By its Lack of Action, the Federal Government Endangers the Safety of First Nations; AFNQL Issues a Call for Mobilization

WENDAKE, QC, Feb. 21, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The AFNQL denounces the inaction of the federal government in its refusal to properly support the police services in First Nation communities.

"While Prime Minister Harper identifies himself as the champion for the safety of citizens and communities in Canada, he gravely endangers the safety of communities and citizens of the First Nations", stated Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL. "Once again, a double standard. The safety of the public is important to this government, except when it concerns First Nations", added Chief Picard.

"The Chiefs of our First Nations are very concerned by the alarming and precarious situation of our police services. This situation is caused by the federal minister of Public Safety who refuses to assume his responsibilities and engage in a long-term commitment to support the policing organizations that First Nations created over the past thirty years which we consider as essential services. Eighteen of our community police services are at risk of ceasing their operations by March 31st because the federal minister of Public Safety refuses to give us the response we have been expecting from him for months, if not years. The situation is dangerous and the minister won't admit it. It is totally irresponsible", stated Chief Picard.

Many Chiefs approached the minister but to no avail. They tried to draw his attention to a problem that the minister is quite familiar with. His Department carried out the necessary reviews and recommendations were presented to him, but the minister doesn't seem to take the situation seriously. The Chiefs have therefore decided to go to Ottawa on February 26th and to make their voice heard.

"We are seeking the intervention of the Opposition Parties to try and get the minister to assume his responsibilities. This ought to be clear to all: we will hold the federal minister of Public Safety responsible for the consequences that his failure to act will have on our populations and our communities", concluded Ghislain Picard.

About the AFNQL
The Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is a political organization regrouping 43 Chiefs of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador. www.apnql-afnql.com.

SOURCE: ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS OF QUEBEC AND LABRADOR

For further information:

Mélanie Vincent
(418) 842-5020
(418) 580-4442
apnql@apnql-afnql.com

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ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS OF QUEBEC AND LABRADOR

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