Kelowna Accord One Step Closer To Resurrection

Thursday, October 19, 2006 at 15:23



It appears the $5.1-billion Kelowna Accord aimed at improving the quality of life for Aboriginal people might not be dead after all.


A private member’s bill introduced in the House of Commons by former prime minister Paul Martin passed second reading yesterday by a vote count of 159 to 123.


Opposition and Independent MPs voted in favour of the bill, which calls on the Conservative government to implement the deal. The Tories unanimously voted against it.


The Conservative government has been loathe to implement the agreement, arguing it was brokered just before the last election in a desperate attempt by the Liberals to win votes.


Native leaders point out the Kelowna deal was the result of 18 months of negotiations between the provinces, Ottawa and Aboriginal organizations.


Martin’s bill now gets sent to an all-party Aboriginal affairs committee for study before being returned to the Commons for a final vote.


The Tories won’t be able to defeat the bill as long as the Opposition parties back it.