WENDAKE, QC, May 30, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Bill on Mining tabled by
the government of Quebec is offensive to the rights of the First
Nations. The Bill presented by Minister Ouellet completely ignores the
issues relating to the territory and resources that were put forward by
"The Canadian Constitution recognizes rights of the Aboriginal peoples,
not to the MRCs. Whether it likes it or not, the provincial government
must comply with it and fulfill its obligations", stated Ghislain
Picard, Chief of the AFNQL.
"The co-management and the conservation of the territory, the
consultation for the accommodation of the parties, and the sharing of
royalties on the territories, are key issues. We will never give up on
that", added Chief Picard.
These fundamental issues of the First Nations, which the Bill on Mining
completely ignores, have nevertheless been officially presented to the
Premier and to several members of her government, including Minister
Ouellet, at the Summit on territories and resources, held by the AFNQL
in Montreal, last December 3rd. The vast majority of the Quebec Chiefs were in attendance at the
Summit and they called directly on the Premier and the attending
members of her government, on this subject.
"First Nations use all legitimate means available to be heard by the
provincial government. Our issues have been known to all, for decades.
They are reinforced by international declarations, jurisprudence, clear
political positions taken by the government itself: but to no avail.
When the time comes to take action, to take us into account with due
respect for our positions, when time comes to work with us in
developing the territory and its resources in harmony for the
collective good, Quebec hides", states Ghislain Picard.
"After the Summit we held with this government and its Premier, where we
clearly advocated our positions, the current Bill on Mining is another
"I do not doubt the willingness and the sincerity of the Premier. She
will have to get personally involved in the essential and inescapable
process of rapprochement of Quebec and the First Nations on the
development of our territories and our resources. Quebec cannot afford
to neglect any further the issues of the First Nations", concluded
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the political
organization bringing together 43 chiefs of the First Nations in Quebec
and Labrador. www.apnql-afnql.com.
SOURCE: Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador
For further information:
Mélanie Vincent (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cell.: 418 580-4442