THUNDER BAY – Politics – Ontario’s new Premier Designate Wynne is gaining comments from leaders across the province. Ontario Regional Chief Stan Beardy has congratulated Premier-Designate Kathleen Wynne on her successful bid to lead the Liberal Party of Ontario.
“Premier-Designate Wynne has proven to be a leader in dealing with tough issues as a cabinet Minister responsible for Transportation, Education and Aboriginal Affairs. I look forward to continuing to work with her and this government on the many challenges that we must address,” stated the Regional Chief.
Premier-Desigate Wynne Must deal with fundamental issues
Regional Chief Beardy indicates that many of the fundamental issues that First Nations and Governments must work together to address involve the Treaty relationship and issues related to Treaty implementation such as resource revenue sharing, health and education. The Idle No More movement that has galvanized thousands of First Nation and non-First Nation people across the country has made clear that a fundamental shift in the First Nation-Government relationship is necessary and that First Nation citizens expect tangible progress on the basic issues that affect their lives.
“The key issues that we must address often involve both levels of government and as a result the First Nations in Ontario want to see the Ontario government engaged and ready to work with us to see progress on improving the First Nations-Government relationship and in the full and fair implementation of the Treaties,” commented Regional Chief Beardy.
Anishinabek Nation Hopeful
Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee is hopeful that Kathleen Wynne’s cabinet experience will lend a sense of urgency to Ontario’s approach to First Nations issues.
“Premier Wynne has been the Minister of Education and Aboriginal Affairs, so she has some insight about our priorities,” says Grand Council Chief Madahbee. “We respect her grasp of the issues.” Madahbee says Ontario needs to demonstrate to First Nations that it is a committed partner in closing the funding gaps in First Nations child welfare and education, and in using resource revenue‐sharing to help First Nation communities become self‐sustaining. We are willing to support any of the new premier’s efforts to achieve progress for our people.”