the way for significant federal investments in Métis Nation priority areas. Among the highlights of the documents are:
• “$30 million to recognize the contribution of Métis veterans to the country’s Second World War efforts and to commemorate the sacrifices and achievements of all Métis veterans”;
• “A Métis Nation-led post-secondary education strategy consisting of financial assistance for Métis Nations students through an investment of $362.0 million over ten years, and $40.0 million per year ongoing”;
• “$50 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, to enhance the funding of the Métis Capital Corporations to support the start-up and expansion of Métis small and medium-sized enterprises”;
• A new Indigenous Growth Fund of up to $100 million that will allow all Aboriginal Financial Institutions, including Métis Capital Corporations to support more Indigenous entrepreneurs, and more ambitious projects”; and
• “Support for a distinctions-based approach to Indigenous language revitalization projects with $333.7 million over five years to preserve, promote and revitalize Indigenous languages, including Michif, the traditional language spoken by the Métis .
MNC President Chartier welcomed the budget as another important step on the road to reconciliation and reducing the socio-economic gap between the Métis and non-Indigenous Canadians.
“The Métis Nation investments contained in this budget are testimony to the success of the Prime Minister’s Permanent Bilateral Mechanism which in relation to our people takes the form of the Canada-Métis Nation Accord,” said President Chartier. “We work hard and collaboratively with the federal government on the priorities under the Accord and Budget 2019 demonstrates how this work is translated into concrete action and real results for our people.”
“Today our Métis Veterans attained a victory in the battle of respect we have fought for over twenty years,” explained MNC Vice-President and Veterans Affairs Minister David Chartrand. “We have advanced the claims of our Métis Veterans.”
The Budget also addressed the progress being made in the move to Métis self-government, stating:
“Together with the Manitoba Metis Federation, the Government of Canada co-developed a joint action plan to advance reconciliation and improve the social and economic well-being of the Manitoba Métis community, and support the Manitoba Metis Federation’s transition to a self-governing Métis Government. Canada and the Manitoba Metis Federation have committed to work together to reach a self-government agreement that implements the Manitoba Métis community’s vision of self-determination.”
Download Federal Budget 2019 (PDF)