Minister Duncan makes false announcement of Chief Spence’s approval

Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan’s imperative behavior continued Sunday when he appeared at a TV show that was aimed at shedding a positive light on his hard work and had apparently been timed for release just minutes before he was to go on national television.

The Minister affirmed that the Harper government was giving 22 modular homes to the deserving Northern Ontario reserve. However, his statement also confirmed that Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence had given approval for third-party management.

Minister John Duncan said: “I am pleased that Chief Spence has acknowledged the necessity of working with our Government, the third party management team, and Emergency Management Ontario to get help to the residents of Attawapiskat.”

When the show’s team urged Chief Spence to verify the claim, Ms. Spence called it a lie.

Later, Mr. Duncan said: “Well, the first nation is working with the third-party manager. The third-party manager’s in place. It’s been in, he’s been in place for some time now. And the third-party manager’s the one who ordered and paid for the 22 modular homes. The third-party manager is the one that paid for the flying in of supplies that we’ve just brought in to the community.”

Later, Chief Spence clarified her position in an open letter.

“This statement is completely false and untrue and the Minister has been misinformed!,” Ms. Spence wrote.

“You have my full co-operation. Frame it however you see fit, but not as Third Party Management,” she wrote. “In summary this continued insistence of Third Party Management is causing yet another crisis in our community.”

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