Former Prime Minister Paul Martin has not given up on the Kelowna Accord. Bolstered by strong support from the Bloc Québécois and Jack Layton’s NDP, Martin is hoping to compel the Conservative government to revisit the $5.1 billion agreement, signed to provide much-needed aid to Aboriginals for infrastructure, health and housing.
Last week Martin won opposition support for his private member’s bill that would return the accord to the all-party Aboriginal Affairs Committee for review before going back to the House of Commons for a final vote.
The Kelowna Accord’s terms that were set out at the First Ministers’ meeting in Kelowna, B.C., in November 2005.
The Tories quashed the Liberal-backed agreement shortly after taking power, instead giving Aboriginals less than $300 million to combat long-term problems, including non-potable water infected by E.coli, and a dire shortage of housing and professional health services.