July 29th, 2019

Grassy Narrows Chief Rudy Turtle Running for the NDP

Trudeau let down Indigenous people, says Turtle

OTTAWA – Chief Rudy Turtle of Grassy Narrows First Nation will be the NDP’s candidate in Kenora. Turtle and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh announced Turtle’s candidacy together on Monday in Ottawa.

“I’m so proud to welcome Chief Turtle to our team,” said Singh. “Together, we’re going to fight to change the government — from one that works to make life easier for multi-millionaires and big corporations, to one that’s focused on making life better for people, including Indigenous people.”

Turtle said he’s running because Justin Trudeau let Indigenous people and nations down, and chose the NDP because Singh and the New Democrats aren’t beholden to wealthy corporate interests.

“Justin Trudeau promised us that he’d be different, but what we got was a Prime Minister that says the right thing in public, and does something else behind closed doors,” said Chief Turtle. “When corporations ask Trudeau for something, he goes to great lengths to make their lives easier. When Indigenous communities want to work with Trudeau — on issues from clean water to community safety — we get a condescending Prime Minister who is willing to pose at ceremonies, but not willing to take action to make people’s lives better. Like millions of others, I’m tired of being let down.”

Grassy Narrows families have suffered from mercury poisoning because of a corporate chemical-dumping crime that poisoned the English and Wabigoon rivers in the 1960s and ‘70s. The Liberal government promised a much-needed mercury care facility to care for the sickest residents — but has been stalling, trying to get away with delivering much less than promised, or perhaps nothing at all.

“I want to join a team that walks the walk of reconciliation,” said Turtle. “Jagmeet and the NDP aren’t here to make life better for multi-millionaires, they’re here to make life better for regular people. In my community, that means taking action to improve health care regardless of where you live, making life more affordable for families, and giving young people the opportunities they need to thrive in the North.”

Turtle will be acclaimed as the nominee for Kenora, as the NDP nomination period for the riding has closed.