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OTTAWA, Feb. 6, 2014 – Métis National Council President Clément Chartier today expressed his deep disappointment over the new Urban Aboriginal Strategy announced by Federal Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt.
“In cities with the largest Aboriginal population in Canada such as Winnipeg and Edmonton, the Métis are the clear majority of that population, yet once again we are being ignored,” stated President Chartier. “We have elected Métis governments in these cities with a democratic mandate and a proven track record in economic development and job creation that the Harper government has decided to bypass. ”
According to President Chartier, the MNC had initially welcomed the restructuring of UAS to focus on economic programs.
“We even told the previous Minister that if the old bureaucrat-heavy UAS could not be reprofiled for economic development, it should be scrapped and the savings applied to deficit reduction.”
President Chartier added: “Any serious assessment of the situation in the cities on the prairies would have concluded that Métis Nation government was most capable of delivering the program in view of its efficient infrastructure for training, employment, housing and business financing. Instead the federal government has opted for an organization that its own news release recognizes as a provider of cultural-based programs. How is that going to help economic development?”
The MNC represents the Métis Nation in Canada at the national and international levels. The Métis Nation’s homeland includes the 3 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, roughly a quarter of all Aboriginal peoples in the country.
For further information:
Métis National Council
o: (613) 232-3216
c: (613) 297-5193