Ray Laliberte candidate for MN-S presidency

Ray Laliberte

by Phil Ambroziak

A need for change and a desire to give back are among Raymond Laliberte’s reasons for seeking the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan presidency.

Laliberte, who was born and raised in Buffalo Narrows, recently announced his candidacy for the role, and remains confident he will be successful come the May 30 MN-S election.

“I want to lead the Métis Nation into 2012 and throughout the next term – I’m in it to win it,” he said.

To date, Laliberte is the third candidate to put his name forward. Others include Beauval resident Alex Maurice and incumbent Robert Doucette. Laliberte believes his understanding of Métis government and his appreciation for community will weigh heavily throughout his campaign.

“The majority of my adult life was spent working within the MN-S government as an elected official or within their bureaucracy at the community, region or provincial affiliate offices,” he said. “The theme and focus for my campaign will be Métis rights and community development. This theme encourages and provides recognition and empowerment for Métis elders, women and youth within our northern, rural and urban communities to engage on common issues and benefit through their individual, family and community participation.”

Laliberte, who works in oil exploration, said his decision to run for MN-S president didn’t arise unexpectedly, adding the timing was just right.

“I think timing is everything for a lot of people in their lives,” he said. “I feel now is a time in my life when I have enough experience and the skill level to contribute in a good way.”

Other matters Laliberte views as important include: Métis inherent rights to self-government on a land base; Métis hunting and fishing rights; Métis boarding school compensation; MN-S constitution and governance; government-to-government relationships to address human rights inequalities and social development gaps in the housing, justice, health and education sectors and economic development and self sufficiency.

“This election means a lot to me and to the Métis citizens,” Laliberte continued. “I am grateful our elders put a system in place. It allows everyone to participate. This election is about transparency and accountability, and finding out what each candidate has going forward in terms of finding solutions. We have to build bridges and mend fences in an effort to bring everyone together and to further the vision of the Métis people in Saskatchewan.”

In addition to the MN-S presidential vote, the May 30 election will also decide the executive roles of vice-president, treasurer and secretary, as well as board representatives from regions throughout the province.

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