PMO silent on Brazeau Galipeau comments about Spence First Nations

first_imgAPTN National NewsPrime Minister Stephen Harper so far has refused to address comments made this week by a member of his party and a Conservative senator he appointed that mocked Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence and First Nations.MP Royal Galipeau and Sen. Patrick Brazeau teamed up at a Conservative fundraiser in Ottawa Tuesday to attack Spence and her 44-day fast on behalf of First Nations.After explaining he was lost five pounds because he had the flu Brazeau had this to say.“I’m sorry. I’m not a comedian, but I look at Miss Spence when she started her hunger strike and now? he said and then someone in the audience yelled out, “she’s fatter.”The room was full of laughter from the crowd.The speech was tape recorded by Ottawa reporter Nevil Hunt of Metroland Media and provided to APTN National News.He then said her community suffered from poor leadership.“It undermines his office as a senator, but it shows how retrograde this, this senator is,” said Ottawa NDP MP Paul Dewar Friday. “That’s really sleazy, it’s unbecoming and I can’t believe that the government hasn’t called them out yet. I saw Mr. Galipeau sitting on the front bench during Question Period feeling very comfortable today. I don’t think he should feel very comfortable.”The Prime Minister’s Office said they had no comment.Galipeau represents the Orleans riding and said he met with Spence in December in her teepee. He mocked her manicured finger nails, saying his wife couldn’t afford them.When reached by APTN National News Thursday Galipeau refused to comment on his speech but said what was published in the media was a matter of public record.Neither Harper or Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan would comment on the speeches during Question Period Thursday when pressed by the opposition saying only the federal government continues to provide jobs for Canadians, including First Nations.Dewar wasn’t the only one calling on Harper to address the comments Friday.Grand Chief Murray Clearsky wrote a letter to Harper saying PMO’s silence is deafening.“(It) shows your disdain, disregard and utter ignorance for the concerns of First Nations in Canada,” said Clearsky. “I am demanding that your government give Chief Spence and all First Nations people across Canada an unequivocal apology and exercise the respect for the cultural diversity of this country and hold your appointee and elected official to the higher standard.”Brazeau went on to put down the Idle No More movement stopping short of suggesting First Nations should assimilate and move on from past grievances.“Because it would have been easier for me to listen to my leaders, sit back, wait for the government to give me handouts, maybe get on welfare, maybe drink, maybe take drugs,” he said. “I, as an Algonquin person, is living proof that nobody will colonize me. I’m gonna participate, I’m gonna integrate, I’m gonna take advantage of the opportunities just like all of you will.”Dewar said Brazeau was being borderline racist.“He was at a fundraiser. So he’s using these frankly, I would call racist kind of epitaphs, in the way he’s describing First Nations,” said Dewar. “It brings us back to those stereotypes that many of us grew up with, that you know, lazy, they don’t want to work, all that. And for him to use that to raise money for Mr. Galipeau is cheap, it’s sleazy and it’s something that should be called on, not just by me and others, but by the prime minister because we, all we’ve had really is silence.”More to comelast_img read more