The chief of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band says the First Nation is pleased politics has failed to rule the day when it comes to upcoming boundary changes to Saskatchewan’s northern riding.
In its final report last week, the federal electoral boundaries commission stuck with its original recommendations of moving the southern boundary of Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River north and removing the largely non-Aboriginal southern farming communities of Choiceland, Love, White Fox and Smeaton from the riding.
Chief Tammy Cook-Searson says the riding’s Conservative MP Rob Clarke’s objections to the changes are based on politics and a fear of making the riding more Aboriginal, rather than what is actually best for the constituency.
“The thing that I noted with the way our MP Rob Clarke was going forward was almost like he would take out his own people, and he is a First Nations person himself, that he would take out his own people because his support comes mainly from the southern part of the riding,” she says. “The last election was very close and it’s almost like he would take out his own people for the benefit of himself, so to make sure he gets re-elected.”
Clarke’s suggestion of removing the largely Aboriginal communities of Cumberland House, Red Earth and Shoal Lake from the riding and adding the southern community of Shellbrook was also rejected by the boundaries commission.