Walking in to chants of “Justin,” the leader of the Liberal Party made a huge campaign announcement today about funding First Nations education.
Speaking to a large crowd at the Sheraton-Cavalier in downtown Saskatoon, Justin Trudeau said if elected, the Liberal Party promises to fund First Nations’ education to the tune of $515 million climbing up to $750 million after the first year, to a total of $2.6 billion over four years for Kindergarten to Grade 12.
And while the promise was praised by the Liberal faithful in attendance, one man standing at the back of the room representing Metis Nations of Saskatchewan wasn’t so impressed.
“I am happy about that announcement, but wearing the other hat for the Metis there was nothing in there for them,” said Robert Doucette, president of the Metis Nations of Saskatchewan.
“It has nothing to do with us … nothing for off-reserve First Nation people.”
Speaking to reporters, Trudeau said Thursday’s announcement was aimed at addressing matter under the direct jurisdiction of the federal government and that he plans on rebuilding broken relationships will all of Canada’s aboriginal and Metis communities.
“This is one of many announcements in what is going to be a really long campaign about fixing the broken relationship between Canada and its entire indigenous people,” Trudeau said.
But Doucette warns his people to play close attention to what political leaders say specifically about the Metis Nations of Canada.
“I am going to vote for the party that talks about what they’re going to do for the Metis and I think Metis people should also do that, vote for the party that talks about what they’re going to do for you because the taxpayers, and parties take us for granted we always come out and vote and we have the poorest housing the hardest time accessing post-secondary funding and no formal process to deal with our land issues,” Doucette said.
On top of addressing the gap in education funding for First Nations, Trudeau also announced his plans to re-open the nine veteran’s affairs offices closed by the current federal government. Trudeau said if the government develops and sends soldiers to conflicts overseas, they enter into a sacred obligation to take care of those veterans and their families if anything happens.
Trudeau spoke about one of his opponents, Prime Minister Stephen Harper who made a stop in Regina on Thursday, saying the Conservatives are aiding the illegal drug trade by continuing to criminalize marijuana and fueling guns and violence. If elected to office, Trudeau said his government will finally address these issues, something Trudeau believes many Canadians are ready for.
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