Fedeli addresses lack of consultation on Algonquin Land Claim processWednesday, March 20, 2013 by: Kate AdamsNipissing MPP Vic Fedeli
Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli brought forward local concerns surrounding the Algonquin Land Claim process to the Ontario Legislature on two fronts today.
First, Fedeli delivered a Members’ Statement on the lack of provincial government consultation on the Land Claim Agreement-in-Principle (AIP). The prepared text of the statement is below:
Speaker, my constituents are concerned with the consultation process this government is undertaking with regards to the Algonquin Land Claim. Negotiations have been ongoing since 1991. Yet, the first time MPPs, Mayors, the public and the Algonquins were able to look at the map of proposed settlement was December 13th.
Since then, I have met with hundreds of stakeholders including residents, family members of the historic owners of Camp Island, and Chief Bastien. By far the biggest complaint is the lack of consultation.
Public meetings were scheduled on March 12th in North Bay and March 13th in Mattawa – right in the middle of the March Break when many people are away.
These can best be characterized as a 'dog-and-pony show' and were not the serious consultations the public deserves. I made a short presentation to the negotiating team on the feedback I have been receiving.
Settlement of the Algonquin Land Claim will impact us for generations to come and it is critical it be executed properly. This Liberal government may want to silence its critics, but I pledge today – we WILL be heard.
Fedeli later presented a petition to the Legislature signed by hundreds of Nipissing residents that also outlines concerns with the consultation process.