Tories Blasted For Cutting Aboriginal Programs

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 at 13:27



The Liberal MP for northern Saskatchewan says the Conservative government has clearly proven that First Nations and Metis people are not high on its list of priorities.


Gary Merasty says the funding cuts announced on Monday take over $14 million from Indian and Northern Affairs and the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch, not to mention a number of other programs that indirectly benefit Aboriginal people through education and employment opportunities.


The Tories say they will save $11 million by cutting a First Nations tobacco control strategy — an initiative they say wasn’t producing results.


Merasty notes the Conservatives announced $150 million for Aboriginal people in the April budget, but he says they are now finding ways to take that back.


He says the money announced in the budget hasn’t even left Ottawa yet, which Merasty feels definitively proves that First Nations and Metis people are not a priority for the Conservative government.