An emotional Tom Mulcair promised to form a nation-to-nation relationship with aboriginal peoples as he unveiled Wednesday the indigenous plank of his platform.
In one of the centrepieces of the NDP’s plan, Mulcair committed to removing the two per cent cap on annual federal funding increases for reserve programs and services.
He also committed $4.8 billion over eight years for aboriginal education â the first $1.8 billion to flow over the next four years with the rest to follow in a second mandate.
If the NDP wins government on Oct. 19, Mulcair said his success as a prime minister would be measured by progress for First Nations.
“I’ve said to you there’s no issue on which I’ve held more meetings,” Mulcair said at a forum hosted Wednesday by the Assembly of First Nations in Enoch, Alta.
“I would dare say to you that in fact, I’ve held more meetings on First Nations, Inuit and Metis questions across the country than all other issues combined.”
Mulcair said aboriginal issues have been a “top priority” for him because he believes the future of the country depends on improving conditions in indigenous communities.
“We can’t keep going at it this way,” he said. “It’s fruitless, it brings us down a path to failure if we continue with what the Conservatives and Liberals have done for 148 years.”