Taylor Bachrach, NDP MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley addresses Parliament on June 7, in call for the federal government to stop fighting Indigenous children in court and to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action. (Image: supplied from Facebook)

Taylor Bachrach, NDP MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley addresses Parliament on June 7, in call for the federal government to stop fighting Indigenous children in court and to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action. (Image: supplied from Facebook)

NDP motion calling for immediate reconciliation action passes

Skeena-Bulkley MP Taylor Bachrach addresses federal Parliament

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach stood up in a winning parliamentary call for the federal government to stop fighting Indigenous children in court and to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action, on June 7.

The motion also called on the federal government to take concrete actions towards reconciliation with Indigenous people.

While Parliament passed the NDP motion, many Liberal cabinet members and the Prime Minister remained silent and chose not to vote, a media statement issued by the MP’s office stated.

“It’s unacceptable that while people across the country are expressing their grief at the discovery of 215 unmarked burial sites at the Kamloops Residential School, the Liberals are in court fighting against First Nations children and residential school survivors,” Bachrach said. “By not even bothering to show up for today’s vote, the Prime Minister’s actions speak louder than any words.”

Bachrach said that there are many examples of how Canada’s “shameful treatment of Indigenous people continues today.”

“As one person said, it’s not one chapter in our history, it’s the entire plot of the book,” he said in his speech to parliament.

While addressing parliament, the MP said he knows a lot of non-indigenous people are feeling sad at the tragic discovery near Kamloops, but what he is hearing from a lot of indigenous people is that indulging in the sadness does not make the situation they face any better.

“What they want us to do, especially those of us in positions of power and influence is to fight like hell in this moment, when people care about something they should have cared about a long time ago. To fight like hell for real action. That’s where this motion comes from … We must act now,” Bachrach said.

In addition to demanding the government to drop its court battles, the NDP motion called on the government to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action regarding investigations of missing indigenous children at residential schools and to provide adequate resources to help residential school survivors heal.

“The Indigenous people I have spoken to over the past week overwhelmingly want to know where their loved ones are,” he said.

“I was infuriated to learn that in 2009 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission asked the Harper government for $1.5 million to search residential school properties … shamefully those funds were denied. What would Indigenous communities know today had that money been granted 12 years ago.”

The NDP is also calling for the full implementation of the Calls to Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

“Truth comes before reconciliation for a reason,” Bachrach said.

As Bachrach spoke during the debate he raised some of the heartbreaking stories from residential school survivors in the Northwest, and expressed the significance genuine steps towards reconciliation would mean for many in the region. Bachrach recently attended ceremonies at Lejac and Witset following the discovery in Kamloops.

During his address in parliament, he cited the example of Lower Post residents who since the 1970s have been forced to use the former residential school as their band office. He said he witnessed elders who suffered abuse having to walk through the doors time and time again to access basic services. Bachrach said he was shown in the basement the dark place under the stairs where atrocities occurred.

“A new building will finally be built in a few short weeks … it’s a long-overdue step in the healing process, however, we have to ask ourselves why did it take us so long.”

After the vote was passed Bachrach said there is still much work ahead.

“The sad fact is, the government’s progress on these issues has been far too slow. Now that this motion has passed, we will keep pushing them to take concerted action on reconciliation,” the MP said.


K-J Millar | Journalist
Send K-J email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

politicians

Just Posted

Visitors to a pop-up temporary aquarium in Prince Rupert will have the chance to see marine ecology from July 21 to Aug. 15, like this viewer watching sea anemones at the Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Prince Rupert pop-up aquarium will bring sea level to eye level in July

A permanent peak to reef ecology centre is in the planning stages by North Coast Ecology Society

Prince Rupert’s Ellen Wright and Graeme Dickens jam out during filming the two Ring System Studio concerts to be broadcast on television during June. (Photo: supplied, H. Cox)
Ring System Studio sounds on television

Two concerts by the Prince Rupert music school will be broadcast in June

Commerical marijuana grow ops that are budding up in Prince Rupert’s downtown core are legal and out of the city’s jurisdiction, Mayor Lee Brain said, on June 14. (Photo:supplied/K-J Millar)
Prince Rupert downtown’s pretty dope

Marijuana operations grow in the Prince Rupert city core

Unionized longshore and port workers gather along Highway 16 on June 15 not crossing the picket line where Prince Rupert Solidarity Movement group protests the docking and unloading of the JPO Volans, a ship with Israeli designed technology and equipment. (Photo: K-J Millar/the Northern View)
Prince Rupert Solidarity Group pickets at port in protest

Demonstrations against the container ship JPO Volans lead into the second day to dissuade docking

BC Ferries has announced the welcoming back onboard of recreational travellers on June 15 after the provincial travel restrictions were lifted. (Courtesy of BC Ferries)
BC Ferries welcomes back recreational passengers

The ferries corp will relax mask-wearing in outdoor spaces

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Most Read