Posted on Jun 14, 2021
NDP SUPPORTS METIS NATION OF ALBERTA LEGAL ACTION AFTER UCP CANCELS WORK ON CONSULTATION POLICY
Edmonton - Alberta‘s NDP is offering full support to the Métis Nation of Alberta as it takes formal legal action against the UCP Government for its cancellation of critical work on a formal Métis Consultation Policy.
The policy was developed through careful negotiations by both the NDP and the previous Progressive Conservative government. Once approved, it would formalize the process to consult with organizations like MNA on Government of Alberta business.
“Let’s be clear that the Métis Consultation Policy is good for all Albertans — it is good for our economy,” said NDP Leader Rachel Notley. “Alberta’s NDP is committed to completing the work on this policy that was well underway during our time in Government.
“We see a Métis consultation policy as crucial for the province’s future to allow Alberta’s lands and resources to be both protected and developed ensuring that Métis people and the Métis Nation, as a distinct Indigenous people, can flourish.
“A formal policy would help us to enshrine a process for new development projects. It would allow the Government to bring willing partners to the table to determine what is best for this province. It would provide industry with transparency and predictably on consultation requirements and it would provide Métis people and communities with the same, and with the involvement of Métis people as rights-holders, a fact that the courts have also recognized as a requirement.”
Audrey Poitras, President of the Métis Nation of Alberta, said Métis rights are enshrined in Canada’s constitution and she’s been waiting for a formal policy for two decades.
“When the UCP was elected, they terminated negotiations and threw away the Métis Consultation Policy — without warning or explanation,” Poitras said. “They acted as if the honour of the Crown has no meaning.
“The UCP decided to treat the Métis Nation as a second-class Indigenous people — we are the only people Indigenous to Alberta whose rights are not protected by a consultation policy.
“Instead, Alberta deliberates endlessly on whether to consult with Métis communities using a case-by-case approach that is tangled in red tape and that Alberta’s own bureaucrats have admitted ‘does not work.’ This is systemic racism in action.”
The Métis Nation of Alberta formally filed against the Government in court earlier this month. A court date is set for this Thursday.
“I know that the Métis Nation of Alberta did not take the decision to file formal legal action against the government lightly, but they have been left with no choice.
“To all Métis people, Alberta’s NDP stands with you, we support you in your call for a real, meaningful consultation policy and, should we form government again, we will do everything we can to get this completed after all this time and effort.”