Called to resign, Pierre Dufour apologizes

Called to resign, Pierre Dufour apologizes

Called to ; resign, Pierre Dufour apologizes

The MP for Abitibi-Est, Pierre Dufour. (File photo)

The Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL), Ghislain Picard, urges the CAQ MP for Abitibi-Est, Pierre Dufour, to resign. He replies that he does not deny the Viens commission and apologizes to those hurt by his remarks.

Chief Picard believes that Mr. Dufour's recent public outing undermines efforts at reconciliation and rapprochement between First Nations and the rest of the community, particularly those undertaken by the government of François Legault.

We ask that he resign from his post as deputy. I find it hard to believe that Mr. Dufour's comments represent the general opinion of the citizens of his riding, said Mr. Picard.

Recall that Pierre Dufour publicly defended the representatives of the City of Val-d'Or, last Monday, during a meeting of the municipal council. He lamented the way Mayor Céline Brindamour is handling the problems of homelessness and delinquency downtown.

Mr. Dufour also denigrated a report by Radio-Canada's Enquête program on Indigenous women. He also criticized the Viens commission, responsible for examining relations between Aboriginal peoples and certain public services.

Pierre Dufour's comments take us back to 2019, continues Ghislain Picard. In 2019, after the apologies [to the First Nations and Inuit] delivered by Prime Minister [François] Legault, it just tints those apologies.

Ghislain Picard, Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador. (File photo)

On the telephone, MP Dufour denies reinforcing the racism of certain citizens, as the chief of the Anishnabe Nation of Lac-Simon accuses him of, for example. , Lucien Wabanonik.

Pierre Dufour apologizes to those who were hurt by his comments. These are sensitive files, he points out. If my remarks touched on the sensitivity of these people, I apologize, because it was not my objective, but to stem the problem with which we have had to deal for some time in Val-d'Or.< /p>

Mr. Dufour adds that he wanted above all to express himself on the problems of homelessness and delinquency in downtown Val-d'Or. He believes that these problems cannot be reduced to the issue of racism or even relations with First Nations.

It is certain and certain, when we make a media outing of this type, that we sometimes risk being a little too emotional and saying things that may be poorly perceived, he points out. Throughout this dynamic, the objective is to ensure people's safety [in relation to the situation in downtown Val-d'Or and citizen activism].

Pierre Dufour also qualifies his remarks on the Viens commission, which he claims not to oppose. Just because I mentioned something about the Come Commission doesn't mean I'm not in action with it, he says.

What the Come Commission wants, these are actions to achieve well-being with [indigenous] communities and with non-indigenous communities. I am perfectly in symbiosis with this element, assures Mr. Dufour.

This one declared last Monday that the Viens commission had concluded that the police officers of Val-d&#x27 ;Orracized the Aboriginals by giving more tickets to the homeless.

“What we are talking about right now [for downtown Val-d'Or] are situations of aggression and of vandalism that are made by different individuals. And let's stop saying it's just aboriginal people. It's not just aboriginals, there are non-natives in there too.

—Pierre Dufour, MP for Abitibi-Est

Lucien Wabanonik, Chief of the Anishnabe Nation of Lac-Simon. (File photo)

Lucien Wabanonik, who is also calling for the resignation of Pierre Dufour, believes that the first explanations of this one come too little, too late.

The chief of Lac-Simon is referring here to a recent Facebook post by Mr. Dufour where the latter explains that he expressed himself under [the blow of] emotion during the meeting of the municipal council of Val-d'Or of May 15. Mr. Wabanonik also considers Pierre Dufour's most recent apology to be insufficient. The damage is already done, he argues.

Start of the widget. Skip widget?End of widget. Back to top of widget?

First, I don't think he should have said those words, Mr. Wabanonik said. When you experience important and intense emotions, it is better to take a step or two back and shut up. Maybe that's what Mr. Dufour should have done instead of getting into that kind of talk.

< p>“I was very shocked to hear this stuff again. It's really absurd. It is frustrating, even, to hear an elected official, at the level of the government, who takes this kind of position and this language. It's really hard to understand and hear. »

— Lucien Wabanonik, Chief of the Anishnabe Nation of Lac-Simon

Chiefs Picard and Wabanonik, in addition to the resignation of Pierre Dufour, urge the Government of Quebec to break silence and to publicly denounce the public outing of the member for Abitibi-Est.

It's taken lightly, it's as if it were harmless , continues Mr. Wabanonik, comparing Mr. Dufour's recent comments to his past statements about caribou. The rights of indigenous peoples, it is as if it is something that is not important to him.