Labrador Inuit optimistic with O'Regan at the helm of Indigenous Services

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Post by Cool~Way on Tue Jan 15, 2019 5:08 pm

Nunatsiavut president says O'Regan will be 'a very good help' to Nunatsiavut Government in new role

CBC News · Posted: Jan 15, 2019

Labrador Inuit optimistic with O'Regan at the helm of Indigenous Services Seamus-o-regan

Seamus O'Regan has the support of some Indigenous leaders in Newfoundland and Labrador as he begins his new role as minister of Indigenous services following a federal cabinet shuffle on Monday.

O'Regan moved to Labrador at "a very early age," and says some of the first people he met when moving there were the Innu leadership.

"Going to Sheshatshiu — and you think about it in the early '80s — it was just something I'd never seen before ... I didn't know people were struggling," he said.

"That left an indelible mark on me. Afterwards, my academic career — my undergraduate thesis, my masters dissertation, have all been on Innu political mobilization and Innu involvement in the Lower Churchill."


This is a big passion of mine and a big part of where I'm from.

- Seamus O'Regan


O'Regan also spent five years working on land rights with both the Department of Justice and the Premier's Office, and while he admits that things have changed since then, he said he's still dedicated to Indigenous issues.

"With all humility, that's 20 years ago, there's been a lot that's gone on since," he said.

"But this is a big passion of mine and a big part of where I'm from."


Inuit leadership happy with appointment

Nunatsiavut President Johannes Lampe said he hopes O'Regan's childhood in Happy Valley-Goose Bay will give him knowledge of Indigenous issues that will benefit the Labrador Inuit.

Labrador Inuit optimistic with O'Regan at the helm of Indigenous Services Johannes-lampe
Johannes Lampe, president of the Nunatsiavut Government says he's optimistic that O'Regan's appointment will be beneficial for the Labrador Inuit.


"We're pleased with Minister O'Regan's appointment," he said.

"I feel a relationship will be built on how Labrador Inuit, and him as a Labradorian, [can connect] very positively."

O'Regan takes over the Indigenous Services portfolio from Jane Philpott, who was named president of the Treasury Board, a position which was left vacant when Nova Scotia MP Scott Brison announced last week that he was leaving cabinet.


We're optimistic that Minister O'Regan will be a very good help to the Nunatsiavut government.

- Johannes Lampe


Lampe said Philpott was instrumental in securing important funding for Nunatsiavut, but he is hopeful that her successor will be able to do the same.

"We were [working] with Minister Philpott on health and housing, and certainly the food insecurities and the things that Labrador Inuit have to go though, such as poverty, suicide, and so on," Lampe said.

"Minister Philpott is very action oriented and we're optimistic that Minister O'Regan will be a very good help to the Nunatsiavut government."


Lampe said Nunatsiavut has experience working with O'Regan and are eager to work with him in his new role.

"Minister O'Regan seems to be very keen on doing his part to advance the many files that Labrador Inuit are dealing with and now that he is minister of Indigenous affairs, we look forward to working with him," he said.

"We had the opportunity to meet with him a short time ago, as he's also the provincial representative in the federal cabinet, to talk about the number of key files from the Nain airstrip, housing, energy security, food insecurity, and so on."


'Keep the momentum going'

Like Lampe, O'Regan credited Philpott and Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett for laying the groundwork for him, but O'Regan said he intends to "keep the momentum going" for Indigenous people in their communities.

"My first priority is reaching out to leadership — First Nations, Inuit, Metis leadership — and saying the pedal is still to the metal," he said.

"At the same time, I also know with great humility, that I've got a lot of listening to do, as I did in Veterans Affairs."

O'Regan also said his government is committment to reconciliation, something that he said is good for Canada.

"Reconciliation is something that will benefit every Canadian, making sure that we all progress," he said.


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Post by JAFO on Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:09 pm

Give it time your opinion will change...it did with veterans
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Post by Simmons on Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:53 pm

Is Trudeau risking reconciliation by putting a failed Veterans Affairs Minister in charge?

by Travis Gladue-Beauregard - January 18, 2019in Alberta News, Analysis, Canadian News, Opinion, Politics



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Post by Falcon on Sun Jan 27, 2019 7:35 pm

OPINION: Trudeau leaves the North out in the cold

Published:
January 27, 2019



Labrador Inuit optimistic with O'Regan at the helm of Indigenous Services Trudeau-oregan-e1547919313134


By Jonas J. Smith

On Jan. 14, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shuffled his cabinet in the wake of Treasury Board president Scott Brison’s resignation.

According to some pundits, the timing of Brison’s departure is seen by many as a move to distance the Trudeau Liberals from the pending trial of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, charged with leaking cabinet secrets, in which it is expected that defence lawyers will call Brison to testify on his central role in the scandal. Although Brison says the decision is entirely for personal reasons.

To accommodate Brison’s vacancy, the Prime Minister has shuffled three veteran ministers and promoted two new additions from his caucus back benches. What does this shuffle mean for the North?


For starters, despite having served the better part of the last 20 years in Ottawa, Yukon’s five-term Liberal MP Larry Bagnell was passed over for a seat at the cabinet table — again.

When the Liberals won all three territorial seats in the 2015 election, northerners’ hopes for senior representation in the Liberal government were briefly realized when Trudeau tapped Nunavut MP Hunter Tootoo for a cabinet portfolio.

Tootoo however, was soon forced to resign only six months later following a scandal of his own.

Since Tootoo’s departure it would appear that a perspective from the Yukon, Northwest Territories and/or Nunavut is not on this prime minister’s priority list, for neither Bagnell nor his NWT counterpart MP Michael McLeod, made the cut.

This latest shuffle is just the most recent opportunity Trudeau has passed on where he could have ensured representation of 40% of our country’s land mass in government decisions.

Not only geographically large, the North also has a relatively large per-capita number of indigenous citizens, with the three territories’ respective indigenous populations ranging from roughly 23% to 86%, compared to the national average of just over 4%.

Accordingly, effective leadership of the various federal departments who offer programming and service delivery is crucial for empowering and enabling the success and self-determination northerners strive to achieve.

To oversee the Indigenous Services portfolio, the shuffle saw Trudeau reassign Seamus O’Regan, former minister of Veterans Affairs.

He is a personal friend of the prime minister and accompanied him on the ill-fated Christmas vacation to a billionaire’s private island, which resulted in Trudeau having the dubious honour of being the first prime minister in Canadian history to have the federal ethics watchdog determine he broke conflict-of-interest laws.

O’Regan was most recently in the news for raising the ire of veterans when he suggested he could relate with their pain and struggles because of his experiences when he left his pre-political career on a morning television show.

Time will tell what parallels he may draw between his life in the TV limelight and the historic and ongoing experiences of Canada’s indigenous peoples to base department decisions on.


Conservatives believe northerners should make decisions about the north. In the previous successive Conservative governments of Stephen Harper, when there was a northerner in caucus, there was always a northerner at the cabinet table.

Under the leadership of Andrew Scheer, delegates at the Conservative Party’s national convention in August 2018 overwhelmingly voted in favour that a Conservative government will allow the three territories, like the provinces, to retain 100% of their respective resource royalties.

Northerners, not Ottawa, know how to best invest and manage their natural wealth.

Yet unfortunately for the time being, with this latest snub denying a territorial MP a seat at the cabinet table, it seems that once again Trudeau has left the North out in the cold.




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