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WHEN WILL A SEDUCTION OPERATION INTENDED FOR ALL OF THE FIRST NATIONS CONCERNED BY THE PLAN NORD TAKE PLACE?

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  • Don Bain
    ... From: CNW Portfolio System To: Portfolio E-Mail Sent: Thursday, June 30, 2011 7:13 AM Subject: WHEN WILL A SEDUCTION OPERATION INTENDED FOR ALL OF THE
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 30 5:33 PM
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: CNW Portfolio System
      To: Portfolio E-Mail
      Sent: Thursday, June 30, 2011 7:13 AM
      Subject: WHEN WILL A SEDUCTION OPERATION INTENDED FOR ALL OF THE FIRST NATIONS CONCERNED BY THE PLAN NORD TAKE PLACE?



      CNW Group Portfolio E-Mail





      ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS OF QUEBEC AND LABRADOR


      Transmitted by CNW Group on : June 30, 2011 10:13


      WHEN WILL A SEDUCTION OPERATION INTENDED FOR ALL OF THE FIRST NATIONS CONCERNED BY THE PLAN NORD TAKE PLACE?
      WENDAKE, QC, June 30, 2011 /CNW Telbec/ - The words of the Premier of Quebec, Mr. Jean Charest, highlighting in London the priority in terms of working with the First Nations for the Plan Nord, did not convince the Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL), Mr. Ghislain Picard. "Even though the majority of the communities concerned by the project have yet to be genuinely consulted, it seems that the priority is currently focused on seducing the investors rather than the First Nations!" declared Mr. Picard.

      "Yet, a concerted and inclusive development plan would be welcome, since an increasing number of First Nations now have their own training and development tools, bringing together more and more enterprises that are emerging and open to partnerships. If it were to be more in line with the First Nations realities, such a plan could be a very interesting and promising vector of development to which all of the First Nations would be tempted to adhere" added the Chief of the AFNQL.

      Unfortunately, the Plan Nord excludes more First Nations than it includes. And yet, by virtue of the Canadian Constitution as well as decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada, the Quebec government is obligated to consult and accommodate all of the First Nations concerned by the Plan Nord. It must also respect the obligations anticipated by the United Nations' Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Canada has recently endorsed. In particular, article 32 of the Declaration stipulates that "States shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned through their own representative institutions in order to obtain their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources." The Chief of the AFNQL is calling for full and complete recognition of the Declaration by the Quebec government, which has yet to do so, as well as respect for its obligations. "For as long as our communities are required to set up roadblocks so that the government will deem it necessary to sit down and negotiate agreements, Quebec will not find any allies among the First Nations. And yet these allies are greatly needed for its Plan Nord" continued Mr. Picard.

      Keep in mind that the Charest government accepted to meet with the Conseil des Innus de Pessamit, after they supported the community youth who opposed the Plan Nord and who, as a pressure tactic, had blocked, in an alternating fashion, route 138 which crosses the reserve. Quebec and Pessamit then reached a memorandum of understanding for the purposes of establishing the general framework of a special negotiation process targeting dispute resolution among the Innu of Pessamit. "This is not necessarily the manner in which the First Nations hope to be consulted. If the priority of the Quebec government is to work with the First Nations, then Mr. Charest must review his approach" concluded Mr. Picard.

      Is the Plan Nord destined to be just another missed opportunity between the First Nations and the Québécois? That is not the hope of the First Nations - regardless of whether or not they have already reached agreements.

      About the AFNQL:
      The Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador is the regional organization uniting the 43 Chiefs of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador.




      For further information:
      Éric Cardinal
      Communications Advisor
      514-258-2315 (cell.)




      ASSEMBLY OF FIRST NATIONS OF QUEBEC AND LABRADOR - More on this organization



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