Former PM Paul Martin guest speaker at St Catharines’ Celebration of Nations


Published September 9, 2021 at 4:32 pm

When St Catharines begins its Celebration of Nations tomorrow (September 10) and continues through September 12, the special guest speaker will be former Prime Minister Paul Martin.

While this is the fifth annual celebration of Indigenous arts, culture and traditions in downtown St. Catharines, it will also be the sixth anniversary of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.

Hence, the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in the city has dubbed it “Six Years Hence.”

The centre says “The session will feature a panel of high-profile persons of stature who bring to the table significant experience in Indigenous governance, federal governance, and education, to provide their assessments and perspectives on the status of Truth and Reconciliation, some six years into the process.”

So Six Years Hence will be moderated by Celebration of Nations Artistic Producer Tim Johnson and feature Martin, Prime Minister of Canada from 2003 to 2006, as a guest speaker.

“As Prime Minister, he set in place a ten year plan to improve health care and reduce wait times. He also signed agreements with the provinces and territories to establish the first national early learning and child care program,” the centre said in their event release.

It added that, “Under Mr. Martin’s leadership, following an 18 month consultation process involving Canada’s provinces, territories, First Nations, the Metis Nation, and Inuit leaders, the Federal government reached a historic consensus with the 2005 Kelowna Accord to eliminate funding gaps in health, education, housing, and clean water for Indigenous people.

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