Métis rights not being discussed
By Mike Allen

I am writing in response to the letter to the editor from April 20th by Mr. Ron Quintal.

Thank you very much for the opportunity to respond to your comments regarding the Métis community in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. I wholeheartedly agree with you that in this election, Albertans will have a fundamentally important choice to make. We have a chance to shape the future of this province in a very positive way. The PC party has a strong vision for an innovative and inclusive province. I am very excited about the potential that all Albertans hold.

Let me start by saying that our strength rests not only in the natural resources of this province, but in the amazing spirit of the people. The First Nations and Métis communities of this province are tremendously important to the cultural fabric of Alberta. The Progressive Conservative party of Alberta recognizes the unique experiences that have shaped your community and contributed to your own identity. I believe that we can be a strong voice for the interests of your community. We know that your communities are impacted by oil sands development. I understand that the Minister for Intergovernmental, International and Aboriginal Relations recently visited Fort McKay and spoke with you about your concerns.

With respect to Métis harvesting rights, this is a very complicated matter with many legal and constitutional implications. Therefore, I believe there is no quick and simple solution to addressing the matter. However, I remain committed to exploring viable solutions with you. In regards to a Métis consultation policy, I wish to reaffirm the PC assurance that we will always engage with the First Nations and Métis people with integrity, good faith and mutual respect. Without these conditions, I do not believe it is possible to have a meaningful and productive dialogue on the issues. The PC government has been in the process of developing a Métis consultation policy and we hope to be able to gather initial public input later this year.

Finally, I want to stress that our party believes in facilitating mutually beneficial relationships between the provincial government, First Nations, Métis and industry that contribute to a growing provincial economy. A Progressive Conservative government will ensure that all Albertans are able to enjoy in the great prosperity we have in this province. Should we be re-elected, we look forward to fostering our partnership with the Métis people of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. I wish to continue this vital dialogue with the intent of creating opportunities for more economic participation

Mike Allen PC Candidate, Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo Fort McMurray