Ottawa – If the government wants to avoid legal challenges and a summer of protest from First Nations they should start treating them with respect on the HST, according to Carol Hughes.

“The government’s handling of HST has shown a continuing disrespect for Canada’s First Nations,” exclaimed Hughes during Question Period this afternoon. “Now the Chiefs Council of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs have put their support behind a legal challenge to the implementation of the HST on July 1st. And the Conservatives only agreed to talk to Ontario First Nations about the loss of point-of-sale exemption after they threatened a summer of blockades and protests.”

“Mr. Speaker, when will the government start treating First Nations as equals instead of second-tier nations and finally deal with this screw up on the HST?”

With less than a month to resolve any outstanding issues before the HST is fully implemented, Hughes believes that both the federal Conservatives and their Provincial counterparts have neglected to properly consult aboriginal communities to ensure their rights are not being infringed upon.

“I am still baffled by the fact that the HST has been allowed to go ahead in Ontario and B.C. without a proper consultation process for First Nations,” said Hughes. “They have been dealing with an overly reluctant Federal Government for months, and, as we saw in Ontario, it took the threat of blockades to even have their voices heard. This isn’t right.”