The Métis Nation welcomes the passing of Bill C-292: An Act to implement the Kelowna Accord



    OTTAWA, March 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The Métis National Council is pleased to
see that Bill C-292, which is of highest significance to the Métis Nation,
passed third reading last night in the House of Commons. Bill C-292: An Act to
implement the Kelowna Accord will now head to the Senate for royal ascent.
    In November 2005, the historic First Ministers' Meeting on Aboriginal
Issues was held in Kelowna, B.C., representing the culmination of almost two
years of hard work by federal, provincial, territorial and Aboriginal
leadership.
    All parties vowed to bridge the gap between Aboriginal peoples and other
Canadians within a decade, by committing substantial investments to health,
education, housing, and economic opportunities. The commitments made at this
meeting became known as the Kelowna Accord.
    If passed by the Senate, the legislated Bill C-292 will become the
Kelowna Accord Implementation Act, signifying support by all opposition
parties towards the commitments made to Aboriginal Canadians.
    "The Kelowna Accord will mean the difference between continuing the cycle
of poverty and desperation to one of real hope. The agreement will help to
bring our people out of poverty by creating jobs, securing health care and
education opportunities," President of the Métis National Council Clément
Chartier says.
    "I am deeply proud of this bill's passing in the House of Commons, as the
Kelowna Accord represents the greatest commitment ever shown to the Métis
Nation," President Chartier adds.
    The MNC would like to thank the Right Honourable Paul Martin for
sponsoring this Private Member's bill, and firmly standing behind it, thus
showing his dedicated support for the specific challenges facing the Métis
Nation.
    Regardless of Bill C-292's passing, being a Private Members' bill it does
not compel the government to fund the commitments of the Kelowna Accord. The
Métis National Council urges all Canadians to show solidarity with Aboriginal
peoples and press the government to implement the commitments of the Kelowna
Accord.
    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 ext. 124, (613) 232-3216, zoranv@metisnation.ca


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