January 15, 2006

An open letter from Assembly of First NationsAbuse Tracker Chief Phil Fontaine to Conservative Party of Canada leader Stephen Harper

CNW Group

OTTAWA, Jan. 14 /CNW Telbec/ -

Dear Mr. Harper:

I am writing you to raise several critically important issues which
require your immediate attention and response. Because these issues are
matters of important public policy for all Canadians you should know that I
will be releasing this letter publicly.
Over the past several days you have sought through the media to clarify
your party's position on the Kelowna First Ministers Meeting agreement and,
secondly, on the residential school settlement agreement.
Your responses to both issues are of great concern. Should your party
form the next government, we believe that your actions on these two important
matters will indicate how the Conservative party will deal with our people in
the years to come. Therefore your response to this letter will be weighed
carefully by our people when they make their decision of who to vote for on
January 23rd.
With respect to the residential schools Settlement Agreement, The Globe
and Mail reported on Friday, January 13, that: "The Conservative Leader said,
however, that he would follow through with the agreement to compensate victims
of residential school abuse, although he may make slight adjustments". We
would like to know precisely what you mean by "slight adjustments". Given the
complexity of the Settlement Agreement, the great difficulty in achieving it,
and the terms of the abeyance agreements of the class actions, even the
slightest of changes will legally undo the Agreement and send thousands of
cases and numerous class actions back into the courts.

Posted by kshaw at January 15, 2006 11:13 AM