Merchant Welcomes Dion’s Liberal Leadership Win

Tuesday, December 05, 2006 at 15:06



A Saskatchewan lawyer says a government led by Stephane Dion would be far more likely to come through with a compensation package for boarding school survivors from Ile-a-la-Crosse.


Tony Merchant is perhaps best known for representing thousands of residential school victims, and was a backer of Michael Ignatieff in the recent Liberal leadership race.


Merchant says Dion actually received a lot of support from First Nations throughout the campaign, despite the fact it wasn’t readily visible.


He says the current Tory government had to be dragged kicking and screaming to come through with compensation for residential school survivors and it almost didn’t happen.


He feels things would happen differently under Dion, and that includes compensation for the former students in Ile-a-la-Crosse.


Merchant also believes Dion would act on reserve housing issues like mould.


He says the Quebec MP sees things from a more environmental standpoint compared to simply an economic one.


Merchant says Dion would be much more inclined to view housing issues as something that needs to be tackled for reasons of health, social duty and environmental responsibility.