OTTAWA – APTN reported that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday slammed the door shut on a call from Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde to begin talks on reopening the Constitution to clearly define the place of Indigenous rights within the Canadian federation.
Indigenous leaders were excluded from a meeting last Friday between Ottawa and the provinces on a new climate plan, Bellegarde said it was time to begin talks on reopening the Constitution. On Monday, during a year-end media conference in Ottawa, Trudeau quashed any notion his government would entertain such a request.
The prime minister said his government’s energy and attention would be better spent on its stated priorities instead of “Constitutional squabbles”. Trudeau said his government is committed to “concrete and tangible ways” to improve the relationship between Ottawa and Indigenous peoples.