WENDAKE, QC, March 13, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) added its voice to that of many First Nation leaders and Aboriginal organizations' who oppose Bill C-51 the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015. "Once again, the federal government has failed in its fundamental duty to consult our peoples by introducing a Bill which could infringe on our Aboriginal and Treaty Rights" said Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL, who believes, as several have said until now, that Bill C-51, if passed, could too easily criminalize actions that denounce the backward policies of the Conservative Government.
Why raise the spectre of a terrorist threat when this government is the one that trivializes terror that girls and women of our Nations have been living in for too long? "The Harper Government wants to be seen as the defender of victims, promoters of safety of communities and citizens, except if these victims are Aboriginal girls and women; except if these communities and these citizens are First Nations. In this case, we must rather speak of the negligence of this government. Its stubbornness to neglect the issue of our missing and murdered women, its stubbornness to ignore public safety and policing in our communities generate a persistent sense of insecurity among First Nations and greatly undermine the confidence of First Nations toward this Government, which uses double standards when it comes to us, stated Chief Picard.
Bill C-51 of the Conservative government seeks, among others, to provide excessive additional police powers that could be abused without any oversight, in situations involving First Nations members.
"What constitutes a terrorist threat for Stephen Harper's government? As our confidence in this government is at its lowest, it would be justified to believe that First Nations who protest to defend their aboriginal title, Aboriginal and Treaty Rights, rights that this same Conservative government continues to infringe upon on a daily basis, could easily be targeted as terrorist by C-51," adds Chief Picard.
The AFNQL intends to submit a position to the Chiefs of First Nations of Quebec-Labrador confirming its opposition to Bill C-51, the Anti-terrorism Act 2015.
About the AFNQL
The Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the 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, [email protected], Cell. : 418-580-4442