QUEEN’S PARK - During question period Wednesday, Sol Mamakwa, the Official Opposition Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation critic, called on Doug Ford to honour Treaty and Aboriginal rights and include First Nations in economic recovery activities.
“First Nations have been clear: it is disrespectful to bury legislation that affects our rights and our Treaty lands in omnibus bills like Bill 197,” said Mamakwa, NDP MPP for Kiiwetinoong.
“It is very disappointing that while First Nations have prioritized keeping communities safe during this pandemic, the Ford government felt it was an appropriate time to pass an omnibus bill violating constitutionally protected Indigenous and Treaty rights.
“Why does this government conduct itself in a manner that disrespects and dishonours the Treaty relationship?”
Mamakwa said Ford failed to consult First Nations communities in Kiiwetinoong affected by his changes to legislation, and called on Doug Ford to act honourably to ensure that all First Nations can participate in Ontario’s economic recovery activities.
“Most of the communities in my riding are still in lockdown. They could not participate fully in any consultation exercises – if there was any- while this pandemic is happening,” said Mamakwa.
“As a Treaty partner, this government must learn to respect the Treaty relationship before it is damaged beyond repair. Economic recovery from the effects of COVID-19 should not exclude First Nations and should not come at the expense of our Treaty rights and the land.”