Statement made on 29 May 2012 by Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette
Hon. Céline Hervieux-Payette:
Honourable senators, my question is for the Leader of the Government in the Senate. After more than two decades of negotiations between representatives of the Canadian government and Aboriginal peoples, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by a majority of the 143 states.
The declaration is part of a universal framework to ensure that states set minimum standards for the well-being of Aboriginal peoples and respect their individual and collective rights. Although the Conservative government initially voted against the declaration, it did sign in 2010 under pressure from the international community.
Recently, we learned that the Harper government intends to eliminate funding for the National Centre for First Nations Governance and the Native Women's Association of Canada's health services. These two organizations are critical to the delivery of health services, assistance, education and the management of community funds.
In light of the recommendation of the United Nations expert who condemned the lack of nutritious foods available to Aboriginal peoples and to ensure that women and children can benefit from better health through nutrition, can the government leader tell us which programs and funds will be made available to Aboriginals and when we will have a policy on funding for the transportation of perishable goods to the far North?
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