Catherine Fife MPP, Waterloo

Government of Ontario

NDP: Ford Conservatives won’t recognize Indigeneity and colonialism as determinants of health

Published on October 30, 2023

QUEEN'S PARK - On Monday, MPP Sol Mamakwa's motion to recognize Indigeneity and colonialism as overarching and intersectional determinants of health across government ministries in Ontario was defeated by the Ford Conservatives in a 74-34 vote.  

During Question Period, Mamakwa urged the government to acknowledge that the status quo isn't good enough and perpetuates a colonial framework.  

"Chiefs of 31 First Nations near Sioux Lookout declared a Public Health Emergency and Social Crisis related to mental health and addictions. This was necessary due to the desperate situation that First Nations leadership is dealing with daily, on the ground in their communities. This mental health and addiction crisis stems from systemic racism, intergenerational trauma, and the continuation of colonial violence embedded in the current federal and provincial healthcare systems.  

This government continues to say it "recognizes" that health outcomes for Indigenous people are lower than other Ontarians. Whatever the government thinks they're doing isn't happening fast enough. 

Today's vote shows the Ford Conservatives’ out-of-touch belief that it knows what's best for Indigenous people. Their dismissal of the Indigenous Determinants of Health report and refusal to listen when we seek dialogue is shameful and shows a disregard for First Nations. By rejecting this motion, the Ford Conservatives show they lack commitment to systemic improvements to Indigenous health care."