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Manitoba Metis Federation Calls for Metis Perspective in Provincial Pre-Budget Consultations

October 14, 2016

Winnipeg, MB – In response to the call for Manitoba residents’ input on provincial pre-budget consultations, the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is urging Métis Citizens across the province to engage with the Government of Manitoba and provide a Métis perspective on where our hardworking taxpayers’ money should be invested. Among the many areas of high importance to the Manitoba Métis, the MMF has identified four high-level areas for Métis Citizens to bring forward as possible discussion topics:

Education

The population of Métis Youth is one of the fastest growing sectors in Manitoba - meaning access to education is a growing demand that will continue to increase. Rising tuition costs and lack of appropriate funds for tuition and related expenses cause difficulties for many Métis Youth and their families to meet education and training needs. More education opportunities will result in higher employment rates leading to a solid economy and stronger Métis families and villages. In conjunction with this, there needs to be a focus on more Métis programming in primary and secondary schools as well as post-secondary institutions that recognize and honour our Métis contribution to the founding and building of the province of Manitoba.   

Health Care

A report done in 2016 found a lack of financial support for Métis health care and health care workers. Another report, “Profile of Metis Health Status And Healthcare Utilization In Manitoba: A Population-Based Study”, written by the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy with the Manitoba Metis Federation’s participation, showed Métis Citizens are nearly 35% more likely to have diabetes than other Manitobans. Métis Citizens in Manitoba also have the highest mortality rate compared to other Manitobans. Ensuring the Métis in Manitoba have greater access to healthcare and culturally sensitive and appropriate health programs is a priority to deal with these alarming health issues.

Sustainable Development

Climate change is affecting our traditional way of life by impacting the environment, including affecting the numbers of fish and wildlife in Manitoba. These changes will impact our traditional transportation routes and access to our villages, hunting and fishing territories. Métis fishers make up a majority of the provincial fishing industry. In strategies affecting sustainable development, our experience and knowledge as Métis harvesters and workers on the land must be considered. We must invest in ways that will conserve and protect our way of life for future generations to come, including green technology for economic opportunities and environmental sustainability. The Manitoba Métis welcome the opportunity for meaningful partnerships with the province and others in advancing sustainable initiatives and developing meaningful economic opportunities in Manitoba.

Housing

Access to affordable, high-quality housing is crucial for helping ensure the stability and success for Métis Citizens and all Manitobans. Affordable housing allows families to maintain a good quality of life, hold jobs, and put down roots. Good housing for families is a key investment for bringing about better health, education, and economic conditions. Affordable housing in our communities establishes a strong, stable foundation for all families to ensure our children grow healthy, happy and secure.

 “The Métis are hardworking taxpayers in this province, and as taxpayers we must have a say in how our tax dollars are invested in Manitoba,” said MMF President David Chartrand. “As Citizens of Manitoba’s Métis Community, I encourage you to take this opportunity to clearly and strongly state our high priority areas to the provincial government. To see better provincial investments made with Manitoba’s Métis in mind, our voices must be heard. Our input will help shape the way our tax dollars are invested in ways that will benefit us, our Métis children and families, and all Manitobans.”

The MMF encourages Manitoba’s Métis Citizens to take this opportunity to tell the provincial government where they would like their hard earned taxes to be invested and assert which sectors are most important to them. Métis Citizens can participate in pre-budget discussions by sharing their ideas in writing with both Manitoba’s Minster of Finance, Hon. Cameron Friesen, and their local MLA. A listing of MLAs can be found by visiting http://www.gov.mb.ca/legislature/members/mla_list_alphabetical.html.

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016.

Métis Citizens can also find more information and access resources for the pre-budget consultation process by visiting mmf.mb.ca/prov_prebudget_2016.php

 

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Believe in Yourself; Believe in Métis.

 

The Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) is the official democratic and self-governing political representative for the Métis Nation’s Manitoba Métis Community. The Manitoba Métis are Canada’s Negotiating Partner in Confederation and the Founders of the Province of Manitoba.

 

Winnipeg – once known as the Red River Settlement – is the Birthplace of the Métis Nation and the Heart of the Métis Nation Homeland.

 

For media information, please contact:

 

Jonathan Hamel

Director of Communications, Manitoba Metis Federation

 

Phone:             (204) 586-8474 ext. 324

Cell:                 (204) 806-4752

Email:              jonathan.hamel@mmf.mb.ca


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