MNO welcomes opportunity to work with Province in finalizing the proposed Mining Act
TORONTO, April 30 – Gary Lipinski, President of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) says the proposed legislation aimed at modernizing the Mining Act tabled today by the province of Ontario is a step in the right direction and signalled MNO’s willingness to continue working with the province on this critical piece of legislation.”The goal of the Métis Nation of Ontario in working with the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) on the proposed Mining Act legislation is to create a fair, transparent, consistent and effective process that ensures rights-bearing Métis communities in the province are consulted,” President Lipinski said.
In its submission to the MNDM on modernizing the Mining Act the Métis Nation of Ontario points out that there is no hierarchy of rights in S. 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982 and therefore the Métis must be treated equitably and fairly on consultation and accomodation issues.
President Lipinski added that he is encouraged by the solid commitment made to him by NMDM Minister Michael Gravelle that the message has been received and Métis will be an equal partner in finalizing the Mining Act legislation. That assurance builds on the commitment made by the province in November when it signed the Framework Agreement with the Métis Nation of Ontario.
“The Métis Nation of Ontario is committed to working closely with the Ministry in finalizing the Mining Act legislation and the regulations that will guide its implementation,” President Lipinski said. “The duty to consult and accommodate the Métis is a relatively new concept in Ontario and the MNO must continue its efforts to educate the government and Ontarians about the Métis as a distinct Aboriginal people with a unique culture,” he added.
The MNO has established Regional Consultation Protocols that will ensure effective Métis consultation and accomodation in Ontario. Funding provided by the province through the New Relationship Fund is being channelled toward building capacity at the community level and within MNO to facilitate the additional consultation processes that will be required once the legislation is passed into law.
The Métis are a distinct Aboriginal people with a unique culture, language and heritage who played an instrumental role in shaping Canada, and who work tirelessly to share their culture, traditions and knowledge of the environment with fellow Canadians.
For further information: Joanne Meyer, Director, Intergovernmental Relations, MNO, (416) 977-9881, firstname.lastname@example.org