NORTH BAY – The NDP MPP-elect for Kiiwetinoong, Sol Mamakwa, released the following statement:
“Together Ontario has made progress, and if it’s true that Doug Ford plans to dismantle and do away with the Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation (MIRR), it will have a profound negative impact on Indigenous people and the province.
MIRR has resolved long standing claims with First Nations and improved the relationships between First Nations and the province. Mr. Ford’s plan to dismantle MIRR is sending a message that the calls to action by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will be ignored, and colonialism will be ongoing.
Today and every day in Ontario, dozens of First Nations communities are under boil water advisories or orders, and thousands of families have to guard themselves and their little ones against the unsafe water that comes from their taps. Indigenous communities often have poor access to basics like health care. And study after study shows what parents on reserve already know: First Nations schools are disadvantaged and underfunded, and Indigenous children have to overcome more barriers than non-Indigenous children – including leaving home to get their education. Devastatingly, child and youth suicide remains at epidemic levels. Too many young people can’t see hope, suffer from the damage done to generations of their families by residential schools, and don’t have enough access to mental health supports and services.
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath committed to tackle these issues head on and stop the endless delays caused by jurisdictional squabbles with a vow to fix what’s wrong and do what’s right, working government-to-government with Indigenous leaders – and sending the bill to Ottawa. That’s the hands-on approach the NDP urges Mr. Ford to take.
There are 94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the vast majority have not been implemented. Turning away from truth and reconciliation now is turning away not only from the thousands of Indigenous people and children in Ontario that deserve better health care and more opportunity, it’s also turning away from a better shared future for all who call Ontario home.”