HUGHES CRITIQUES THRONE SPEECH’S AMBIGUOUS INVESTMENT IN FIRST NATION EDUCATION

HUGHES CRITIQUES THRONE SPEECH’S AMBIGUOUS INVESTMENT IN FIRST NATION EDUCATION

OTTAWA - Participating in debate on the Throne Speech Wednesday night, Algoma –Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP Carol Hughes called on the government to be specific about their planned spending on First Nation’s education.

As one of the few MPS who was able to question the government last night, Hughes challenged them to remove the 2% funding cap for the Post Secondary Support Program delivered by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, to commit to better funded K to 12 schools for First Nations, and to sign on to the United Declaration of the rights of Indigenous Peoples since they have indicated they support it.

“Given that, for many years now, aboriginal communities have been demanding equal treatment with respect to access to education within their communities, “ said Hughes, “can the government tell us what plans they are making to reform the Post Secondary Student Support Program, and will the government be removing the 2% funding cap?”

Noting the importance of education in helping to bridge the economic divide that often separates First Nation communities from their neighbours, Hughes asked if the government was also committing to better funding First Nation’s schools.

“Can the government clarify if the wording in the throne speech means that they will adequately fund First Nation elementary education (kindergarten to Grade 12) comparable to that being funded by Provinces and Territories?” Hughes asked in the first hours of debate on the speech.

Speaking in the House after such a lengthy prorogation, Hughes lamented lost opportunities in the contents of the Throne Speech.
“After the long wait for the Throne Speech, it was a bit of a disappointment,” said Hughes. “The budget will give us a better idea of what the government plans to do in the short-term, but from what we’ve seen so far it appears to be a rehash of tired Conservative ideas. It’s mostly window dressing.”

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