June 25, 2012 3:49 pm
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On October 28, 2010, the COO office coordinated a breakfast reception with Senators at the Parliamentary Restaurant on Parliament Hill in order to advocate with Senate members on government Bill S-11, Safe Drinking Water for First Nations Act, and Bill C-3.  Bill S-11 was introduced in the Senate at the end of May 2010.  Bill C-3, currently at third reading in the House of Commons, will move to the Senate chamber if passed by the House.  The breakfast reception included 8 Senators, both Liberal and Conservative, along with Regional Chief Toulouse, and a total of 10 Grand Chiefs and Chiefs.  The breakfast was regarded by all in attendance as a success as it provided a key opportunity to engage in a positive dialogue with the Senators that attended.  The Senators were both keen to hear First Nations views and open to sharing their thoughts as well.  The Regional Chief also raised the issue of First Nations education with the Senators as this issue is currently under study by the Senate Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs.  The Senators that attended included the following: Senator Gerry St. Germain (Con.), Senator Nancy Greene Raine (Con.), Senator Vim Kochhar (Con.), Senator Art Eggleton (Lib.), Senator Vivienne Poy (Lib), Senator James Cowan (Liberal Senate Leader), Senator Dennis Patterson (Con.), Senator Tommy Banks (Lib.). 

Jack Layton, leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP), also attended the reception and offered the support of the NDP for the First Nations in their efforts to have their views reflected in federal legislation.  The Regional Chief intends to continue the advocacy effort with the Senate by arranging one-on-one meetings with key Senators with respect to the Bills.


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