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Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones

Third meeting of the Joint Council of Elected Representatives

Economic development and taxation: improving the socioeconomic conditions of the First Nations

Québec, February 4, 2004 - The Co-chairs of the Joint Council of Elected Representatives, Mr. Benoît Pelletier, Minister for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs and Native Affairs, and Mr. Ghislain, Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations of Québec and Labrador (AFNQL), wish to announce the holding of the third meeting of the Joint Council of Elected Representatives, which will take place in Québec City, on Thursday, February 5, 2004. The participants will have the opportunity to discuss economic development and taxation.

The Government of Québec will be represented by Mr. Benoît Pelletier, Mr. Yves Séguin, Minister of Finance, and Mr. Lawrence S. Bergman, Minister of Revenue. Representing the aboriginal peoples, Mr. Ghislain Picard will be accompanied by Mr. Raphaël Picard, Chief of Betsiamites, and Mr. Daniel Pien, Algonquin Chief of the Community of Lac-Simon.

During the meeting of February 5th which will basically deal with the themes of economic development and taxation, efforts will focus on identifying possible solutions to improve the socioeconomic conditions of the First Nations. Subjects such as jobs, the unemployment rate, partnership and participation in the management of the territory and resources will be addressed. On the subject of taxation, both sides will discuss irritants and solutions with a view to improving exchanges.

“How can the participation of the First Nations in the economy be improved? How do we prepare a future for young people who now account for the majority of the population of the First Nations? Tomorrow, the Joint Council of Elected Representatives will be examining these questions, which can no longer go unanswered and will be looking for solutions that will benefit everyone,” stated Mr. Daniel Pien, Algonquin Chief of the Community of Lac-Simon.

For his part, Mr. Yves Séguin, Minister of Finance, said that he was very happy to be taking part in this meeting for the very first time. “We have the opportunity to hold direct discussions with aboriginal elected representatives on economic and taxation questions, which will allow us to further open the dialogue on important stakes for the future of the population of Québec,” added Minister Séguin.

During the last two meetings of the Joint Council of Elected Representatives, held on October 30 and November 27, 2003, the Québec ministers and the aboriginal chiefs discussed, among other things, a project for a social and economic forum, the possible participation of the Federal Government in the Council’s work, a new approach to decision-making regarding the territory and resources, and the preparation of a research framework to examine services offered to the aboriginal peoples living on and off the reserve.


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Source: Damir Croteau
Press secretary
Officer of the Minister for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs and Native Affairs
Tel. : (418) 646-5950

Ghislain Picard
Regional Chief
Assembly of the First Nations of Québec and Labrador
Tel. : (418) 842-5020

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