'Now it's time for the government to start listening' - Macleans.ca

‘Now it’s time for the government to start listening’


A statement from NDP aboriginal affairs critic Jean Crowder.

In recent days we have seen the frustrations from years of failed promises. Prime Minister Stephen Harper heard about these frustrations first-hand from the delegation of Chiefs who met with him this afternoon.

After the Crown-First Nations Gathering last year, many First Nations were hopeful that the Prime Minister would change how he dealt with First Nations issues. And last November, National Chief Shawn Atleo sent a letter to the Prime Minister asking when those commitments would be honoured, because there had been no action. The Prime Minister could have prevented all this if he had followed up on his commitments from last year’s meetings. Instead of respectful dialogue, Conservatives pushed through an omnibus budget bill without ever consulting the First Nations being affected.

In a letter to the Prime Minister before Christmas, our leader, Tom Mulcair, warned Stephen Harper that it was past time to follow through on the commitments, and urged him to act immediately.

In recent days we have witnessed an incredible diversity of First Nations youth, women, leaders and politicians letting all Canadians know that issues like treaty implementation, missing and murdered Aboriginal women, resource sharing, protecting the environment, and poverty eradication need to be given a higher priority by this Conservative government.

The grassroots movement we are witnessing has the potential to unite all Canadians who share these concerns.

Now it’s time for the government to start listening.


‘Now it’s time for the government to start listening’

  1. Good points by the NDP – So Harper is showing his ability to be patient and flexible and listen – then in awhile we willl strike a committe – then in awhile we can get the recomendations – then we can have another meeting to discuss the implementation – in the meantime the PM will be taking care of business as he should !

  2. Harp has screwed this up from Day One in office….and now he’s got a ‘native uprising’ on his hands……NOOOOO sympathy Steve.

    • “A native uprising” you say. I guess you’re referring to the Lobster Thermador strike by Big Chief No FN Invoices. I hate to say it Elmo but I think you’ve been staying up too late watching old Gunsmoke re-runs and waiting for you’re “queries” to come in.

      Harper has only had a majority government, where he could do anything, for 18 months. Previous to that, for 5 years as PM he was hamstrung absolutely by Princess Ignatieff and Jack Layton of the Parliamentay Opposition, who controlled the passage of legislation between them.

      Harper has no Indian vote; during his time in office it’s gone to Princess and Jack. So if this is an uprising you should blame those two clucks. It’s their constituency.

      Now I have no idea what Ignatieff’s thoughts might have been about this but the last thing on Jack’s mind was the FN Indians. He was wholly concentrated on that big rub house in Toronto and the teenagers who staffed the place. And you know it.

  3. The media is all over the fact that chiefs across the country have differing views/ approaches on the big meeting with Harper. Well folks, that’s democracy at work. Unlike Harper and his Conservative MPs, National Chief Atleo doesn’t control every single chief’s move; unlike Harper who even makes sure at the riding level he has to approve the candidates no matter what the members in that riding think, Atleo doesn’t interfere with local First Nation member choices. Yes, there is some lack of consensus here, but Atleo is doing his best to consider all of our voices; unlike Harper who only listens to himself.