Conservative MP, Monte Solberg, bashed the Kelowna Accord struck with Canada’s First Nations during an interview with CJWW Radio Saskatoon Thursday.
Solberg stated that the Conservatives were not going to honour the accord.
"(The) Kelowna Agreement is something that they crafted at the last moment on the back of a napkin on the eve of an election. We're not going to honour that. We will have our own plan that will help natives a lot more than the Liberals," states Solberg.
The comment has left First Nations leaders and the Liberal campaign camp upset.
“No, I know most of the people that I deal with the chiefs put up a lot of time, a lot of energy and a lot of effort in drafting that accord,” states Nipissing First Nation Chief Phil Goulais.
Nipissing-Timiskaming Liberal incumbent Anthony Rota weighed in on the issue saying the statement was unfounded and insulting.
“We’ve been working very hard with First Nation peoples and Aboriginal peoples across the country, that was 18 months in the working,” said the incumbent.
“Grand Chief John Beaucage from this area was a part of that, he knows all about the hard work that’s gone into that.”
Goulais discussed the issue before heading into a teleconference of Native leaders with Minister of Indian Affairs Andy Scott stating no decisions were made on the spur of the moment.
“It wasn’t thought up on very short notice, they worked under very tight time frames, but previous to that there was a lot of energy, there was a lot of work, a lot of regional Chief’s meetings, so we did our home work before that came to be.”
Nipissing-Timiskaming Conservative candidate Peter Chirico was at a loss to offer comment on Solberg’s statement.
“I haven’t heard the comment as of this point, I really don’t have much of a comment on it,” says the Conservative hopeful.
“Mr Harper has stated that the Kelowna agreement was an important agreement and that he was willing and prepared to honour it, but I think he’s probably got a better plan.”
Rota went on to say for Solberg to dismiss the Kelowna Accord shows a lack of respect.
“I thought that was very insensitive on his part.”