Friday, February 01, 2013

Winnipeg Liberal leadership debate tomorrow

There was a lot of hullabaloo on twitter last night about the format of the Liberal leadership debate happening tomorrow in Winnipeg. But substance matters too:

WINNIPEG - Joyce Murray, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra and candidate for the Leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada called on the Liberal Party to put Indigenous issues back on the agenda for Saturday's debate in Winnipeg after a letter to the Liberal Party's National President from the Aboriginal Peoples Commission was distributed to Leadership candidates.

"More Indigenous people live in Winnipeg than in any other major city in Canada and it's a shame that this timely and important issue was dropped," said MP Murray. "The Liberal Party has to do more to engage with Indigenous Canadians, not less. As the Idle No More movement has captivated Canada's attention and begun serious dialogues on Indigenous issues now is not the time to be removing this discussion from the debate. It is a time for our Party to commit to building new relationships with Indigenous peoples."

In the letter from the APC, a commission within the Liberal Party that represents and promotes the interests of Aboriginal members, they state that Indigenous issues were dropped from the topics for the debate and urge the Party to strongly reconsider not including Aboriginal policy content in the Winnipeg debate.

"This debate was an opportunity for the Liberal Party to reach out to the largest urban demographic of Indigenous Canadians and engage them on issues that matter to their communities," said MP Murray. "Now Indigenous people are being left out in the cold without a forum to have their issues discussed. I join the Aboriginal Peoples Commission's call in urging the Party to put Indigenous issues back on the agenda immediately and let these issues be talked about by all the Leadership candidates."

Tune in tomorrow at 1 - 3 pm CT/2 - 4 pm EST.