(from Robin’s Speech at the recent forum in Cranbrook)
I love the story of the Two Row Wampum - two canoes, two nations travelling down the river of life together in friendship and in peace; respecting one another, discussing solutions, as friends, as nation to nation. It’s a beautiful analogy.
Reconciliation is important. And it’s going to take years. It’s not enough to sprinkle some money at it and walk away. There’s been a lot of hurt.
I’ve had the honour of watching the Ktunaxa nation rise up and become stronger, more confident and take on some amazing projects and programs that help us all. I owned a motel in Cranbrook and a number of contractors who worked on the Resort stayed with us. For that I am grateful. I am grateful for the events you host, the tourism boost you give our economy, and the positive impact your nation’s projects and programs have had on the entire Kootenay Columbia.
And those are just a couple examples of our nation-to-nation partnership, of a synergy that exists and is growing.
Governments aren’t perfect. We’ve made mistakes. Progress takes time. What I like about the Liberal Party is a person can support Jody Wilson Raybould, support our leader, and remain in the Party. Look at Terry Beech from Burnaby North Seymore. He voted against the pipeline and wasn’t whipped into line or put out of the party. He stood up for his constituency. This is how politics should be. Certainly that’s how I’ll be.
My values align with the Liberal values – values like inclusion, diversity and reconciliation. And the amount of work our government has done helps me say “I’m a Liberal”. Yes, we’ve made mistakes. But we’ve also made some incredible progress
We are closing the gap with
• Better Services – for education - the Liberal government said yes to every point of the Education Steering Committee on the BC Tripartite Education Framework Agreement.
• Better Services for self directed social and health issues including the Jordan principle – the child first principle - We must ensure First Nations children get the services they need when they need them
• We have fixed much infrastructure including 85 long-term boil water advisories on Indigenous land and are online to complete all by 2020.
• We’re working for Strong Indigenous Economies
- with Infrastructure dollars
- renewable energy projects
- ensuring you benefit from the resources in your territories
• We will continue the path to reconciliation - by listening and acting
- Focus on language and cultural education
- Repatriation of cultural artifacts and ancestral remains
- Environmental dollars - $16 million Jumbo program
- Transitioning away from the Indian Act
- Implement United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by the end of 2020
I’m here today to ask you to Choose Forward. We’re not done yet. Yes, we’ve made mistakes. We can do better. We will do better. It’s important we vote for the person and the party with the capacity to do the best for our nations. Choose forward - vote Liberal this election. Vote for Robin Goldsbury.