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OTTAWA – “The government of Stephen Harper has insulted and shamed both Canada’s native people, and non-native people at the United Nations yesterday in New York,” said Paul Moist national president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

Despite the instrumental role that Canada played in the development of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Harper government sent the message to vote against this historic declaration.  “It augers poorly for future negotiations between the government of Canada and native people; this minority government has negotiated in bad faith with both the international community and Canada’s native representatives,” Moist said.

Canada was one of four countries to oppose the declaration that passed 143 in favour, 4 opposed, and 11 countries abstaining.

“Canada condemns other countries about their human rights violations, but the Federal government continues to violate Aboriginal peoples’ human rights,” said Leo Cheverie vice-president for diversity of CUPE and member of the CUPE Aboriginal Council.” The hypocrisy is staggering,” added Cheverie.

In Canada, native people are still at the 63rd level of the United Nations international living index, while at the same time Canadians enjoy being the ninth richest country in the world.

“This minority Conservative government has demonstrated again that the recognition of native peoples’ rights will not be respected on Mr. Harper’s watch,” concluded Moist.


For more information please contact:

Paul Moist, CUPE national president, 613-558-2873 (cell.)
Leo Cheverie, CUPE diversity vice-president, 902-940-2151 (cell.)
Catherine Louli, CUPE Communications, 613-237-1590, ext. 268 or, 613-851-0547 (cell.)