BATC Explores Issues With Premier, Minister

Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 14:38



The Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs got a chance yesterday to meet with Premier Brad Wall and First Nations and Metis Relations Minister Bill Hutchinson.


Premier Wall and his cabinet were in the Battlefords for a caucus meeting and a premier’s dinner.


BATC executive director Neil Sasakamoose says the discussions were useful, especially those with Hutchinson.


Sasakamoose says the big topic was the duty to consult and accommodate.


He notes the province has been drafting its duty to consult policy for about a year and a half now.


Sasakamoose says the chiefs were cautiously optimistic that Hutchinson is taking their concerns seriously.


But as he pointed out, Hutchinson is just one member of an 18-member provincial cabinet.


“His ears are open, and he’s willing to dialogue over policy, but on the bigger scale, he’s one minister in a cabinet of many,” Sasakamoose says.


He says the BATC will continue looking for solutions on issues such as jobs, economic development, and the duty to consult.