Metis Say Prime Minister Broke Election Promise

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 15:35



Prime Minister Stephen Harper is being accused of reneging on an election promise to Metis survivors of a boarding school in Ile-a-la-Crosse.


The Metis National Council is making the charge after the Conservatives failed to include the former students in the residential schools compensation settlement, which the Tories announced yesterday has now been approved by cabinet.


In a radio commercial that ran on MBC in the last week of the election campaign, Harper had this to say: “Hi, this is Stephen Harper. Under a Conservative government, we will address issues important to Aboriginal people. We’ll ensure Aboriginal war veterans are properly recognized. We’ll provide full compensation for residential school survivors, including those who attended the Ile-a-la-Crosse school.”


Harper ended the radio commercial by urging northerners to re-elect former Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River MP Jeremy Harrison, who was defeated in a bitter election battle by the Liberals’ Gary Merasty.


MNC president Clem Chartier says the former students in Ile-a-la-Crosse are frustrated they are being left out, after being assured by the Tories that they wouldn’t be.


The MNC notes that when it tried to get its hands on the ad from the Conservatives, the request was denied. In a letter written by Conservative Party of Canada executive director Michael Donison, the MNC was told the request was declined because of “reasons of copyright and otherwise”.