TORONTO – Early this afternoon, Her Honour the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, delivered the Speech from the Throne opening the first Session of the 42nd Parliament of Ontario.
The Speech from the Throne, while omitting any specific reference to First Nations in Ontario, does provide for the potential in creating a new approach, and building and strengthening First Nations relationships with the new Ontario government.
The speech had much to say on creating a better future for the people of Ontario. First Nations in Ontario wish to also enjoy and participate in the prosperity and wealth creation that the Throne speech indicated. Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald took the opportunity to talk to Premier Ford after the speech, bringing forward the offer of working in partnership on these core economic issues, which was well received by the Premier.
“We look forward to these collaborative partnerships and discussions that surround job creation, trade, and partnerships,” said Regional Chief Archibald. “By focusing our collective efforts to define and achieve a new approach, we will work together to build a stronger economy for all to enjoy… now and for the future.”
The Speech also declared an increase in financial accountability, job protection, with specific intentions on the part of the Ontario Government to provide 15,000 new long-term care beds over the next five years and a historic new $3.8 billion investment in mental health and addictions, including supportive housing.
“First Nations leaders in Ontario welcome the opportunity to work with the Government of Ontario on these much-needed investments in mental health and addictions and supportive housing to help address the challenges and burdens that impact First Nations daily,” stated Regional Chief Archibald.
Regional Chief Archibald was also honoured to have been invited to a private one-on-one sit down with the crown’s representative, Her Honour the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. “I look forward to strengthening the Crown-First Nation relationship, as I’m sure we will have much more to engage on as we move forward.”
“With new beginnings through the new administration both here in the Chiefs of Ontario and the newly elected Premier and Ontario Cabinet, we have a real opportunity to embrace change at this moment and build a strong and respectful relationship,” said the Regional Chief. “I look forward to formally meeting with the new Premier, Cabinet and Chiefs to collaboratively ensure that the opportunities to create a prosperous quality of life for First Nations are a priority.”
Ontario Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald