Indian affairs minister looking forward to more work with ‘willing partners’

Vancouver Island North Conservative MP John Duncan has retained his post as minister of aboriginal affairs and northern development, part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's new federal ministry that promises greater security and stability for Canadians.

JOHN DUNCAN is sworn in for the second time as minister of aboriginal affairs and northern development.

Vancouver Island North Conservative MP John Duncan has retained his post as minister of aboriginal affairs and northern development, part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s new federal ministry that promises greater security and stability for Canadians.

Duncan was first elected to the House of Commons in 1993 and re-elected five times thereafter. He was appointed Indian affairs minister last year.

Duncan said the Tories have worked with “willing partners” at the provincial and territorial level, and with aboriginal communities, signing tripartite arrangements on education, childhood family services and income assistance reform.

“We’ll continue to do that,” he said from his Ottawa office. “There’s a lot of basic infrastructure needs across the country. We’re looking at more innovative ways to try and finance some of this stuff instead of everything being on a cash basis. There’s specific and comprehensive land claims and treaty negotiations that are going on across the country.”

Expediting treaties is part of the ministry’s reconciliation agenda.

Duncan said K’ómoks First Nation negotiations have “gone well” to date.

“We’ve now had our federal election. The K’ómoks First Nation has had their election. Those were two important hurdles to go forward with.”

He said there are specific ways to expedite treaties.

“Part of it is just on the basis of personalities,” Duncan said. “We have one First Nation in the riding, Homalco, that has gone from almost a standstill to near the front of the pack in terms of advancing their treaty negotiations.

“There’s been enough progress and enough examples of settled treaties in the province. If you can take the common elements out rather than reinventing the wheel every time, then we should be able to move more quickly. Some of the British Columbia First Nations formed a common table to try and achieve exactly that, and we’ve been working with them.”

• • •

On behalf of Rona Ambrose, Minister for Status of Women, Duncan has announced federal support for a project that addresses financial and growth opportunities for aboriginal women business owners in the Comox Valley.

“This funding of nearly $260,000 over two years to the Wachiay Friendship Centre Society aimed at encouraging female entrepreneurs will have a lasting effect on the lives of women and girls in the Comox Valley,” Duncan said. “Friendship centres are  obviously very important for the aboriginal community.”

Thursday’s announcement is part of an initiative dubbed Blueprint Project, a series of seven project models that address priority areas such as ending violence against women, and improving women’s economic security and prosperity.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

RDMW frustrated over WFP response to logging trucks on the highway

“The only way you are going to have our trust back is if you sit with us all at the table.”

Working group discusses public intoxication problem in Port Hardy

The aim is to “set up a framework to make the community a safer place.”

Port Hardy RCMP’s 2017 year-end crime statistics

“We ended 2017 with 4140 files opened, versus 4042 files opened from the year before”

Duncan family says care home switched mom’s cat with robot cat

Staff alleged to have said they were taking cat for bath, then replaced her with robotic stuffed toy

Foot found near Victoria belonged to missing Washington man

No foul play suspected in death of Stanley Okumoto, 79

B.C. Games open with Olympic touch

The 2018 B.C. Winter Games kicked off in Kamloops

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Suspected serial killer targeting Toronto gay community now faces six murder charges

Bruce McArthur now charged with murders of six men: Toronto police

Trump suggests more guns in schools to combat shootings

Trump floats two-step plan for gun control: More guns, more control

Vancouver Island job market ever-evolving

Various sectors driving employment in region will be represented at Black Press career fair in Comox Feb. 8

Second Russian athlete tests positive for doping at Olympics

Russian Bobsled Federation states a drug-test sample that pilot Nadezhda Sergeeva gave on Sunday was positive.

Indigenous leaders call for change after ‘system fails’ Tina Fontaine

‘All of us should be ashamed’: Calls for change after jury finds Raymond Cormier not guilty

Atwal fiasco dogs Trudeau; PM pledges a ‘conversation’ with MP responsible

Trudeau is being peppered with questions about the lingering controversy

Germany upsets Canada in Olympic men’s hockey

Germany 4 Canada 3; Germans play OAR for gold; Canada and Czechs go for bronze

Most Read