Canadian Budget 2021: A Métis Woman’s Perspective

OTTAWA, ON, April 19, 2021 /CNW/ – President Melanie Omeniho, of Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak / Women of the Métis…

OTTAWA, ON, April 19, 2021 /CNW/ – President Melanie Omeniho, of Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak / Women of the Métis Nation applauds the investments geared toward Women and Girls, and distinctions-based investment in the lives of Métis Women and their families, who have been disproportionately impacted by the global pandemic. In her affirmation of Minister Chrystia Freeland’s first federal budget, President Omeniho stated, «We wish to congratulate Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland on her historic budget submission today, the first budget presented by a female Finance Minister in Canadian History. This budget assertively invests in improving the wellness, lives, and safety of Métis women and girls, as we address key issues such as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, anti-Indigenous racism in Canadian health care, distinctions-based mental health and wellness, and the need for Métis women to participate fully in a pandemic-impacted Canadian Economy. «.

Of note, the Canadian Government has committed to responding to the tragedy of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The government is accelerating work on the National Action Plan in response to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ Calls for Justice and the implementation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action. Budget 2021 proposes to invest an additional $2.2 billion over five years, beginning in 2021-22, and $160.9 million ongoing, to help build a safer, stronger, and more inclusive society. The National Métis sub-committee has been working on a distinctions-based Métis-lensed approach to the National Action Plan since August of 2020.

Budget 2021 prioritizes the establishment of a Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care System, which will support Métis women and families to more affordably manage their childcare needs. This investment will aim to reduce fees for parents with children in regulated childcare by 50 per cent on average, by 2022, with a goal of reaching $10 per day on average by 2026, everywhere outside of Quebec. Budget 2021 will invest almost $30 billion over the next five years and provide permanent ongoing funding, working with provincial and territorial, and Indigenous partners to support quality, not-for-profit child care, and ensuring the needs of early childhood educators are at the heart of the system. 

President Omeniho is a long-standing advisory committee member in the creation of the first-ever National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence, which this budget confirms is moving forward. This plan will focus on ensuring that anyone facing gender-based violence has reliable and timely access to protection and services, no matter where they live. Budget 2021 proposes to invest $601.3 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, to advance this plan. An additional 55 million was announced for Indigenous women for gender-based violence prevention.

SOURCE Les Femmes Michif Otipemisiwak