OTTAWA – Leaders Ledger – The first nations of northwestern Ontario are concerned that their rights have been trampled by Bill C-45, the government’s omnibus budget bill. Concerns include leasing of reserve land, on-reserve voting rights and scrapping the Navigable Waters Protection Act, which reduced protection of millions of our lakes and rivers to less than 200.
No longer protected are northwestern Ontario rivers like the Kaministiquia, or the Nipigon River, home of the largest speckled trout in the world.
Chiefs point out the Prime Minister promised that his government would never approve unilateral changes to the Indian Act.
They are right.
The government has not adequately consulted with first nations. However, neither has the Prime Minister consulted with scientists, academics, small businesses, Canadian workers, NGOs, provincial premiers, or Parliament, including his own backbenchers, so first nations chiefs are in good company.
The PM does seem to consult frequently and widely with CEOs of banks, foreign oil companies and dictators of communist countries.
Bruce Hyer MP
Thunder Bay Superior North