The Cree Nation Government joins the Assembly of First Nation in Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) and Val-d’Or Native Friendship Centre in condemning the disgraceful remarks made by MNA Pierre Dufour during a recent Val-d’Or council meeting. MNA Dufour, representing the important riding of the Abitibi-Est region, acted recklessly when dismissing the investigations made by Enquête and subsequently the independent Viens Commission that saw many women and men bravely came forth with testimonies denouncing acts of physical and sexual assaults and discriminatory practices by services rendered by the Québec public sector.
Returning the burden of proof into the court of public opinion onto a group of women and men who have bravely come forward, without the veil of anonymity, to cast a light on a dark side of society must not be a judgment that can be passed on lightly.
The social issues that are present in Val-d’Or are complex and unfortunately, not new. However, when tensions begin to ramp up, it is elected leadership that is expect to be at the fore of guided and balanced actions and thoughtful remedies. We must be able to genuinely work together if we are to see change.
“Recognizing a fault line in a society does not necessarily mean that we are the ones responsible for it. It can however mean that we can be the ones to take the opportunity to redress the line, and finally, do better by leading by example. The path towards reconciliation is hindered and sets us back when irresponsible actions become the focus. It is unfortunate to see this regression when the Premier himself stated that reconciliation was an important factor of his mandate.” – Grand Chief Mandy Gull-Masty
In a call with Mayor Céline Brindamour today, Grand Chief Gull-Masty has reaffirmed the support of the Cree Nation Government to the City of Val-d’Or. The Cree Nation Government is deeply disappointed by MNA Pierre Dufour’s comments that are extremely irresponsible, divisive, and confusing given the party’s insistence that it is not the words that matter but rather the actions when it comes to systemic discrimination, and calls on the Québec Government to remedy these doubts and lack of confidence on our path towards reconciliation.
Political attachée – Office of the Grand Chief