VANCOUVER – New Democrat leader John Horgan announced that a government under his leadership will adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and implement the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
“British Columbia is facing an historic moment. We can carry on with the current path Premier Christy Clark has set of limiting, denying and ignoring the reality and opportunity of First Nations people, or we can seize those opportunities together,” said Horgan in a speech to the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, where he committed that a New Democrat government will adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and implement the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
“We can grow together, prosper together and build a better province together. Accepting these two important framework documents is the first step in that,” said Horgan.
Horgan noted that the Christy Clark government’s efforts to limit the effects of the historic Tsilhqot’in decision and its reliance on the courts to adjudicate aboriginal rights is costly, confrontational and puts economic and social growth at risk in the province.
The Government of Canada and other provinces have committed to adopt both framework documents, but British Columbia has refused.
“The premier has decided instead to go with ‘check-box’ consultations with First Nations, instead of building real partnerships,” said Horgan, adding that Christy Clark is trying to divert attention from her abdication of the real work and responsibility of building effective and respectful relationships with First Nations.
“By failing to do the real work necessary, Premier Clark is turning away from both her legal responsibilities, and from the better future for all British Columbians that we should be building together,” said Horgan.