Andrew Scheer’s Vision for Canada does not Include Reconciliation

Ottawa, ON – Liberal M.P. , the Hon. Carolyn Bennett, issued the following statement today:

“In December, First Nations Chiefs asked Andrew Scheer what his policy toward the spirit of reconciliation would be. How would he differ from his Conservative predecessors?

“They were not happy to hear his response that they should have patience and wait for his platform.

“Andrew Scheer has now completed his five “major policy speeches,” outlining his party’s next election platform. The word “reconciliation,” was not uttered once.

“His silence on this issue is not only disrespectful, it is totally irresponsible. There are more than 1.6 million First Nations, Inuit and Métis in Canada, and they are the fastest growing population. A “vision” for Canada that does not include a plan to recognize and implement the rights of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis, or to close the socioeconomic gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples is completely unacceptable.

“Meanwhile, Andrew Scheer’s Conservative Senators are blocking Bill C-262, an important piece of legislation that would ensure that Canada’s laws respect the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Since they refuse to let this legislation pass, the Liberal Party will make it part of our election platform this fall.

“Andrew Scheer is applying to be the leader of our country. He has a responsibility to understand the issues facing the First Peoples of this country and work with First Nations, Inuit and Métis in order to come to the table with a real plan to address their priorities.

“Canadians have supported and are working towards a new relationship with indigenous peoples based upon the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership.

“With his final policy speech yesterday, Andrew Scheer has confirmed what Canadians have long suspected: Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples is not part of his Vision for Canada.

“Stephen Harper did not work with Indigenous peoples to advance reconciliation and demonstrated that he thought Ottawa knew best.

“Andrew Scheer has demonstrated that he is no different.”