OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 01/10/13 -- As First Nations leaders prepare to meet with Canada's Prime Minister and Governor General, Ontario Federation of Labour President Sid Ryan will show the support of Ontario's labour movement for Canada's Aboriginal community by joining Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, First Nations people, the Idle No More movement and community allies for a rally and march from Ottawa's Victoria Island on Friday.
"The conditions facing Aboriginal communities across Ontario are deplorable. Soaring poverty rates, boil water alerts, inadequate housing and substandard schools are a national shame that cannot be allowed to persist for one second longer," said Ryan. "It is time for Canada to sit down with First Nations people to negotiate agreements respecting their treaty rights and ending the appalling indignities they face."
Where: Victoria Island, Ottawa When: Friday, January 11, 2013 When: Events begin with a sunrise ceremony, followed by a Powwow throughout the day and an afternoon march
The international attention generated by the Idle No More movement and the hunger strike of Chief Theresa Spence has forced a reluctant Prime Minister Stephen Harper to agree to meet with First Nations stakeholders on Friday afternoon. A separate meeting with Canada's Governor General is scheduled for later in the evening.
"Prime Minister Harper cannot continue to sit by while Canada's Aboriginal communities are in crisis," said Ryan. "This movement has begun to wake Canadians up to these serious issues and workers across Ontario have joined this call for immediate action. Justice cannot be delayed."
The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow the OFL on Facebook and Twitter: @OFLabour and follow OFL President Sid Ryan at @SidRyan_OFL.
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