AMC responds to release of Manitoba provincial budget
March 20, 2020
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) Grand Chief Arlen Dumas is expressing concern about the lack of First Nations investments contained within yesterday’s provincial budget. Manitoba Finance Minister, Scott Fielding unveiled Budget 2020, as a “way of moving Manitoba forward and building a brighter future for all Manitobans.” The AMC disagrees with this portrayal.
Grand Chief Arlen Dumas says, “First Nations live in Manitoba as well. This budget does not do a lot for individual First Nations or for our collective First Nation organizations that will move us forward. I understand the provincial budget is being unveiled during precarious and unprecedented times for Manitoba with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that there are special measures and investments that must be made by the provincial Crown to address the pandemic. I acknowledge Manitoba and the Premier for these measures, including the emergency supplementary budget document for COVID-19. First Nations are working with the Province as we collectively navigate this health crisis and mitigate to reduce the economic impacts. However, this does not preclude specific investments for First Nations in Manitoba, given the transfer payments Manitoba receives from Ottawa and the fiscal benefits Manitoba has realized for decades through the Natural Resources Transfer Act. The AMC acknowledges the $500 hundred thousand investment for mineral exploration and mining partnerships with First Nations, which may contribute to economic development.”