WENDAKE, QC, Aug. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - "Even if the Harper government
persists in being called the "new government of Canada" after 18 months of
power, the First Nations are still looking for the novelty in the track record
of that government", stated Chief Picard.
Rather, we observe that the 5 priorities identified by the Harper
government somehow constitute blinkers that block their sight.
"By objecting fiercely to the adoption by the United Nations of the
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, not only does
the Harper government close the door to the First Nations of Canada, but it
jeopardizes the international image of the country" added Chief Picard.
The First Nations are not part of the priorities of the Harper
government. But the fact remains that the priorities of the First Nations are
urgent and tragic: poor living conditions, a very significant negative
imparity with the Canadian population as a whole. Once again, nothing for
Canada to be proud of...
However, the Chief of the AFNQL welcomes with much opening the new
minister of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Mr. Chuck Strahl. "The First
Nations know their priorities and they have concrete solutions. The Chiefs of
Quebec and Labrador will be happy to share it with him on the first given
Chief Ghislain Picard is thankful to Mr. Strahl's predecessor, Jim
Prentice. After a very timid start and following the Socioeconomic Forum held
last year in Mashteuiatsh, Minister Prentice appeared, in fact, to be on the
right path with the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador. "We must see to it
that this attentive ear and openness towards the First Nations of Quebec and
Labrador is also present with the new incumbent of the Department of Indian
and Northern Affairs Canada" concluded Chief Picard.
The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the regional
organization representing the Chiefs of the First Nations of Quebec and
For further information:
For further information: Mr. Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL, (418)