PLEASE write a letter asking that federal cuts be reinstated as per my letter below. Feel free to use the contents of my letter.
Honourable John Duncan, PC, MP Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
600 Confederation Building
House of Commons
Ottawa ON K1A 0A6
July 1, 2012
In a speech given in Alberta on March 20, 2012, you made this pledge:
“By 2026 it (the Aboriginal population) is expected to rise to more than 1.5 million with 40% of that population under the age of 25. Over the next five years along approximately 155,000 aboriginal youth will reach working age. We must seize the opportunity before us to create the conditions for these future generations of young aboriginal people to achieve the success and prosperity they seek and that Canada needs”
On June 23, 2012, buried deeply in the The Vancouver Sun newspaper was an article, Federal cuts hit aboriginal youth programs hard where it was reported that the Treasury Board with no notice, froze a $22-million grant to Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth — a national program designed to enhance the economic, social, cultural and personal prospects for off-reserve youth.
Minister, what is the reasoning behind this given your pledge just a few months ago? And today Prime Minister Harper in his short address earlier today to commemorate Canada Day referred to a caring and compassionate society. In what way does such a massive and unexpected cut reflect those sentiments and I refer to them as simply sentiments as without the funds, programs that directly impact services to vulnerable children cannot continue.
I am referring specifically to the award winning RedFox Healthy Living Society which has been forced to close its after-school offerings after six years of serving children in ten schools and community centres in East Vancouver. If your reasoning is a direct result of finding ways to reduce the deficit, I urge you to find other ways to address the deficit.
Minister, please reinstate this funding immediately as without it, vulnerable inner city Aboriginal children across the country will be even more at risk. To paraphrase your words, let’s seize the opportunity to create the conditions and opportunities for the future generations of young aboriginal people to achieve the success and prosperity they seek and that Canada needs.