Ryan Meili is sharing his stance on reconciliation after he was elected as the leader of the provincial NDP and became the leader of the official opposition in the Saskatchewan legislature.
In an interview with MBC news, the opposition leader spoke on how he is looking forward to working with Indigenous communities and people.
“I’m very interested in making a difference in the lives of Indigenous people,” says Meili. “I recognize the inequities, they’re real and we need to take action, and the best way for me to do that is to be speaking to and listening to people from the communities themselves and that’s something I’ve been doing and really am looking forward to doing in this new more official role.”
Meili explained that he would like to make closing economic gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people a priority should he be elected as the next premier.
“In Australia, they do something similar, and I am building off a model (from) there, but the idea would be that each year there would be a report that came out, a closing the gap report that showed how far we’d come in addressing those inequities in health (and) economics, says Meili. ” Each year as premier I would stand up and give a speech, the closing the gap speech, and then elevate that to the level of a budget or throne speech.”
When asked about how the current provincial government is handling reconciliation, Meili voiced that he was dissatisfied.
“I think there’s been a bit of pushing away from the Sask Party, I don’t think they’ve been serious about action on reconciliation and the calls to action from the TRC,” remarked Meili. “I don’t think they’ve been serious, you know they’ve been delaying something as simple as the apology for the Sixties Scoop.”
Meili will lead 11 other NDP MLA’s as the province’s official opposition when the legislative assembly adjourns on Monday. He will be opposing the 46 Saskatchewan Party members that currently control the house, headed by their newly elected leader, Premier Scott Moe.
(PHOTO: A screen shot of Saskatchewan NDP leader, Ryan Meili, from this past fall sitting of the Legislature. File photo)