In a statement yesterday, Trent Wotherspoon, the NDPs finance critic said Saskatchewan’s New Democrats no longer think it’s a good idea to share resource revenues with First Nations. “The party no longer supports sharing revenues from resources such as potash and oil- Saskatchewan voters did not like the idea.”
In the lead-up to the Saskatchewan General Election, former provincial NDP leader Dwain Lingenfelter, at a campaign stop at the Red Pheasant First Nation, promised First Nations that the province, under a New Democratic government, would share a portion of resource revenues- that election promise is now null and void said Wortherspoon.
Aboriginal Liberal Youth of Saskatchewan (ALYS) founder Kevin Seesequasis says that it is now apparent that many First Nations people across Saskatchewan placed a lot of misguided trust in the provincial NDP.
“[Resource] revenue sharing was a key plank in the NDPs Aboriginal strategy; and now we’re finding out that many within the NDP ranks didn’t even support the idea! We need real solutions to the real problems First Nations people are struggling with- housing, health, and education- not empty promises or gimmicks.”
Chad Cowie, the incoming Co-Chair for the Aboriginal Peoples’ Commission of the Liberal Party of Canada says the 180º switch by the NDP to include First Nations in a resource revenue sharing agreement is a simple sign of vote-grabbing.
“It’s easy to connect the Saskatchewan NDPs behaviour with that of their federal counterparts who, in 2005 were in support of the Kelowna Accord but then did a 180º switch and killed it by forcing an election. This most recent flip on revenue sharing is proof that the NDP, provincially or federally, is willing to place their own political greed ahead of the rights of Aboriginal peoples.”
The Sasktatchewan Liberal Party, under the leadership of Ryan Bater pledged early on to lobby for the creation of a First Nations secretariat that would report to the Premier’s Office and engage First Nations in a nation-to-nation manner.
“That’s the kind of results we need to see; working together in the spirit of cooperation in line with the intent of our Treaties; not more lies and flip flops” says Seesequasis.
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