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

UPDATE: Home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’ by authorities in Campbell River

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

UPDATE: Fire in abandoned Campbell River house deemed suspicious

Reports of homeless people using vacant home at 666 8th Ave.

Campbell River man in medically-induced coma after serious dirt bike incident

GoFundMe campaign raised more than $3,000 by Monday afternoon

Campbell River firefighters respond to four structure fires in a week

North Campbell River fire deemed ‘suspicious’

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

Island Health issues safer drug-use tips ahead of music festival season

Health authority aims to reduce overdose risks at festivals

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Campers hailed heroes in rock face rescue at Vancouver Island provincial park

The campers quickly noticed the man in distress and jumped into the river to swim across.

Most Read