UNION OF ONTARIO INDIANS

UNION OF ONTARIO INDIANS

November 07, 2005 13:49 ET

STATEMENT FROM GRAND COUNCIL CHIEF JOHN BEAUCAGE

NDP Party prepare to vote against government which will lead to early election Attention: Assignment Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor NIPISSING FN (NORTH BAY)--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 7, 2005) - "I have come to understand that the New Democratic Party has rejected a deal with the Liberal Government and the NDP caucus in the House of Commons is prepared to vote against the government which will ultimately lead to an early election. I must strongly protest such a decision as it is not in the best interests of First Nations across Canada" said Anishinabek Grand Council Chief John Beaucage.

"First Nation health and social indicators are once again at a point of credible concern. The best example is the most recent water quality crisis and health issues plaguing Kashechewan First Nation. First Nations are taking a leadership role in calling for changes and improvements to our health and social development, and we have spent significant energy and effort at bringing these issues to the attention of the Prime Minister, Canada's First Ministers and to all Canadians. These efforts include a significant solutions-based strategy that calls for a 10-year plan to improve indicators in Housing, Health, Life-long Learning, Relationships, and Economic Opportunities. This is what is on the agenda for the upcoming First Ministers' Meeting.

"As a senior First Nations representative for the FMM Housing Agenda, I am confident in our cooperative solutions-based plan that will see marked improvements over the next ten years. These improvements include thousands of new housing starts, improved housing program delivery, meeting social housing needs, and a national approach to market-based housing ownership. With the First Ministers Meeting in jeopardy, so are the chances of making landmark improvements to First Nations housing deficit, shortages of units, unsafe homes, health and safety concerns, overcrowding, and unsafe water.

"The First Ministers Meeting is the most significant opportunity that First Nations have to raise these issues at such a high level. This fundamental opportunity and multi-lateral support for our solutions-based plan is unprecedented in Canadian history. This plan is in serious jeopardy.

"The New Democratic Party has always understood the goals, aspirations and needs of First Nations people. We have always counted on the NDP to fight for the necessary health and social changes and investments needed to improve the quality of life for our people.

"A politically-motivated decision of the NDP to support the Bloc and the Conservatives in bringing down the Liberal Governments flies in the face of First Nations goals, and even jeopardizes the NDPs' goals of improving the lives of all Canadians. This unacceptable compromise in your values will ultimately jeopardize the proactive social agenda of you own party.

"I urge you to reconsider any decision that would empower the opposition, and sideline our proactive health and social agenda. I ask you to meet with First Nations leadership to discuss our concerns prior to making such a vital decision.

"Mr. Layton, your decision carries with it our hopes for positive, cooperative change for our First Nations communities."

IN: JUSTICE, MEDIA, POLITICS, SOCIAL

Contact Information

  • Bob Goulais, Executive Assistant to the Grand Council Chief
    Primary Phone: 705-497-9127 ext. 2249
    Secondary Phone: 705-498-5250
    E-mail: goubob@anishinabek.ca