WENDAKE, QC, May 9, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - After the release of Auditor General Michael Ferguson's findings on the Federal First Nations Policing Program earlier this week, that essentially underscored the urgent need for greater access, transparency, safe facilities and comparable levels of services in the program, a growing concern is emerging about the federal government's strategy to issue ultimatums to First Nations that they meet "the standards expected from a police service" or forfeit their funding. "It is extremely troubling that Canada would issue such a threat, when it comes to the safety of our people and the resources required to provide policing services for our members. In non-aboriginal Canada, these services are considered to be essential. Why are they viewed differently when it comes to our First Nation communities?" declared AFNQL Chief Ghislain Picard.
Earlier this week the Auditor General presented its report. His conclusions were that the First Nations Policing Program was dysfunctional and is much worse than policing in the rest of the country although there is no evidence of mismanagement or incompetence on the part of First Nations.
In many areas, such as education, policing and child welfare, the federal government's seriously flawed approach has been denounced over and over and continues to be challenged by First Nations leaders across Canada and at the international level. "I would like to thank the Auditor General for shedding light on yet another issue involving the inequities and unequal treatment of First Nations in this country. Why is it that in 2014, we still have to fight for equity in a country like Canada? The federal government sets us up for failure," added Chief Ghislain Picard.
"Moreover, this move on the part of the Canadian government confirms as it does in Bill C-33, its continued attempt to find a way out from any liability or accountability when it comes to First Nations" added Chief Picard. "This is an all too familiar approach by Canada to try to leave First Nations on their own, by fleeing from its most fundamental obligations. For a country that claims to provide security and safety for all, these results are very disturbing" concluded the AFNQL Chief.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the political organization regrouping 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