Conservative leadership candidate, Peter MacKay, on reconciliation for Canada’s First Peoples

Written By Guest User, Posted on May 13, 2020

In a TNT Exclusive with former Attorney General and Conservative leadership candidate Peter MacKay, we discussed the prominent issues facing Canada’s Indigenous Peoples, today, from reconciliation, eco-colonialism and consultation efforts with government.

With the Conservative leadership race heating up, Indigenous issues, which are sidelined at the expense of other matters, can hopefully entice meaningful mainstream discussion. It’s high time Canada leads by example, federally, and back up its claims to a strong human rights record.

TNT: What does meaningful reconciliation and partnership with Indigenous people look like Peter Mackay?

MacKay: I believe that meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous people needs to go beyond just words. We should be seeking partnerships with Indigenous people on new projects, especially those that have been approved by democratically elected Indigenous leaders. I am proud to have been part of a government that made significant progress settling large numbers of land claims, improved property rights for First Nation’s women, and improved overall transparency and accountability for the betterment of on-reserve First Nations.

TNT: If you were the Prime Minister, how would you take the approach with these Radical Eco Protesters?

MacKay: People have a right to peaceful protest, but the rule of law must be upheld. Beyond protests, one of the biggest blockades that have been put in place is the Trudeau government’s Bill C-69 and Bill C-48, which attempts to stop future oil sands projects from ever being approved. Let us not forget elected band leaders, on behalf of the Wet’suwet’en; people approved and supported the pipeline.

TNT: Would you support the Indigenous groups by Direct consultations to the members rather than dealing with INAC bureaucrats?

MacKay: I believe it is vitally important to consult directly with Indigenous people. The ‘Ottawa-knows-best’ approach doesn’t work. The only way to truly understand an issue is to meet with those involved in the true spirit of reconciliation. Hiring more Indigenous people to work in the Prime Minister’s Office would also help.

TNT: During your campaign, do you plan to visit any indigenous groups on your campaign to hear the ongoing concerns with this Federal Government?

MacKay: I have spoken with Indigenous people across the country throughout the campaign. Once current COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, I am looking forward to travelling to meet Indigenous people in their communities for meaningful consultations on true reconciliation. I represented a riding in Nova Scotia for 18 years that had two First Nations communities that I visited and met with often.

TNT: Do you think Justin Trudeau has honoured his mandate of reconciliation to the Indigenous Peoples of Canada?

MacKay: The Liberal government has been big on words and symbols, but they haven’t worked in partnership with Indigenous people on reconciliation. I believe that we can seek true reconciliation by pursuing new partnerships, natural resource projects, in particular, that will lead to prosperity for Indigenous people across the country. As the fastest growing population in Canada, Indigenous people should figure prominently in the development of the Canadian economy.

Guest User

2 responses to “Conservative leadership candidate, Peter MacKay, on reconciliation for Canada’s First Peoples”

  1. Weyland Yutani says:

    It’s disappointing, but not surprising, that MacKay makes no reference to doing away with Canada’a race-based laws.

    There should be no difference whatsoever between native and non-native citizens.

    This is just another of the failures of the CPC.

  2. Charmaine stick says:

    I’d love to meet with him and discuss tansparency and accountability within fn’s, India. Affairs Dept and the federal provincial govt sectors