Top News

Provincial Liberals reaffirm support for land claim

NunatuKavut president Todd Russell (left) met with provincial Liberal leader Dwight Ball earlier today, to discuss the Liberal’s commitment to affirming his party's support for settling a claim should his party be elected in the Nov. 30 provincial election.
NunatuKavut president Todd Russell (left) met with provincial Liberal leader Dwight Ball earlier today, to discuss the Liberal’s commitment to affirming his party's support for settling a claim should his party be elected in the Nov. 30 provincial election.

Darlene Wall works in the office of NunatuKavut, tackling health-related support programs and generally helping members with their troubles.

She was brought to tears briefly on this morning, at the thought of what might be possible if the Government of Canada and NunatuKavut enter into talks and come to terms on a land claim.

She was more than encouraged as Liberal leader Dwight Ball handed a letter to NunatuKavut president Todd Russell, affirming his party's support for settling a claim.

The federal Liberals, under newly crowned Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have made similar commitments to negotiations.

"In my heart of hearts, I believe this is it," Wall said. "I believe this is truly a recognition of our elders, the generations before us and the generations to come. And what this is going to mean for the people in our communities is beyond anything that any of them can just ... It will be a win-win situation. As president Todd Russell said this morning, that this is not just about our people, but about all people in this province and in this country."

Liberal Perry Trimper, running for a seat as a member of the House of Assembly against Progressive Conservative Keith Russell, and NDP candidate Arlene Michelin Pittman, said he has been watching private companies, resource developers, approaching NunatuKavut in regards to potential projects in recent years, despite no land claim.

"For the last 30 years, these people have been my friends, my neighbours and elders I've learned to respect," he said. "So this is the start of bringing them to the table."

Ball said he would begin talks as soon as possible, if elected. Russell highlighted the fact the same commitment had been long-standing, but having the Liberals put it in writing in a letter come election time is a positive message.

"We feel very, very confident that it is something they're going to live up to," he said.

Russell said even entering into land claim negotiations — a long, detailed process — can open up certain programs, but also gives the right signal to all governments and developers.

"I believe that with the new tone and the new direction and the change that's happening in Ottawa … that you're going to see a greater openness to resolving land claims around the country generally, and I believe that ours will be a part of that new change that's happening in Ottawa."

A former Liberal MP, Russell said he will be reaching out to the other party leaders for similar commitments during the election campaign period.

 

afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com

She was brought to tears briefly on this morning, at the thought of what might be possible if the Government of Canada and NunatuKavut enter into talks and come to terms on a land claim.

She was more than encouraged as Liberal leader Dwight Ball handed a letter to NunatuKavut president Todd Russell, affirming his party's support for settling a claim.

The federal Liberals, under newly crowned Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have made similar commitments to negotiations.

"In my heart of hearts, I believe this is it," Wall said. "I believe this is truly a recognition of our elders, the generations before us and the generations to come. And what this is going to mean for the people in our communities is beyond anything that any of them can just ... It will be a win-win situation. As president Todd Russell said this morning, that this is not just about our people, but about all people in this province and in this country."

Liberal Perry Trimper, running for a seat as a member of the House of Assembly against Progressive Conservative Keith Russell, and NDP candidate Arlene Michelin Pittman, said he has been watching private companies, resource developers, approaching NunatuKavut in regards to potential projects in recent years, despite no land claim.

"For the last 30 years, these people have been my friends, my neighbours and elders I've learned to respect," he said. "So this is the start of bringing them to the table."

Ball said he would begin talks as soon as possible, if elected. Russell highlighted the fact the same commitment had been long-standing, but having the Liberals put it in writing in a letter come election time is a positive message.

"We feel very, very confident that it is something they're going to live up to," he said.

Russell said even entering into land claim negotiations — a long, detailed process — can open up certain programs, but also gives the right signal to all governments and developers.

"I believe that with the new tone and the new direction and the change that's happening in Ottawa … that you're going to see a greater openness to resolving land claims around the country generally, and I believe that ours will be a part of that new change that's happening in Ottawa."

A former Liberal MP, Russell said he will be reaching out to the other party leaders for similar commitments during the election campaign period.

 

afitzpatrick@thetelegram.com

Recent Stories