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Trimper to remain in Liberal caucus despite Innu protest

Perry Trimper
Perry Trimper. - David Maher/The Telegram

Position of Innu Nation matters: Crosbie

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

Premier Andrew Furey will let Lake Melville MHA Perry Trimper spend the final days of his political career as a member of the Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador.

After skipping media questions on Tuesday, Furey said Wednesday he has no intention of removing Trimper from the Liberal caucus.

Furey says he spoke with Innu Nation Grand Chief Etienne Rich about establishing sensitivity training for the whole of the provincial government.

Premier Andrew Furey says not only MHAs, but the entire provincial government, could benefit from sensitivity training. DAVID MAHER FILE PHOTO/THE TELEGRAM
Premier Andrew Furey says not only MHAs, but the entire provincial government, could benefit from sensitivity training. DAVID MAHER FILE PHOTO/THE TELEGRAM

 

“I was just sworn into the House of Assembly and I was not offered any Indigenous sensitivity training, any cultural sensitivity training. I think we were very open and collaborative in discussing how we could move forward, perhaps, with that training for not just the legislature but for all of government,” said Furey.

“That’s important not just for changing people’s language, but changing their understanding of the issues and, most importantly, changing people’s behaviour.”

The Innu Nation has been consistent in its calls for Trimper’s removal from the Liberal caucus and for him to resign as MHA for Lake Melville.

In correspondence with Furey on Aug. 13 and 26 and Oct. 23, Innu Nation leaders voiced a consistent call for Trimper’s removal as their member of the House of Assembly.

Furey says that’s not going to happen.

“He had offered an apology. We moved very quickly to recognize that this is more than an individual issue, this is a systems issue. The path to reconciliation is long and bumpy, but we need to walk it together,” said Furey.

PC Leader Ches Crosbie
PC Leader Ches Crosbie

 

The Innu have stated that while systemic racism is real in Newfoundland and Labrador, their issue is also about the person.

“Perry Trimper has, on more than one occasion, demonstrated that he fails to understand systemic racism, that he has no hesitation with engaging in victim-blaming and that he is clearly incapable of representing Indigenous people,” reads a letter sent by the Innu Nation to Furey on Oct. 23.

“We were astounded to learn that Perry Trimper was elevated to the position of parliamentary secretary within your government despite our strong reservations about his behaviour. This was clearly communicated to you by all Innu leaders.”

Furey maintains Trimper has paid the appropriate price.

“He offered a very heartfelt apology. He was very emotional. He’s removed himself from his executive positions. He’s declared that he’s not a candidate in the next election,” said Furey.

“His political career is done. I’m satisfied with that.”

New Democratic Party Leader Alison Coffin
New Democratic Party Leader Alison Coffin

 

Progressive Conservative Leader Ches Crosbie says Furey is not addressing the concerns of the Innu Nation.

“I can only say that it’s clear the Innu Nation is not satisfied,” said Crosbie.

“Those are the people who matter in this piece.”

New Democratic Party Leader Alison Coffin says Trimper’s future in the party is a matter for the Liberal caucus to decide.


David Maher reports on provincial politics in St. John’s.

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