North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney is now the NDP’s Deputy Critic for Crown-Indigenous Relations and Indigenous Services. As Deputy Critic, she will support NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who is the party’s Critic for Crown-Indigenous Relations.
“Rachel has proven that she is a strong ally for Indigenous people across the country and I have every faith that she will continue to work hard to push the government into making significant improvements in the lives of Indigenous people,” Singh said in a news release.
Blaney will continue her work as the party’s Whip and Critic for Veterans, and continues to serve on the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Veterans Affairs (ACVA), but will move from the Procedure and House Affairs Committee (PROC) to Indigenous and Northern Affairs (INAN). Blaney previously served as INAN vice-chair in 2018 and 2019.
“I am excited and grateful to be able to work closely with Indigenous communities throughout Canada and to fight to make their voices heard,” said Blaney. “It’s an honour and a responsibility I take very seriously to serve on these two committees, and to work on these two portfolios that are so important for the people in my riding, and across Canada.”
Recently, Blaney has risen in the House several times on issues relating to her critic roles. In an emotional speech on Oct. 23, on Bill C-5 to create a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, she spoke at length about the experiences of Elders and Indigenous community leaders, and the need to commit resources to the national project of education and reconciliation.
“Especially with a minority parliament, committees are where a lot of important work can get done to make government services more responsive to people,” said Blaney. “I am confident that I will be able to make an impact in this role and uphold Indigenous rights.”