Goodale Weighs In On Metis Honourarium Squabbling

Wednesday, September 21, 2005 at 15:43



Federal Finance Minister Ralph Goodale is promising to look into the in-fighting currently afflicting four Metis communities in northern Saskatchewan.


Residents of Beauval, Ile-a-la-Crosse, Cole Bay and Jans Bay have been bickering over who should qualify for a $10,000 government payment for elders that were displaced from the Primrose Lake Air Weapons Range in the 1950s.


The government calls the payment an honourarium. It was part of the $19.5-million economic development package for the communities that Goodale helped announce earlier this year.


Goodale notes there has been division caused by the unequal distribution of compensation in the affected communities for decades.


However, Goodale he maintains the government is trying to help create opportunity through the funding — not division.


Goodale adds he is not personally responsible for the administration of this program, but he hopes that a conclusion will be reached where everyone is satisfied.


The affected communities hope to be able to settle on a list of eligible names at a meeting later this month.