The Liberal Critic for Indigenous Affairs, Mr. David Birnbaum, hopes that this time the Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Sylvie d’Amours, will seize the opportunity presented by today’s meeting between First Nations and the CAQ government to make firm commitments to implement recommendations from the Viens Report.
Last fall, Mr. François Legault, the Premier of Quebec, offered his apologies to First Nations for discriminations they endured in the past. He then promised to take action by following through on the 142 recommendations made in the Viens Report.
A first working meeting, held on October 17, led to much deception within First Nations. The absence of Premier Legault was also denounced. Since that meeting, there seem to be few advances regarding the implementation of the Viens Report.
The Premier’s absence from this second meeting and the government’s decision to contest Bill C-92, which was announced just before Christmas, casts doubt on how serious the government is taking its relations with First Nations.
Today’s meeting is a great opportunity for the government if it is truly sincere in its willingness to take action.
This is a crucial meeting for the government. Minister D’Amours must demonstrate the government’s good faith with regards to First Nations. Thus far, we get the impression that the CAQ is holding meetings without any real intention of developing a concrete action plan. Above and beyond excuses, there are actions. I hope that the Minister understands the importance of this meeting and will be able to reassure us that this process is being taken seriously.
– David Birnbaum, Liberal Critic for Indigenous Affairs.