Calls On Federal Government To Help Solve Land Claims
QUEEN'S PARK, June 21 /CNW/ - The Ontario government will now have a
stand-alone Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs to build a stronger relationship
with Aboriginal people and speed up the resolution of outstanding issues, said
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty.
"We have to roll up our sleeves and do the hard work of building trust
and forging a more productive relationship with Aboriginal people - because we
know from the past that confrontation doesn't work," said Premier McGuinty.
"This new ministry will work with First Nations leaders to carry out Justice
Linden's recommendations so we can move forward, together, in creating a
higher quality of life for everyone in Ontario."
Minister Ramsay becomes Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, in addition to
his duties as Natural Resources Minister. The new ministry is a significant
and symbolic step that reflects the importance of developing a stronger,
broader partnership with Ontario's Aboriginal people. It will have its own
deputy minister and dedicated resources.
It will :
- Work with the federal government on a new process that would
expedite land claims here in Ontario
- Launch a New Relationship Fund, which will help Aboriginal
communities strengthen their skills and resources to work more
seamlessly with governments, and
- Work towards resolving the future use of Ipperwash Park by the end
of the year -- together with First Nations, local residents and
the federal government -- in a way that is fair, transparent and
Since October 2003, the McGuinty government has been implementing change
to deliver better health care, education, economic opportunities and justice
for Aboriginal people by working together in Ontario's New Approach to
"Ontario is committed to working with Aboriginal people to build the
trust and mutual respect that leads to real progress," said Premier McGuinty.
"As we move forward, we'll continue calling on the federal government to
assume its responsibilities to resolve long-standing land claims, strengthen
the relationship with Aboriginal communities and help us build a higher
quality of life for Aboriginal people and all Ontarians."
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For further information:
For further information: Premier's Media Office, (416) 314-8975