Given the complexity of the (residential school) Settlement Agreement, the great difficulty in achieving it, and the terms of the abeyance agreements of the class actions, even the slightest of changes will legally undo the Agreement and send thousands of cases and numerous class actions back into the courts. This will result in severe legal and financial consequences for Canada and untold social and personal consequences for First Nations communities and individual survivors...The current Con position seems to be another manifestation of the party's view that any commitment entered into by the Liberal government becomes immediately void as a result of a change of government. (See also the Kyoto Protocol and the existing child care agreements.) And there shouldn't be much doubt that such a position can only cast suspicion on the Canadian government's ability to live up to its commitments through any transition of power - and thereby cast uncertainty on anybody wanting a fair deal from the federal government.
(T)he Conservative statement (on the Kelowna accord) says that the Liberals have not budgeted for this expenditure. In fact, the full expenditure is budgeted within the Liberal plan as can be referenced in their platform released on Jan.11, 2006. Likewise, the New Democratic Party has identified how this money would be allocated within their plan. In contrast, when we examine the Conservative spending promises, there is not a single reference to spending for the implementation of the Kelowna agreement. This demonstrates to us that the only way the Conservatives could respect the Kelowna agreement would be to run a deficit.
Fontaine's letter, however, highlights the fact that voters wanting to make sure those commitments are met have a choice. The NDP's platform, unlike the Cons', recognizes and budgets for the existing commitments. And an NDP balance of power could do at least as much to hold the Cons to the existing agreements as the NDP's deal-making ability did to keep the Libs honest during the last Parliament.