Source: The Canadian Press – Broadcast wire
Jul 26, 2018
VANCOUVER – Perry Bellegarde says he plans to keep working closely with the federal and provincial governments to improve the quality of life for Indigenous peoples, after being re-elected national chief of the Assembly of First Nations yesterday.
Bellegarde won 328 of the 522 votes in a second ballot last night, giving him just over the 60 per cent needed to be elected as leader for a second term.
While his challengers criticized Bellegarde for being too cosy with Ottawa, he says it’s the federal government that is responding to the assembly’s agenda — not the other way around.
He pointed to legislative changes and new investments in education, water, housing and health care as evidence.
The vote in Vancouver sparked some controversy, as all four of Bellegarde’s challengers claimed election interference by the federal government because Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett was present during the vote.
Bennett’s office says she was invited by Chief Marlene Poitras of Alberta to listen to her regional concerns, and at no point was the election for national chief discussed.
(The Canadian Press)
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