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November 30th, 2023

NDP send clear message to Liberal government about failures on Indigenous issues

NDP critic for Indigenous Services, Lori Idlout, and NDP critic for Women and Social Equality, Leah Gazan, made the following statement:

“This morning we will be voting against the government’s Ways and Means motion to send a clear message: The Liberal government’s delayed action is hurting Indigenous peoples, women, and gender diverse people in this country. And it’s not good enough.”

The affordable housing support they have offered in the fall economic statement won’t come into effect for two years and it’s a drop in the ocean compared to what is needed. This housing support does nothing to address the deplorable conditions for Inuit, First Nations and Metis people.

The infrastructure gap in Indigenous housing in Nunavut and on First Nations is massive. We know that Indigenous peoples living in urban centres are 11 times more likely to be unhoused than non-Indigenous peoples. The government ignored Nunavut’s request of $250 million for housing in their fall economic statement. The infrastructure gap in First Nations communities currently sits close to $350 billion, a gap that would grow exponentially when including the needs of Métis and Inuit communities. Shamefully, at the rate the government is moving it would take between 58- 141 years to close the infrastructure gap for on-reserve housing.

Despite the nice words from the government and a commitment to close the infrastructure gap in just seven years, the housing crisis for Indigenous peoples continues to get worse on Justin Trudeau’s watch. The government has given billions in settlements for historic injustices to Indigenous people while neglecting to respond to requests for investments in housing for Indigenous communities. This may only lead to more settlement claims as the Liberals continue to fail to uphold Indigenous people’s rights.

Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people face disproportionate violence, and the government has done very little to stop the ongoing genocide. We have made repeated calls for the implementation of the Calls for Justice and a Red Dress Alert so that when Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people go missing, they are found. Despite parliament voting unanimously to recognize missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people a nation-wide emergency, the fall economic statement does not once mention MMIWG2S+.

It’s not just Indigenous peoples that this government is leaving behind. This so called ‘feminist’ government did nothing to reverse their $150 million cuts to women’s shelters and made no investments in women’s organizations in the fall economic statement. Municipalities across Canada are calling gender-based violence an epidemic. Yet the federal government continues to neglect women’s issues and isn't providing any help for women and gender-diverse people trying to leave unsafe situations.

We are voting against the government’s delay and disappointment with the full support of our Leader, Jagmeet Singh, and our NDP caucus.

This Liberal government has got to do better for Indigenous peoples struggling with inadequate, overcrowded housing, and insufficient services to help our communities.

Inuit, Metis and First Nations peoples are tired of being treated like an afterthought by this government. We deserve better. Today, with our votes and our voices, we’re standing up for all Indigenous peoples’ right to be treated with dignity and respect.”