Tuesday November 25,2014 : KAHNAWAKE CHIEF OFFERS OLIVE BRANCH TO QUEBEC GOVERNMENT
‘No need to be adversaries,’ says Grand Chief in regard to Internet gaming.
The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake (MCK) has reacted to the recommendations on internet gambling by a Quebec government-appointed working group, which recently recommended the amendment of the Criminal Code of Canada to enable Quebec and the other provinces to issue online gambling licenses to private operators
In its statement the MCK notes that it has serious concerns about the recommendations by the Working Group on Online Gambling, made in its report published on November 6, 2014.
The Working Group was established by the Quebec provincial government shortly after the launch of Loto-Québec’s ‘Espacejeux’ online gaming site.
In the report, entitled “Online Gambling: When the Reality of the Virtual Catches Up with Us,” the Working Group recommends that Quebec “take the necessary steps” to amend the Criminal Code of Canada to enable Quebec and the other provinces to issue online gambling licenses to private operators.
Speaking for the MCK, Grand Chief Michael Ahríhron Delisle, Jr. points out:
“When the Criminal Code was amended in 1985 to delegate authority over gaming from the federal government to the provinces, First Nations were not consulted and our inherent rights to participate in the gaming industry were ignored.
“This was a clear breach of the Crown’s fiduciary duty to Aboriginal Peoples and it has never been addressed.”
He added that the MCK strongly opposes the Working Group’s suggested amendment to the Criminal Code unless and until the inherent right of First Nations to fully participate in the gaming industry is specifically recognised by Canada and Quebec.
Other portions of the report make a number of key findings that the MCK finds are of great interest, he said.
“Given the findings in the Working Group’s report, the MCK reiterates its willingness to establish a table with Quebec to resolve outstanding jurisdictional differences and work together to create a safe, fair and equitable gaming environment for all,” Grand Chief Delisle concluded.
“The time is right to create a new reality for virtual gaming in Quebec. There is really no need to be adversaries.”