OTTAWA, June 21 /CNW Telbec/ - The Government of Ontario has given notice
that it will not appeal the decision of Justice Greg Rodgers on June 12, 2007
to stay the charges of Marc Laurin, Roger Lemieux and Shaun Lemiex, three
Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) Harvesters who were charged with illegal fishing
in their traditional harvesting territory south of Sudbury, Ontario.
"This is a major step in the Métis Hunt for Justice", said MNO President,
Tony Belcourt. "It means our people, in all of our Traditional Harvesting
Territories in Ontario, can hunt and fish for food or for ceremonial purposes
without the horrible specter of being charged by Conservation Officers of the
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) for exercising their rights. We
welcome the decision by the Government to respect the MNO-MNR Harvesting
Agreement" Mr. Belcourt concluded.
MNO Chair, Gary Lipinski said, "We now look forward to entering a new era
with the Government of Ontario. Now that the MNO-MNR Harvesting Agreement is
being fully honoured, we need to get back to the negotiation table to
undertake our mutual obligations. We also need to get on with other important
issues that are priorities for the Métis people, including, ensuring that
Ontario is fulfilling its consultation obligations to our communities,
increasing Métis access to forestry and other economic development
opportunities and to resource-revenue sharing."
The Métis are a distinct Aboriginal people with a unique culture,
language and heritage, and with an ancestral Homeland that centres around
Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, parts of the
Northwest Territories, as well as the northwestern United States. The Métis
played an instrumental role in the shaping of Canada, and work tirelessly to
share their culture, music, traditions and knowledge of the environment with
their fellow Canadians. Today, the Métis live, work, raise their families and
pay taxes in communities all across Canada.
For further information:
For further information: Katelin Peltier, MNO Acting Manager of
Communications, Cell (613) 859-7130, firstname.lastname@example.org; Avery
Hargreaves, MNO Communications Assistant, Cell: (613) 294-1148,