(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, B.C. – October 7, 2015) The NDP released a strong commitment to Indigenous communities today, calling for a new era that embraces a Nation to Nation relationship. The NDP have 22 Indigenous candidates running in the federal election, the most Indigenous candidates of any single federal party ever.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), stated “The NDP platform addresses the key issues of closing the education gap, strengthening Indigenous communities, addressing the housing crisis, prioritizing health care, and growing a sustainable economy- obviously they listened and carefully considered the needs of Indigenous communities. By stark contrast, the Conservatives are attempting to win public support by deliberately fomenting racial divisions within Canadian society- an insult to the Canadian public.”
Grand Chief Phillip continued, “Conservative Party member and former MP John Cummins recently rebuked women who have gone missing from Highway 16, mostly Indigenous, for engaging in ‘risky behavior.’ His abusive remarks completely ignore the well-documented impacts of economically marginalized Aboriginal communities and institutionalized racism, and are incredibly offensive.”
The NDP’s new commitments are welcomed on top of the broader, structural NDP platform that is being rolled out, which would increase the well-being of all Canadians, including Indigenous communities. This includes $100 million targeted towards clean energy development in remote communities that are dependent on diesel flown in for electricity generation, as part of a concrete action plan to address climate change. The NDP have also committed $2.7 billion over four years in affordable housing and homelessness across Canada, and committed to investing in youth suicide prevention and a national diabetes strategy, as well as food security.
“The Harper Government’s dismal record, beginning with trashing the $5.2 billion Kelowna Accord, continually and progressively cutting funding to Aboriginal communities and organizations, and a stubborn, irrational refusal to support a National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, demonstrates that the Conservative Party of Canada remains a party of aging, ignorant, and racist bigots” stated Grand Chief Stewart Phillip.
He concluded, “On behalf of my 15 grandchildren, I am looking forward to exercising my right to vote on October 19th, to get the Harper government out, and encourage everyone to do the same- let’s make real change!”
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, Union of BC Indian Chiefs
Phone: (604) 684-0231