BEACONSFIELD, QC, June 11, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - The MNA for Jacques-Cartier and Minister responsible for Native Affairs, Geoffrey Kelley, announced that he will not seek a new mandate on October 1st and he is ready to start a new chapter after a twenty-four year career, during which, in particular, he served as Minister responsible for Native Affairs, and represented the residents of the riding of Jacques-Cartier for seven consecutive mandates.
Minister Kelley will be leaving his position with the confidence that the mission has been accomplished. Three major achievements have made him particularly proud. As Chair of the National Assembly's Social Affairs Committee (from May 25, 2007 to November 5, 2008) he presided over public hearings throughout Quebec which produced a report which was published in June 2008 and which was entitled "Le phénomène de l'itinérance au Québec". Secondly, as Chair of the Assembly's Health and Social Services Committee, (from September 15, 2009 to February 3, 2011), he led a non-partisan committee, the Special Committee on the Question of Dying with Dignity, which tabled in the Assembly a report entitled "Pour une bonification des soins palliatifs et une option de plus pour des cas de souffrances exceptionnelles". This report was the first of its kind in Canada. Finally, in his capacity as Minister responsible for Native Affairs, Mr. Kelley, in June 2017, launched the Plan d'action social et culturel pour les Premières Nations et les Inuits 2017-2022, an innovative plan which is in conformity with the nation to nation relationship that the Government of Quebec wishes to continue to pursue with the Inuit and First Nations.
Minister Kelley acknowledges that there is still much work to be done to improve the quality of life in Indigenous communities, but he is confident that our society is on the right track. He is encouraged by numerous concrete examples of progress – particularly, the adoption by the National Assembly of Bills 99 and 113, and a historic youth protection agreement with the Atikamekw Nation. These are major improvements which will ensure greater respect for the autonomy of Indigenous communities. He is convinced that by continuing to cooperate and collaborate with Indigenous peoples, we will be able to continue on the path of reconciliation, in pursuit of the ultimate goal of improving the quality of First Nations and Inuit peoples.
A teacher by profession, Geoffrey Kelley has always felt a personal connection to education files. He firmly believes that education is essential in order to offer young people, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, a future that fulfills their aspirations. Throughout his years in public life, Mr. Kelley has been an ardent defender of the interests of the Anglophone community, devoting a great deal of attention to issues affecting this community.
"After a period of deep reflection, I am announcing today that I am ready to start a new chapter in my professional and personal life. For almost 30 years, I have been working on behalf of my fellow citizens, both in the marvellous riding of Jacques-Cartier and in the Indigenous communities. I cannot find words to explain how proud I have been to represent you. I have been inspired throughout my career by the passion to effect societal change, the motivation to move forward on issues that are important to you, and the opportunity to work with exceptional people.
I would like to thank Premier Philippe Couillard, my colleagues in the National Assembly, and all the members of my team who have worked with me over the years. I am looking forward to a slower pace of life, and spending more time with my wife, Judy, my five children, and my four grandchildren. To my family – you were always at the heart of my public life, and the last thirty years would simply not have been possible without your unconditional support," concluded Mr. Kelley.
SOURCE Cabinet du ministre responsable des Affaires autochtones