McLeod says conversation is simply continuing
Cathy McLeod sees the upcoming meeting between First Nations chiefs and Prime Minister Stephen Harper as little more than a continuing conversation.
The Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo Conservative MP said agreeing to the meeting is not so much acquiescing to the ongoing protest by one First Nations chief as it is continuing the process that began last year.
“A number of issues were identified last year,” McLeod said. “And, we need to keep the talks going.”
McLeod has been trying to counter public views that Bill C-45 — which sparked the ongoing hunger strike by Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence — damages the environment or removes rights from First Nations in leasing land.
McLeod said the bill addressed an issue many bands had brought to the attention of the federal government — that the bureaucracy imposed on them was “an onerous process that was leading to missed opportunities” to sign deals with companies.
“We have simply, in response, taken out a small part of the red tape,” she said.
The aspect of the bill that affects navigable waters is another small decision “that reduces unnecessary red tape that was not achieving anything,” McLeod said, “and is not eroding environmental protection of our waters.”
On the weekend, McLeod had her Kamloops staff provide Tk’emlups hunger striker Evelyn Camille with a copy of the act, upon a request by Camille.