Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Glen Hare cautiously hopeful following release of 2019 Ontario Budget

ANISHINABEK NATION HEAD OFFICE (April 15, 2019)— The 2019 Ontario Budget: Protecting What Matters Most sets a tone of system changes and investments to a healthier economy while making good on their commitment to reduce the provincial deficit to protect this generation and the next; however, Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Glen Hare is disheartened by the latest funding cuts.

Notable in this Budget is the reduction in capacity of the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs.

“Despite the cut to core funding for Indigenous Affairs, the priorities of our leadership towards improving the well-being of our communities will continue with vigor,” stated Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Glen Hare. “I will continue to advocate on behalf of our citizens to advance what is in the best interest of our nations.”

Despite the Budget’s title, it fails to include the protection of one of the most vulnerable demographics in the provincial population: Indigenous and First Nations. The cuts laid out in the Budget cause concern on the financial security for programs necessary to advance First Nations priorities.

“The Anishinabek Nation has long advocated for opportunities that will benefit the lives of our children, families, and communities—this budget contains very little in that regard,” stated Grand Council Chief Hare. “The proposed implications to the environment, social programs, education, and health in the short-term and over time are a deepening concern.”

The reality of having inadequate funding to carry out duties and responsibilities is a concept far too familiar for First Nations.

“First Nations are familiar with tightening their belts and making the best use of limited resources. In spite of this, many of our communities are forging ahead creating strong businesses and other opportunities and will continue to do so,” expressed Grand Council Chief Hare.

Notwithstanding the latest funding cuts, Grand Council Chief Hare remains cautiously hopeful.

“I am pleased that the Budget does contain promise in some sectors—there appears to be intended inclusion related to economic opportunities, investments to long-term care, and other notable commitments,” stated Grand Council Chief Hare. “Investments, collaboration and working in partnership are key to the on-going effort to transform our 40 First Nations from the status-quo struggles we encounter to ones full of potential and promise.”

The Anishinabek Nation is the political advocate for 40 member communities across Ontario, representing approximately 65,000 people. The Anishinabek Nation is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.

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