“Why does it appear that the government is ignoring the Pacheedaht First Nation?” asks Cowichan-Malahat-Langford Member of Parliament, Alistair MacGregor in question period today.
This in reference to the lack of action on a Marine Safety Centre that was announced in June 2020 with the signing of a memorandum of understanding. It was labelled as one way for the federal government to ‘renew its relationship with Indigenous peoples.’
The point of the centre is to give the nation a greater role in protecting and co-managing the 112 kilometres of coastline in their territory.
Despite three years having passed, MacGregor raises the question because he says it appears the idea has been abandoned by the government.
“This project is supposed to be a meaningful effort for reconciliation, and protecting our oceans. When I previously raised this issue with the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, she didn’t answer my question and there was no mention of the agreement with the Pacheedaht – who have now been waiting over three years,” MacGregor says from the floor.
In response to MacGregor’s question, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Joyce Murray says she will investigate.
“Our commitment to Indigenous reconciliation is absolute,” says Murray. “I will investigate the situation […] and I can commit that we will do everything that we can to ensure that commitments are met. Reconciliation is one of our government’s top priorities.”