Conservatives Plan To Abandon Kelowna Agreement
Tuesday, January 10, 2006 at 15:05
The Conservatives aren’t hiding the fact that they plan to scrap the $5.1 billion agreement signed between Aboriginal groups and the Liberal government at November’s First Ministers Meeting in Kelowna.
Tory finance critic Monte Solberg says that agreement was put together at the last minute “on the back of a napkin” under threat of an election.
Solberg promises the Tories will introduce their own plan for Aboriginal people — a plan he says will help them more than what the Liberals had in mind.
Solberg’s comments have drawn a sharp rebuke from the Metis National Council, which recently announced its support of the Liberals.
MNC president Clem Chartier says this development shows that the Conservatives have little to no respect for Aboriginal peoples — noting that Aboriginal communities and leaders worked for over 14 months with government officials on drafting that agreement.
Chartier is dismayed that the Conservative Party plans to “unilaterally . . . sabotage all that work and effort”.
He says if the Conservatives succeed in forming the next government and tear up the Kelowna Agreement, Metis people can expect to lose out on millions of dollars in strategic investments for Metis-specific initiatives.