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MNO President Gary Lipinski
March 5, 2016 (Toronto, ON) ¡ª Today, after over two decades of holding political offices within the M¨¦tis Nation of Ontario (MNO) and two successful terms in the MNO¡¯s highest elected office, MNO President Gary Lipinski announced that he will not be seeking re-election in the 2016 MNO Elections. President Lipinski made the announcement at the final meeting of the Provisional Council of the MNO (PCMNO) before the MNO Elections scheduled for May 2016.
¡°Eight years ago, I was elected as President on a platform that committed to advancing M¨¦tis rights, improving the quality of life of Ontario M¨¦tis children, youth families and communities and stabilizing and strengthening the MNO¡¯s finances, accountability and administration. Today, I take great pride in the successes and results we have achieved in all of these areas. Some we could not have even imagined in 2008. I take even more pride in the fact that we did all this by working¡ªtogether,¡± said President Lipinski.
In presenting his final State of the Nation report to the PCMNO, President Lipinski highlighted just some of the MNO achievements over his mandates:
President Lipinski also highlighted the unanimous passage as the MNO Secretariat Act by the Ontario Legislature in December 2015 as one of his proudest moments. ¡°It was quite something to sit in the place that once put a bounty on Louis Riel¡¯s head and see all political parties support this historic legislation. We have now ensured that the MNO¡¯s mandate to represent its citizens and communities with respect to our collective rights will never be questioned by future governments.¡±
¡°In our recent community information sessions, we repeatedly heard from those who have been a part of building the MNO since the beginning just how important this legislative recognition was. It was a watershed moment for our people and I am gratified that the next generation will not need to face the same struggles and denials we previously faced as Ontario M¨¦tis,¡± said President Lipinski.
In closing, President Lipinski emphasized that he was most pleased with the efforts the MNO has made in ensuring M¨¦tis youth can be all they can be. ¡°Over my mandates, the increased successes and participation of our young people¡ªat all levels of the MNO and within society as a whole¡ªhas warmed my heart the most. Further, the fact that more and more M¨¦tis youth want to learn about their history, culture and assist in the MNO¡¯s nation-building project allows me to retire knowing that we are in good hands going forward.¡±
President Lipinski personally thanked all MNO staff as well as current and past leadership at the Community Councils level and at PCMNO, including, the current MNO Executive (France Picotte, Tim Pile, Sharon McBride and Senator Reta Gordon) for their hard work and support over the years. President Lipinski also once again acknowledged the leadership of Doug Wilson (MNO¡¯s long-serving Chief Operating Officer who is retiring at the end of the month) and Margaret Froh, MNO¡¯s Associate Chief Operating Officer, in building the M¨¦tis public service and making the MNO one of the most accountable Aboriginal governments in the country.
¡°It has truly been an honour to represent Ontario M¨¦tis over my mandates. On behalf of my wife Dianne and daughter Rachel, we will treasure the friendships and experiences we have made forever. I look forward to seeing the next elected MNO President build on the solid foundation we have built by working¡ªtogether,¡± concluded President Lipinski.
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