OTTAWA – The Speech from the Throne delivered today in the Senate Chambers in Canada’s House of Commons was in effect, short, sweet and to the point. The speech delivered by the Governor General outlines the direction that the Trudeau Liberal Government is heading.
Ontario Regional Chief Day states, “Today’s was the shortest Speech from the Throne in history, only one-third the normal length, however the brevity speaks to this government’s embrace of concrete action particularly with implementing all of Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations, engagement in resource development and moving forward with a MMIW inquiry.
“We recognize that the detailed Ministerial Mandate letters and how much attention was paid today on Indigenous issues are proof that this government finally intends break the mold of decades of broken promises to our Peoples. We look forward to seeing even greater action in this government’s first budget.
“First Nation leaders would not have been invited to witness this speech if the government had not been confident in its ability to deliver on its commitments. It was very significant to have four First Nation leaders in attendance, as well as TRC Commissioner Wilton Littlechild, who has done so much for our Peoples along with Murray Sinclair and Marie Wilson.
“The Throne Speech said it will “cooperatively” implement all recommendations of the TRC and will launch an inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and will make sure each First Nation child receives a quality education. First Nations across Ontario have called for meaningful reforms to environmental approval system and Prime Minister Trudeau’s commitment to doing that in partnership with Indigenous people will mean a more secure economic future.
“One of the most significant moments today was Wikwemikongs’s David Charette’s drum song before the Governor General and Prime Minister as they entered the chambers. Last year, David drummed during a 24-hour vigil on Parliament Hill for Missing and Murdered indigenous Women. His sister is one of those victims.
“Although not in the Throne Speech, First Nations view the elimination of Boiled Water Advisories within five years and removing the 2% cap as priority issues and we will work with the Liberal government on accomplishing these campaign promises.
“We also expect to see more of an official response to what was said today and what has been promised during the election campaign, when Prime Minister Trudeau addresses Chiefs-in-Assembly this coming Tuesday in Gatineau.
“At the end of the day, First Nations will be counting upon billions of dollars in new spending in the federal budget in order to fulfill those commitments. The Speech from the Throne may set the tone for a renewed relationship, but the budget will deliver on securing our rightful place in Canada.”