Sadly, I've been spending so much time chasing down Marty Burke, I haven't had energy left to pursue the other candidates. Which is why I wanted to share this, a press release from the campaign for Communist candidate Drew Garvie. If Burke doesn't care to use this platform to reach the voters of the Guelph, I gladly yield the space to those that do.
Communist Party candidate Drew Garvie condemns Marty Burke’s racist comments towards Aboriginal peoples
“I am appalled by Marty Burke blaming Aboriginal peoples in their struggle against forced impoverishment and Canada’s colonial legacy,” Drew Garvie said today. “The Conservative candidate let his true colour show when he clearly implied that Aboriginal communities are misspending funding and that if there is anyone to blame it is the people themselves. In fact, the opposite is true,” Garvie said.
At an all-candidates debate yesterday at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic High School Burke stated that funding was “flooding” into aboriginal communities, and then followed up with “I just wish it was a little better spent when it got there.”
“The Harper Conservatives have done nothing to alleviate poverty in general and Aboriginal poverty specifically,” Garvie said. The Communist Party of Canada is calling upon Marty Burke to formally apologize to Aboriginal communities in Canada and for other Parties to speak out about Burke's comments until they are retracted.
“The federal government must take emergency action to improve living conditions, employment, health and housing of Aboriginal communities.” Garvie said. The government must also recognize and respect Aboriginal nations’ right to sovereignty and self-determination.” The Communist Party of Canada demands the Canadian state and corporations 'pay the rent' for stolen lands and justice denied, including:
- remove all vestiges of colonialism from federal legislation;
- fast and just settlement of all land claims, including natural resource-sharing agreements without extinguishment of inherent Aboriginal title;
- immediately end the discriminatory cap on education and health funding for treaty First Nations
“We’ve come to expect this thinly veiled bigotry from Mr. Burke and the Party he represents,” Garvie said, noting that Marty Burke came under fire for similar racist comments before being declared the Guelph Conservative candidate. In a letter to the editor in 2005, Mr Burke criticized the appointment of Governor Generals Adrienne Clarkson and Michaelle Jean by saying that Canada is running out of “visible minority, immigrant, former CBC commentators with odd husbands,” Burke said.