EMC Perth - Hillier urges governments to learn from past with Algonquin Land Claim

Original Article posted on January 10th, 2013 in the EMC Perth

EMC News - Randy Hillier, MPP for Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington has issued letters to both the federal and Ontario governments' chief negotiators in the Algonquin land claim expressing some of his serious concerns with the recently released preliminary draft of the Agreement in Principle (AIP).

"I think it is very important that everyone understands that this land claim directly impacts far more than just the Algonquins," said Hillier. "We need to ensure that if we are creating new processes for disposal of Crown land, that they apply to every Ontario resident and landowner, not just those related to this land claim."

To do otherwise in patently unjust and creates potential divisions within our community.

The proposed agreement between the Crown(s) and the Algonquin is available for public viewing here: www.aboriginalaffairs.gov.on.ca/english/negotiate/algonquin/preliminary-draft-aip.asp.

"I have spent significant time reviewing the AIP and am hearing very serious concerns voiced to me from my constituents," remarked Hillier. "There are aspects of this land claim that are going to outrage many if the outcome of the negotiation is simply to create advantages for some at the expense of others. We have a wonderful opportunity to change the way in which we deal with Crown land in this province, we ought not to sit idle and ignore lessons from our past."

"It deeply concerns me that once again it appears the negotiations will hand over hundreds of thousands of acres of land and millions of dollars to the elite few in these bands and leave the majority of Algonquins without voice or influence in the disposition of these assets," said Hillier. "We have seen from our historical beginnings to present day that this outcome rarely is positive, we must ensure that this deal treats every individual in this province with fairness and not just for a benefit for a few select Algonquin leaders."