Perry Bellegarde has reclaimed his seat as national chief for the Assembly of First Nations, in an election that also saw his challengers accuse the federal government of interference. Bellegarde won 328 of the 522 votes in a second ballot, giving him just over the 60 per cent needed to be elected as leader for a second term.
Bellegarde, who is from the Little Black Bear First Nation in Treaty 4 territory in Saskatchewan, has said his close relationship with the federal government has secured billions of dollars in new funding for Indigenous issues over the last three budgets.Sheila North of Manitoba won 125 votes, Miles Richardson of B.C. won 59 votes and Russ Diabo of Quebec won 10 votes.
“Entering Canada no free ticket to stay,” Goodale
The Liberal government has made it clear that simply entering Canada is not a “free ticket” for newcomers to stay in the country, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told MPs studying the ongoing influx of asylum seekers from the United States. But no matter how a person arrives in Canada, the individual must be given a fair hearing to determine whether they require protection, Goodale said during a House of Commons immigration committee meeting.
According to the most recent numbers, the RCMP intercepted 1,263 people at the border in June, which is down from 1,869 in May. Conservative immigration critic Michelle Rempel ihas urged the Liberals to come up with a better plan to deal with the asylum seekers. During the committee meeting, she pressed the government about extending the Safe Third Country agreement to the entire border. Goodale said making every inch of the border an official entry point would mean staffing the entire length, suggesting that would be impractical. In addition, he said, the Americans would have to mirror the effort to make it work.
The government’s plan to address the asylum seeker issue draws on resources from the 2018 budget, said Goodale, who described the border situation as a challenge, not a “crisis” as the Tories allege.