Bill C-21 - The AFNQL asks for a year's delay

    WENDAKE, QC, Nov. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - The Assembly of First Nations of
Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL) is deeply disappointed that the federal government
has opted to reintroduce a bill largely unchanged from Bill C-44 from the last
Parliament. Bill C-44 was debated at the Standing Committee on Aboriginal
Affairs last spring where it heard from the First Nations that Canada's
Constitution obliges that any Federal initiative that impacts the rights of
the First Nations must first be discussed with us and is subject to our
consent. Bill C-21, like Bill C-44 before it, will affect our rights and
neither the consultation nor the consent has occurred.
    The AFNQL works hard to maintain an attitude of respect toward the
Federal Government when that element essential to good relations is not
reciprocated. As leaders of modern First Nations planning well into the future
for the well being of our peoples we are almost incredulous that we must face
such repeated insults by Canada to our status as nations and to our collective
    The AFNQL hereby repeats its position presented to the Standing Committee
in spring 2007, that has two basic elements: " Delay the bill for a year to
allow for proper consultations with First Nations and provide adequate funds
to First Nations so that we can properly evaluate its effects and to develop
sound means to mitigate any possible harm to our collective rights ", states
the AFNQL Chief, Ghislain Picard.

    The Assembly of First Nations of Québec and Labrador is the Chiefs of the
First Nations of Québec and Labrador regional organization.

For further information:

For further information: Alain Garon, Communications Officer, AFNQL,
(418) 842-5020, Cellular: (418) 956-5720

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