In a Telephone Town Hall held on Wednesday, March 18 well over 100 participants were updated about how the MNO is moving forward to address COVID-19 to continue to deliver important programs and services to citizens, families, and communities. Their concerns about ensuring that our citizens are supported throughout the pandemic were heard loud and clear. Our goal is - as always - to ensure the health and well-being of our MNO citizens, our communities, and our staff. Here are some of the highlights and follow up that have come out of this week’s Town Hall.
Programs and Services
The MNO is monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely and making timely decisions based on the best information available. This includes the decision to direct all MNO staff to work remotely. Thanks to technology, we are able to continue to provide the majority of programs and services with minimal disruption. For more information about how to access MNO programs and services visit the MNO Website's COVID-19 Update Page.
Federal, Provincial, Municipal and Other Supports
MNO staff have pulled together the announcements made by various levels of government this week and created COVID-19 Support Fact Sheets for ease of reference by MNO citizens and communities. These will be maintained on the MNO Website and continuously updated with information as announcements are made. Should councils become aware of local announcements that you think citizens in your local areas should be aware of please forward that information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Web-Based Communications & Support for Councils
The MNO will be supporting councils to stay connected with fellow council members and citizens through purchasing council Zoom accounts where requested. This will help our council members keep in touch with each other to ensure our councils stay connected and are able to provide the help our citizens need. Citizens can reach out to their Community Council, Regional Councillors, and any member of PCMNO to bring forward questions or ideas on continuing to keep our communities connected. And, at any time, email us at email@example.com for help.
Accessing Provincial and Federal COVID-19 Supports
The MNO will be receiving funding under both provincial and federal government programs to support our families and communities. Access to some provincial funding is already being organized and federal government funding will flow directly between Canada and Métis Governments across the Métis Nation. We are in discussions with both the province and the Government of Canada to get these funds flowing as quickly as possible to support our citizens and communities in a wide range of areas from accessing food, medicine, medical transportation, protective gear, and other household supplies to other forms of economic relief for citizens who require it due to job loss, etc. MNO staff will also be working to provide supports to citizens wherever possible to help them access other programs and supports being offered directly by the province and the Government of Canada.
MNO Secretariat and Councils - Working Together to Support Citizens
It will take collaboration and clear communication across the MNO to mobilize our resources to ensure none of our citizens fall through the cracks. Many of our councils are already working to identify volunteers to help with local community needs. We will also mobilize MNO staff to reach out and check in on citizens, especially our elders and those who are more vulnerable to the challenges this situation poses. The MNO is asking councils that are interested and able to identify one member of council that would be the council’s key contact for local volunteer coordination and communication that would be helpful as we coordinate moving forward.
Those councils that are interested, please identify an email address for your account and send your request to MNO Community Relations. We fully recognize and value that many of you are maintaining full-time work on top of caring for your families but anyone interested in volunteering to help should contact their councillor. If you are aware of any citizens requiring help immediately, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can connect them to the supports they need.
While we know that MNO community offices are extremely important to bringing together citizens and community members that utilize our programs and services at this time it is imperative that we find new ways to connect and come together. Our offices are currently closed to the public and are only being accessed for specific essential operational requirements by staff at off-peak hours. As a result, our staff are available on a remote basis for the time being.
“These are unprecedented times. On behalf of all of MNO citizens, I want to thank you all again for your continued leadership and commitment to our communities,” said MNO President Margaret Froh, “Please do take care of yourselves and your families – practice social distancing, wash frequently used surfaces continuously, and don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. We are all in this together, and with strong communication and collaboration we will support each other through these challenging times.”
The next Telephone Town Hall for all MNO Councils is scheduled for Wednesday March 25, 2020 at 7 pm EST. Further details will be coming soon.
Posted: March 23, 2020 Updated: March 27, 2020