Affordability prime of thoughts at Liberal retreat, however Indigenous MP has focus elsewhere January 26, 2023
The price of dwelling might be prime of thoughts for Liberal members of Parliament as they put together to move again to the Home of Commons subsequent week, however for his or her Indigenous caucus, affordability is a long-standing situation.
The Indigenous caucus met on Thursday, kicking off the federal Liberal’s three-day winter retreat throughout which they’re strategizing about their priorities for the upcoming sitting.
As Canadians proceed to cope with decades-high inflation together with rising meals and gas prices, Liberal caucus chair Brenda Shanahan stated her get together’s No. 1 precedence is affordability.
However affordability just isn’t typically mentioned on the Indigenous caucus desk, stated Jaime Battiste, a Mi’kmaw MP and member of the Indigenous caucus. As a substitute, they concentrate on closing the hole between dwelling on and off reserve.
“In case you take a look at (the) state of affairs on reserves, we’ve been coping with costs round affordability and enormous areas of poverty for many years, not simply years,” stated Battiste.
“(We’re) normally speaking about issues on a regular basis Canadians take without any consideration. Important providers like having well being care of their communities. Important providers like having a policeman of their communities. Important providers like having clear water and infrastructure.”
He stated the group is targeted on addressing the harms brought on by colonization and creating financial prosperity inside First Nations communities.
Battiste stated the Indigenous caucus may also focus on his get together’s proposed gun buyback program to make sure Indigenous hunters are protected underneath firearms laws.
The controversy over the federal government’s firearms invoice will resume this 12 months amid issues that it’ll ban some frequent looking rifles.
“Indigenous folks have the constitutional proper to hunt, and that’s one thing we’re ,” Battiste stated.
Different Liberal priorities embrace constructing a inexperienced economic system, addressing local weather change and increasing dental-care protection, as highlighted within the confidence-and-supply settlement with the NDP, Shanahan stated.
She stated the retreat is important as a result of the 158 Liberal MPs haven’t obtained collectively since earlier than the vacations and it’s time for them to place ahead recent concepts.
“You can’t underestimate what it means to morale and team-building to have folks collectively,” Shanahan stated.
The occasion coincides with the one-year anniversary of the “Freedom Convoy” protests on Saturday. That weeks-long protest started with the arrival of tons of of autos on Wellington Avenue in entrance of Parliament Hill on Jan. 28 and 29, 2022.
Caucus members attended final 12 months’s winter retreat nearly resulting from COVID-19, however Shanahan was in Ottawa. Whereas talking to reporters Thursday she quipped that there isn’t any honking ringing by means of Parliament this time.
“We began listening to some horns honking and I walked out on Wellington Avenue later that day to lots of sudden firm,” she stated.
She stated she just isn’t involved the retreat might be disrupted by protesters this 12 months.
Liberal ministers met for a cupboard retreat in Hamilton earlier this week. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will ship a speech to caucus on Friday in Ottawa.
The Home of Commons resumes sitting on Monday.