Bob Nault – Statement: It’s time to make reconciliation a reality

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Kenora MP Bob Nault
Kenora MP Bob Nault
Kenora MP Bob Nault
Kenora MP Bob Nault

By Bob Nault MP

OTTAWA – I was very pleased to hear the Prime Minister of Canada voice his commitment to recognition and implementation of the rights of Indigenous people through the development of an Indigenous Rights National Framework. This will guide all future government relations and interactions with Canada’s Indigenous peoples which is long overdue.

I believe that this is truly a step in the right direction and I am pleased that the National engagement process led by the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, will be done in full partnership and consultation with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis People.

To put this in context, last summer, as I do each summer, I toured many of the 42 First Nations in the Kenora riding, speaking with Chiefs and Councils about their priorities and on-going concerns. Their priorities look similar to those I heard during my first tour as MP back in 1988:  housing, water, healthcare, education, and roads.

Clean water, healthcare, and education are just a few of the areas where we are falling short on our commitment to Indigenous peoples across the country. There needs to be a shift in the way we think about reconciliation – we need to put real, tangible substance behind our words, broaden the conversation, and set a true direction towards the ultimate goal of equality. I have been talking about this issue since entering federal politics and I will continue to talk about it until we see real action on this file: there needs to be a change in our system, necessary change that was recognized by the Prime Minister yesterday, a change that allows for real Indigenous success.

I believe that this Prime Minister understands the urgency and I have faith that his words mean action starting now.

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Bob Nault is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Kenora, where he serves 53 communities, including 42 First Nations. As one of the largest geographical ridings in the country, Kenora encompasses one third of Ontario’s land mass, and is approximately the same size as France. Bob was first elected in 1988 and ran successfully afterwards in 1993, 1997, and 2000, furthermore serving as the Member of Parliament for Kenora-Rainy River for over sixteen years. He was the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development from 1999-2003, and is a former Kenora City Councillor.