MNO welcomes opportunity to work with Province in finalizing the proposed Mining Act



    TORONTO, April 30 /CNW/ - 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:

For further information: Joanne Meyer, Director, Intergovernmental
Relations, MNO, (416) 977-9881, joannem@metisnation.org


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