Indigenous Politics (IndigPoli) is a political blog that shares information and promotes Indigenous involvement in politics. This includes creating awareness of Aboriginal candidates in Federal, Provincial, local and First Nations, Métis and Inuit elections.
We also provide information and statistics on Indigenous participation in elections, when we have the data. Our focus is to encourage Indigenous people to vote, provide voting information and participate in the electoral process.
From an Indigenous perspective, First Nation, Metis and Inuit representation in the Upper House has been lacking. There are currently five Indigenous senators, with three becoming of mandatory retirement age over the next 5 years.
Senators Watt, Sibbeston, Dyck and Lovelace Nicholas are members of the Liberal Senate Forum which is separate from the House of Commons Liberal Party of Canada caucus. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau removed the Liberal Senatorsfrom the Liberal Party caucus in January 2014. Senator Patrick Brazeau is currently styled as a Independent Senator but is not a sitting member, full restoration or potential to be removed are pending legal cases.
There has been suggestions of abolishing the Senate. Respected professor and political pundit Emmet Mcfarlane suggests that abolition or certain structural changes to the Senate makeup would require constitutional change, with unanimous approval of Parliament and all 10 provincial legislatures. With Ontario, Quebec and other provinces against Senate abolition, it very unlikely that a constitutional change to the Senate would pass.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government has chosen a different path (Read) to reform the Senate. Basically, the government would set up a expert panel who would review potential appointments based on merit and contributions to Canadian. The panel would intern suggest appointments to the Prime Minister for appointment to the Senate.
The Prime Minister plans on appointing five new Senators early in the new year (2016) and fulfill all vacancies by the end of 2016. There are currently 22 vacancies and more to come, now is a good time to start thinking the many First Nation, Inuit and Metis people who could be appointed.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been sworn in and has named his ministry. Stephen Harper has resigned as Conservative leader and Edmonton area MP Rona Ambrose has been named interim Conservative leader. Thomas Mulcair will remain as his party's leader with no mention of resigning his leadership, this is a potential for a leadership review at the NDP's convention. Elizabeth May maintains the Green Party Leader and sole MP.
You will notice the opposition has chosen two or more critics for one ministry, they may be tasked with specific files within the overall portfolio. The Liberal Government will still need to choose their Parliamentary Secretaries that provide support to the Minister and represents them in the House of Commons when they are not in attendance.
Generally party critics and parliamentary secretaries will sit on the House of Commons Standing Committee for their appropriate portfolios. Parties that don't have representation in a certain region regularly appoint high profile party representatives from the respective region as critics. Neither the Conservatives nor the NDP have MPs elected in any of the Atlantic region. Example, Scott Armstrong former CPC MP has been appointed critic for ACOA and is not a member of parliament.
Indigenous issues and interests take priority with appointment of Canada's 23rd Ministry Oct. 5, 2015 (J. Fraser)
By now you have read, viewed and watched extensive coverage
of the officiating of Justin Trudeau as Canada’s 23rd Prime
Minister. He also announced his cabinet and 23rd Canadian
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated he would appoint an
equal amount of women and men to his cabinet and he has delivered on that
promise. The new cabinet represents a broad cross-section of Canadian people of
different ages, from diverse backgrounds and regions.
This includes two Indigenous people appointed to the
cabinet, Jody Wilson-Raybould as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of
Canada and Hunter Tootoo as Minister of Fisheries, Ocean and the Canadian Coast
Guard. Long time Indigenous advocate and former Liberal party critic Dr.
Carolyn Bennett was appointed Minister of Indigenous Affairs and Northern
Affairs. Once Parliamentary Secretaries have been appointed, we will add them to this list.
(Also Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Youth)
Chair - Cabinet Committee on Agenda and Results
Chair - Cabinet Committee on
Intelligence and Emergency Management (Editorial Comments: Prime Minister Trudeau has campaigned on building a Nation-to-Nation relationship with Indigenous people, as Prime Minister and Intergovernmental affairs minister he will play a pivotal role in engaging Indigenous people and leadership)
Vice-Chair - Cabinet
Committee on Canada in the World and Public Security Vice-Chair - Cabinet
Committee on Intelligence and Emergency Management
Member - Cabinet Committee on Agenda and Results
Member - Cabinet Committee on
Diversity and Inclusion Member - Canada in the World
and Public Security: Sub-Committee on Canada-United States Relations Member - Cabinet Committee on
Open and Transparent Government (Editorial Comments: Minister Wilson-Raybould as a senior Minister will have an important role in developing MMIW enquiry, working on Indigenous justice issues, reversing government litigation against First Nations and developing the Nation-to-Nation relationship with Indigenous peoples)
Member - Cabinet Committee on
Parliamentary Affairs Member - Cabinet Committee on
Environment, Climate Change and Energy (Editorial Comments - As Minister Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Minister Tootoo is also the regional minister for the north. He will play an important role in being a voice for the north and from an Indigenous perspective engaging Indigenous people on management of Canada's waterways. With the recent capsizing incident of off Tofino, Indigenous people have said they should play a role in Canada's Coast Guard)
Member - Cabinet Committee on
Diversity and Inclusion Member - Cabinet Committee on
Environment, Climate Change and Energy (Editorial Comments - Minister Bennett has stated she sees her role as a minister of reconciliation, building bridges and engaging and consulting First Nations, Metis and Inuit people. The Trudeau government has committed to reviewing legislation imposed by the Harper government and ensuring Indigenous people have meaningful consultation and fulfill the duty to consult.)
All Ministerial Mandate Letters include this preamble specific to Indigenous peoples: No relationship is more important to me and to Canada than the one with Indigenous Peoples. It is time for a renewed, nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous Peoples, based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.
You are expected to do your part to fulfill our government’s commitment to transparent, merit-based appointments, to help ensure gender parity and that Indigenous Canadians and minority groups are better reflected in positions of leadership. Source: http://pm.gc.ca/eng/ministerial-mandate-letters Individual Mandate Directives to be posted soon.