THUNDER BAY – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Stan Beardy says once again the Premier of Ontario is expressing his lack of commitment to make Aboriginal Affairs in Ontario a priority. Today, Premier McGuinty announced his newest Cabinet which consists of one Minister responsible for both Municipal Affairs and Housing, and Aboriginal Affairs.
“It is blatantly obvious that once again, Premier McGuinty is expressing his very little regard for Aboriginal Affairs and working to resolve concerns by First Nations people in Ontario, as he does not see the merit of having a stand-alone minister responsible for working with us,” said NAN Grand Chief Stan Beardy.
“With the enormous potential for development in the North, First Nations are now – more than ever demanding their Treaty and Aboriginal rights be respected when dealing with matters affecting their homelands but Premier McGuinty continues to disregard those rights. It’s essential that there be a Cabinet minister at the Ontario level fully dedicated to work with us to create a mutually beneficial relationship,” added the Grand Chief. “Kathleen Wynne is now the Minister responsible for Municipal Affairs and Housing as well as being responsible for the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs. As stated in the recommendations from Ipperwash, a Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs should have a dedicated minister and its own deputy Minister”.