By Miranda Leybourne
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The province’s decision to recognize Manitoba Metis Federation citizenship cards as a primary form of identification when purchasing liquor, cannabis and gaming products in Manitoba is being lauded as a positive step forward by the federation.
Allowing MMF citizens to use their citizenship cards will remove barriers for them to access those products and services, Premier Heather Stefanson said in a press release issued late Thursday afternoon.
David Chartrand, president of the Manitoba Metis Federation, said the move speaks to the more bold and open position Stefanson has led the Manitoba Progressive Conservatives in since taking over from Brian Pallister in November 2021.
“It’s about time that this position was taken up by a premier,” Chartrand told the Sun. “I hope this is just the beginning.”
The MMF, also known as the National Government of the Red River Metis, is recognized as a self-governing body through an agreement with the federal government. MMF citizenship cards include security elements such as holographic images and the photo, birth date and other verifiable information of the holder.
“We spent a lot of time and a lot of money to show that these cards are very secure,” Chartrand said. “There’s all types of protections that we’ve built around them.”
The cards are also recognized by Elections Canada and Elections Manitoba.
Stefanson’s decision to recognize the cards in the scope of the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba marks an end to what Chartrand calls a discriminatory policy of MMF citizenship cards being disregarded.
“We thank Premier Stefanson for her efforts to remedy this discrimination,” he said.
The LGCA will update its regulations in the coming months to recognize the cards, the press release said, and staff at licensed establishments will be trained to recognize them.
Miranda Leybourne is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter with the
BRANDON SUN. The LJI program is federally funded. Turtle Island News does not receive LJI funding.