The 2007 Budget: A Missed Opportunity



    OTTAWA, ON, March 20 /CNW Telbec/ - David Chartrand, President of the
Manitoba Métis Federation and Minister of Finance for the Métis National
Council (MNC), expressed disappointment with the 2007 Federal Budget
announcement by the Honourable Jim Flaherty. President Chartrand explained
that "despite the $11 billion spent on Aboriginal peoples, less than one
percent is for Métis while the vast majority is allocated to First Nations and
Inuit."
    Although the MNC is pleased the hopes and aspirations of certain segments
of Canadian society have been addressed in this budget, the MNC feels there
was a missed opportunity. We do not begrudge meeting the needs of others, but
the MNC is concerned that this budget does not adequately deal with Métis
challenges.
    The government needs to work with the MNC to develop Métis-specific
policies and strategies to overcome the issues faced by the Métis People. As
suggested in the 2007 budget, the MNC agrees that new approaches are needed to
find workable and innovative solutions for the mutual benefit of the Métis and
all Canadians.
    The Conservatives stated they supported the principles resulting from the
Kelowna but were committed to a new approach towards implementing the
agreement and closing the gaps in the areas of health, education, housing, and
economic development. Inadvertently the Métis have been left out of this new
approach.
    "The gap continues to widen between the expectations of Canadians and the
realities of the struggling Métis," said David Chartrand. "Over time this
exclusion will inevitably result in a much wider gap with rising costs to be
borne by future Canadians in future budgets. This is not just a Métis issue -
it is a Canadian issue. We will all pay for this budget's missed opportunity."
    The MNC will be requesting a meeting with the Prime Minister to address
this missed opportunity and seek Métis-specific strategies to ensure a
stronger, safer, better and brighter future in a Canada that includes the
Métis Nation.

    The MNC represents the Métis Nation in Canada at the national and
international level. The Métis Nation's homeland includes the three Prairie
provinces and extends into Ontario, British Columbia, the Northwest
Territories and the northern United States. There are approximately 350,000 -
400,000 Métis Nation citizens in Canada.




For further information:

For further information: Zoran Vidic, Communications Officer, (613)
295-9298, zoranv@metisnation.ca

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Métis National Council

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FEDERAL BUDGET REACTION 2007

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