Ministers dissociate themselves from the words of Pierre Dufour

Ministers dissociate themselves from the words of Pierre Dufour

Des Ministers dissociate themselves from Pierre Dufour's remarks

The Minister responsible for Relations with First Nations and Inuit, Ian Lafrenière (File photo)

Members of the Legault government salute the apologies of the CAQ MP for Abitibi-Est, Pierre Dufour, while dissociating himself from the remarks he made last week during a meeting of the Val-d'Or municipal council.

These declarations then come that new organizations are demanding the resignation of Mr. Dufour.

I think he spoke under the influence of emotion, mentioned the Minister responsible for Relations with First Nations and Inuit, Ian Lafrenière, at the microphone of the program Midi < em>info, which also recalls that Pierre Dufour has apologised.

Kateri Champagne Jourdain, Minister of Employment, believes like her colleague Ian Lafrenière that he it is not necessary to exclude him from the caucus of the Coalition avenir Québec.

Mr. Dufour had the chance to speak about his words, to explain them, to say that his words had exceeded his thoughts. Now, once that's said, we have to learn from our mistakes and work in that direction, because that does not at all reflect the spirit and the relationship that our government wants to develop with the First Nations, said Ms. Champagne Jourdain, first Aboriginal elected to the National Assembly and to the Cabinet.

Kateri Champagne Jourdain, first Aboriginal woman to join the Council of Ministers. (File photo)

Recall that Pierre Dufour publicly defended the representatives of the City of Val-d'Or during a meeting of the municipal council which brought together nearly 80 citizens unhappy with the increase in crime and homelessness downtown.

Mr. Dufour had also denigrated in passing the report of the show Radio-Canada investigation into alleged abuse by Sûreté du Québec agents of Indigenous women, in addition to criticizing an aspect of the Viens commission, responsible for examining relations between Indigenous peoples and certain public services.

In an interview with Radio-Canada, MP Dufour clarified last Monday that the security issue should not be racialized in downtown Val-d 'However, an opinion shared by Minister Lafrenière.

We really have to make a distinction between problems of incivility, problems related to people who live in a situation of homelessness and Aboriginal-non-Aboriginal relations, he observed.

“For a man who has been in the police force for 26 years, I know very well that the only solution is not repression. There is also prevention. That's why we invest with the Native Friendship Center, Chez Willie, La Piaule, among others. There are several organizations that we support, with Pierre Dufour for that matter. »

— Ian Lafrenière, Minister responsible for First Nations and Inuit Relations

Pierre Dufour's remarks to the Val-d'Or municipal council last week continue to make people react. (File photo)

Mr. Lafrenière assures that he is in communication with the mayor of Val-d'Or, Céline Brindamour, to try to solve the problems of delinquency and homelessness in downtown Val-d' x27;Gold. Unlike Pierre Dufour, however, he believes that a repressive and coercive approach will not solve these problems.

I spoke with the mayor [Brindamour] just recently. My colleague François Bonnardel [Minister of Public Security] is doing the same thing. In terms of public security, there are already changes that have been announced for the police presence, argued Ian Lafrenière.

Minister Lafrenière believes that changes have occurred to Val-d'Or in the wake of the Enquête reportin 2015. Some things have changed forever. For example, the way we police. We see the mixed unit, which brings together native police officers, non-native police officers and social workers. They work together, he insisted.

If he understands that Pierre Dufour spoke under the influence of emotion, Ian Lafrenière did not specify whether his colleague's exit tarnishes his government's reconciliation efforts with First Nations and Inuit.

Pierre Dufour's public intervention continues to provoke reactions from indigenous groups, who want his resignation and are calling on the government of François Legault to publicly disavow him.

Régis Penosway, Chief of the Kitcisakik Community (File photo)

After the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, it is the turn of the Anicinapek Council of Kitcisakik and the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) to call for his resignation.

These remarks are already damaging, mentions the head of the Council of Kitcisakik, Régis Pénosway. The links with the police and so on, it was a long-term job, whether on the side of the Sûreté du Québec or on our side. We just dove back in, it all came to the surface.

Chief Pénosway calls Pierre Dufour's comments on the Enquête report unacceptable, adding that he is asking for much more than an apology. We'll join other communities calling for his resignation, he says.

AFAC President Carol McBride has declined our interview request.

Quebec Solidaire co-spokesperson Manon Massé, who is also calling for the resignation of Pierre Dufour, questioned Minister Lafrenière in the National Assembly on this subject earlier today [Wednesday].

Is anyone in that government, be it the Minister for the Status of Women, the Minister of Relations with First Nations, the Minister of Justice or the Prime Minister , will take responsibility for saying that the member's comments are unacceptable? she asked in particular.

Manon Massé, co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire (File photo)

After notably recalling the apologies of Pierre Dufour, Mr. Lafrenière said his government is working to improve relations with First Nations and Inuit.

I totally disagree with what he said. For what? Because we act. We acted for the Viens commission. We also acted on the recommendations of the Enquiry in 2015. We are taking action. It won't stop. We will continue, replied Ian Lafrenière.

He apologized for the comments that touched the sensitivity of people, retorted Ms. Massé. What women who have had the courage to speak out need to hear is that he trusted them and that they named the reality they experienced.

Manon Massé has also tried several times to question the Minister responsible for the Status of Women, Martine Biron, on this subject, without success.