Métis Nation has "Deep Misgivings" on Canada's Economic Action Plan

    OTTAWA, Feb. 2 /CNW Telbec/ - The leadership of the Métis Nation at a
meeting held on Friday, January 30th expressed deep misgivings with the 2009
Federal Budget and will be seeking assurances from Prime Minister Stephen
Harper that Métis Nation citizens will benefit from Canada's Economic Action
Plan. After undertaking a detailed analysis of the budget plan, President
Clément Chartier and the Presidents of the provincial Métis governments from
Ontario-westward found a distressing absence of any Métis-specific economic
stimulus opportunities.
    "While the Federal Government has committed over $20 Billion in economic
stimulus, nothing was set aside for Métis communities or Métis Nation
citizens", said Chartier.
    Of the $1.4 Billion in new spending for Aboriginal peoples in the 2009
Federal Budget, $1.2-billion is set aside exclusively for First Nations and
Inuit. The Métis are eligible to participate in the $200-million committed to
Aboriginal skills and employment training but even here none of these dollars
have been committed specifically for Métis.
    Chartier reaffirmed the desire of the Métis Nation to work with the
federal government and Parliament to strengthen the economy for Métis Nation
citizens and all Canadians.
    "My office has received some preliminary assurances from the government
that elements of our Métis Nation Economic Stimulus Proposal can be addressed
both within and outside the budget but I will be seeking clarification from
the Prime Minister on where specifically we will access stimulus funding."
    The Métis National Council submitted a Métis Nation Economic Stimulus
Proposal as part of the pre-budget consultations. It called for much needed
Métis-specific investment in social housing, education and skills development,
and for additional support to businesses and entrepreneurs. The proposal was
based on short-term, "shovel-ready" initiatives which would have had
significant economic stimulus for Métis and all Canadians.
    "The Métis Nation set out a reasonable and fiscally responsible proposal
for ways the Federal Government could strengthen our people's efforts through
these turbulent economic times," said Chartier.

For further information:

For further information: Greg Taylor, MNC Communications, (613)
296-9263, gregt@metisnation.ca

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