QUEEN’S PARK – Kenora MPP Sarah Campbell has started her job representing the people of her riding in the Ontario Legislature. Campbell has already stood in the Legislature to ask her first question.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): New question. The member for Welland.
Ms. Sarah Campbell: Kenora–Rainy River. To the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs: Last week, we heard that another First Nation community, KI First Nation, walked away from talks with the province after the Minister of Northern Development and Mines couldn’t reassure the community that it would hold back a gold mining company from exploring on their lands until full consultation had taken place. Once again, this points to the Ontario government’s shortcoming to set clear guidelines for consultation with regard to exploration on traditional lands.
When will this government consult with First Nations as equal partners?
Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: I want to congratulate the member on her election. I look forward to working with her. And to the Speaker, congratulations.
First of all, I want to say that we are the government that established a stand-alone Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs. We are the government that has engaged in government-to-government conversations. We are the government that has established a working relationship with First Nations around the province. My general response to the member—and I will speak to the specifics—is that we remain committed to a respectful, ongoing discussion with the aboriginal people of this province, one that we began when we were elected in 2003, and we will continue to this day.
Mr. Gilles Bisson: On a point of order, Mr. Speaker: For the record, it was the member from Kenora–Rainy River, not the member from Welland.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): You stole my thunder because I had some corrections to make at the end of the wrap-up, so I will be making those. Thank you very much.