Implementation of Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action: Question Period – 24 March 2017
Here is the video and transcript of oral questions today recorded in the language it was originally spoken.
Mr. Coon: In 2015, almost two years ago, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission presented 95 calls to action for the federal and provincial governments. On Monday night, the former chairman, Senator Murray Sinclair, presented his first progress report, and he acknowledged that there had been very little progress federally. The same could be said for New Brunswick.
In October, Judith Keating, who was leading the interdepartmental working group tasked with implementing the TRC calls to action here in New Brunswick, left the Executive Council Office. Since then, progress seems to have stalled. Will the Premier provide this House with an update of who has taken the lead and when we can expect to see an action plan to implement the TRC calls to action in New Brunswick?
Hon. Mr. Doherty: Thank you for the question. New Brunswick, along with other provinces and territories and the federal government, has endorsed the work of the Commission on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. This collaborative approach across governments will help ensure that the work of the commission is truly national in scope. I have had the opportunity to attend two meetings of the National Roundtable on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and I would like to inform you that progress is being made. It is a very sensitive and complex issue, and we look forward to moving forward with this file.
Mr. Coon: That tells me absolutely nothing. My question is very simple: Who now has the lead of the interdepartmental committee to implement the TRC calls to action in New Brunswick, and when can we expect to see a plan of action?
Hon. Mr. Doherty: As you know, there were 94 recommendations in the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission report. We worked very closely with each individual department, identifying which recommendations would be their responsibility to implement. We have also worked very closely with the 15 First Nations to make sure that we have input from our First Nations communities in terms of the recommendations from government.
Mr. Coon: The question remains: Who is heading up the interdepartmental committee to
implement the TRC recommendations in New Brunswick, and when can we see a plan of action released to the public?
Hon. Mr. Doherty: I am very happy that the Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat is working very closely, along with other departments in government, to see that these recommendations are, in fact, implemented. Our government takes this very, very seriously.
Mr. Speaker: The member for Southwest Miramichi-Bay du Vin will come to order.
Hon. Mr. Doherty: We are looking at improving the welfare of First Nations, in cooperation with the federal government, when it comes to housing, when it comes to social issues, and when it comes to child protection. Yes, we are a government that I am very, very proud of because we, in fact, have decreased our deficit by half. At the same time, we have invested in Aboriginal affairs issues. We have invested in education. More importantly, we are investing in health care as it relates to First Nations.