François Legault flies to the rescue of the Minister of Indigenous Affairs

François Legault flies to the rescue of the Minister of Indigenous Affairs

Prime Minister François Legault

Share October 1, 2020 1:14 p.m. Update at 3:37 p.m. Share François Legault flies to the rescue of the Minister of Indigenous Affairs Caroline Plante The Canadian Press Prime Minister François Legault flew to the rescue of his Minister responsible for Indigenous Affairs, Sylvie D 'on Thursday Loves, and assured of giving concrete follow-up to the Viens report.

This report, tabled a year ago, underlines in particular that Aboriginals in Quebec are afraid to seek treatment in hospitals.

He recommends proceeding to their “cultural security” via a legislative change, a recommendation that “has been sleeping” on the minister's desk for a year, believes the PQ member for Joliette, Véronique Hivon.

She said she was living the death hard on Monday at Joliette Hospital of Joyce Echaquan, a mother of seven children victim of denigrating and degrading remarks shortly before her death.

“Everything is there (…) in the Viens report,” Ms. Hivon exclaimed Thursday at a press briefing at the National Assembly. It is inconceivable! It should have been a priority for action. ”


François Legault flies to the rescue of the Minister of Indigenous Affairs

Minister of Indigenous Affairs Sylvie D'Amours Photo library La Presse, Olivier Jean


Flames at the Blue Room

“Is (Minister D'Amours) proud of her record?” Liberal Gregory Kelley asked in the House, before MPs passed two motions in support of aboriginal people.

The Liberals accuse the Legault government of standing idly by and calling for the resignation of Minister D'Amours.

This created sparks at the Salon Bleu, where Ms. D'Amours said she had done more for First Nations in two years than the Liberal Party in 15 years.

Responding to the son of the former Minister of Indigenous Affairs, Geoffrey Kelley, she said in a partisan tone: “He should take a little 5-7 with his father to check what I'm saying.”

Stung, Gregory Kelley replied that his father was always present on the ground, alongside the Aboriginals, unlike the current minister.

Concrete actions

On Wednesday, François Legault seemed to want to calm things down by calling Ms. Echaquan's spouse, as well as the head of the Atikamekw Council of Manawan, Paul-Émile Ottawa, to offer them his condolences.

He declared in the House that his government is taking action on:

  • social housing;
  • translation services;
  • the creation of liaison officer posts;
  • training of public service personnel to combat prejudice;
  • the implementation of culturally safe activities for inmates;
  • respite services;
  • youth protection.

Mr. Legault recalled having set aside $ 200 million in the last budget to improve services to Aboriginal people.

However, he lamented, some Aboriginal nations still refuse to meet with Minister D'Amours because they want to talk directly with the Prime Minister.

“Everyone will understand that I cannot begin to enter into agreements myself with 54 communities,” he said.

“What we want is a partner who comes and sits down with the minister so that we can move forward,” he added, saying that he regularly reads and rereads the recommendations of the Viens report.

According to Quebec solidaire co-spokesperson Manon Massé, the First Nations are right to require the presence of the Prime Minister when signing agreements.

“When it comes to the First Nations, it is with the head of the Quebec state that the” deals “must be made,” she said at a press briefing.

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