Recent uproar highlights government’s non-use of consultation policy
The NDP critic for Aboriginal Affairs says the recent brouhaha over what a cabinet minister said or didn’t say in an airport serves mostly to highlight the deteriorating state of the relationship between this province’s government and Aboriginal governments.
Lorraine Michael (MHA, Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi) asked in the House of Assembly today about government’s observance of and adherence to commits made in a policy that’s not yet two years old.
“This Government’s 2013 Aboriginal Consultation Policy states that they are committed to consulting Aboriginal organizations when the province contemplates making land and resource development decisions that impact them,” Michael said.
“I ask the Premier what happened to this policy when government on its own came to an agreement with VALE to change the Voisey’s Bay Development Agreement?”
Michael says having a policy is not enough – government should actually be following it, and engaging consultation with Aboriginal groups.
“I ask the Premier how can he expect Aboriginal groups to trust what he says when the government doesn’t even follow its own written policy?” she said.
In a comment not completely unrelated to the incident that sparked the most recent media discussion, Michael says the Premier should consider diversity sensitivity training for his cabinet members.