OTTAWA– Liberal Leader Bob Rae made the following statement today in response to Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence ending her hunger strike:
“I am encouraged that Chief Theresa Spence has decided to end her hunger strike. Chief Spence and those who have joined her fast have helped bring about substantial change, but their cause – however just – should not endanger their lives or their health. Liberals join with Canadians across the country who are deeply committed to carrying on the fight for justice, dignity and reconciliation, and we salute Chief Spence’s courage.
The commitments we are making flow logically from the work of the Charlottetown and Kelowna Accords, numerous Supreme Court of Canada decisions, and our commitments as a country made when we signed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. They represent the strongly held values of the Liberal Party of Canada.
On behalf of our Parliamentary Caucus, I would like to express our party’s continued resolve to work inside and outside Parliament – on a nation-to-nation basis – to address the gross inequalities facing First Nations, from the disparity in education outcomes and poor health to the lack of clean running water and safe housing.”