MONTREAL, June 14, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The Chiefs of the Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL), gathered in assembly, forcefully denounce the Harper government's Bill C-38. The Chiefs condemn the legislation which is a major negation of the Crown's obligations towards First Nations, and more specifically of the obligation to accommodate the First Nations after a meaningful consultation.
"On last January 24th, during a meeting which was meant to be historic, with Chiefs from all over the country, Prime Minister Harper made a formal commitment to renewing the fundamental relationship between the Crown and the First Nations. Following the tabling of this Bill, the question arises as to whether he is serious", stated Ghislain Picard, the Regional Chief of the AFNQL.
The Chiefs are particularly concerned that the Conservative government, through its "steamroller tactics", is not playing by the rules and respects nothing, including the most basic rights of First Nations and the most formal responsibilities of the Crown.
"On last January 24th, the Chiefs believed in the Prime Minister's commitment. They accepted to work on the basis of mutual respect with him and his government for a meaningful renewal of the relation between the First Nations and the Crown, which they have been seeking for decades. The Chiefs now have every right to hold the Prime Minister of Canada accountable for this commitment, and ask if he is still prepared to honor his word?", concluded the Chief of the AFNQL.
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