Carol Hughes on Water Issues and First Nations

by NationTalk on March 2, 20091073 Views

NEWS RELEASE

CAROL HUGHES, MP
ALGOMA-MANITOULIN-KAPUSKASING

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Government ignoring consultation process on water issues for First Nations: Hughes

OTTAWA – The Conservative government is ignoring Supreme Court rulings about consultation and accommodation, preconditions of the Expert Panel on Safe Drinking Water as well as many elements of the Royal Commission of Aboriginal Peoples as it deals with the crisis in safe drinking water for First Nations communities, Carol Hughes asserted in Question Period yesterday.“First Nations are critical of this and are looking for a process that reconciles their mutual interest and objectives. The current approach will not work,” said Hughes.

Hughes says that First Nations are not being brought into the discussions as was expected, but are instead being forced to watch as the government forges ahead with very little to no input from those communities that have the largest stake in the issue.

Hughes asked: “Why is this government proceeding with this guise of consultation with First Nations when they seem to have already decided the remedy for First Nations without any real consultation?”

Engagement session from Indian Affairs and Northern Affairs Canada seem to have been rigged to come up with a predetermined outcome and are not so much a consultation as they are a prescription.

The government seems to prefer a legislative framework over meaningful consultation that can lead to action.

Meanwhile these communities wait for the resource gap to be filled so they can forge ahead and deal with these basic health issues.

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