The MP for North Okanagan Shuswap is characterizing the Liberal cabinet changes as “shuffling the deck chairs on a ship that’s heading deeper and deeper into debt.”
“The prime minster has made some changes. He may be the only one who really knows the reasons for the changes. Performance is probably one of them, so hopefully the new ministers can do well in those portfolios,” says Conservative MP Mel Arnold.
Mel Arnold was commenting on the appointment of Ginette Petipas Taylor as the new health minister and Seamus O’Regan as the veteran affairs minister, among other changes announced by Prime Minister Trudeau.
Arnold says he hopes the Liberal’s move to split the Indigenous and Northern Affairs departments will produce positive results for First Nations.
However, he says there is already a concern it could lead to the ministries not working together.
“We have seen the concern coming from some interested parties, that it may create a silo effect with two ministries vying for funding. And are there going to be communications issues between the two ministries?”
Prime Minister Trudeau says the goal is to encourage self-government and to get rid of the Indian Act.
Trudeau has put Carolyn Bennett in charge of Crown issues and nation building with Indigenous Peoples, while Jane Philpott will handle Indigenous Services.
“There has to be a building of trust. With First Nations, we work hard to build that trust, and when that trust is there, you have to respect it. There’s been a lot of promises made that havent been fulfilled by this government,” says Arnold.
Arnold says the Liberal’s inquiry into murdered and missing women has been “somewhat stalled,” and has not met many of the expectations.