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Carolyn Bennett, MP

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In the House: November 17

Posted on November 18, 2014 | No Comments

Yesterday I rose in the House to ask the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs to explain the shell game that AANDC has been playing with funding for infrastructure.

The full transcript is below.

Hon. Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul’s, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, uncovered government documents have revealed the Conservatives have been secretly shifting over $500 million allocated for the already underfunded infrastructure needs like water and housing to the chronically underfunded social programs while still refusing to close the gaps in areas like education on first nations.

Will the minister stop hiding the underfunding and mismanagement with dishonest shell games and finally work in good faith with aboriginal communities to properly fund these programs?

Hon. Bernard Valcourt (Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the member opposite knows, or should know, that we have made unprecedented investment in first nations infrastructure above and beyond the core infrastructure funding, from investment in over 130 major projects to funded maintenance of over 1,200 water and wastewater treatment projects to more than 263 school infrastructure projects, including 33 new schools.

We continue to work in partnership with first nations toward our shared goal of stronger, self-sufficient aboriginal communities.

Hon. Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul’s, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, these documents also show that the minister’s own department is telling him that more money is needed to provide first nations children with education equivalent to other kids in Canada. It is unconscionable that he is playing politics with the future of first nations children by holding essential education funding hostage to the government’s flawed first nations education bill.

Will the minister commit to delivering this badly needed education funding immediately?

Hon. Bernard Valcourt (Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, CPC): Mr. Speaker, what is unconscionable is that member and her party and the opposition voting last year against a $1.9 billion increase in funding for education.
Above the rhetoric of the opposition, this government provided in budget 2012, $175 million over three years to build and renovate schools on reserves. In addition to budget 2012 investments, our government continues to make major investments in the order of $200 million annually to support school infrastructure in first nations communities.

More smoke and mirrors from the Harper government on chronic underfunding of First Nations’ education

Posted on November 15, 2014 | No Comments

The Harper government’s misleading response to damming new information about a funding shell game at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada is not only desperate, but patently dishonest. It was Paul Martin’s Liberal government that negotiated the historic Kelowna Accord, which would have eliminated any gap in federal funding for First Nations education. The Kelowna Accord was agreed to by the federal government, all the provinces, the territories and Indigenous leadership in 2005. It was the Conservative government that walked away from the Accord upon taking office. The fact that Mr. Valcourt is now playing more games with the facts only further undermines the trust of Aboriginal communities and all Canadians.

Further, the Conservative government is holding First Nations hostage by withholding the essential funding for education until First Nations accept a fundamentally flawed education bill. It is appalling that the Conservative government is willing to play politics with the futures of First Nations children. First Nations communities, educators, and students should not have to wait one more day for these critical resources and this funding should flow immediately.

Please click here for the Canadian Press story: Internal document urges government to raise cap on aboriginal education

Remembrance Day Message

Posted on November 11, 2014 | No Comments

Please take a look at my most recent article in the Town Crier titled Lest we forget – and lest we merely ‘remember’ on November 11.

This year on Parliament Hill as we reflect on the sacrifices of the women and men who served this country we honour especially those who continue to protect us. At times like this we find solace in the favourite poem of my father-in-law, a spitfire pilot in the Battle of Britain:

The drum is silent now,
And the wind sighs
Where once they walked;
And the stars, which watched The valour of their days,
At each new dusk
Remember.

 

Town Crier: Lest We Forget — And lest we merely ‘remember’ on Nov. 11

Posted on November 10, 2014 | No Comments

My latest Town Crier piece is below.  You can also read and comment on their website here. The events last month on the Hill and in […]

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Summit: Supporting Modern Families

Posted on November 10, 2014 | No Comments

Yesterday was our twice yearly St. Paul’s Summit which brings together the elected representatives from all levels of government in our riding. This summit was focused […]

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In the House: November 5

Posted on November 5, 2014 | No Comments

Today I rose in the House to recognize Family Doctors Week and draw attention to the huge contributions made by family doctors in keeping Canadians healthy. […]

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In the House – November 4th

Posted on November 5, 2014 | No Comments

I rose last night to speak again on the urgent need for an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The full transcript is below. […]

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In the House: November 5 – SO31

Posted on November 5, 2014 | No Comments

Hon. Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul’s, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, Next week is Family Doctor Week. I am proud to stand in the House to acknowledge the outstanding […]

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In the House: November 4

Posted on November 4, 2014 | No Comments

MISSING AND MURDERED INDIGENOUS WOMEN AND GIRLS Hon. Carolyn Bennett (St. Paul’s, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, It has been a very long time, since the cancelling of […]

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APTN political panel – Nation to Nation

Posted on October 31, 2014 | No Comments

Click here to see yesterday’s show on national security issues with my parliamentary colleagues from the NDP and Conservatives, starting nine minutes and forty seconds into the show. […]

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carolyn.bennett@parl.gc.ca