Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Special Chiefs Assembly and National Chief Election

Nov 30, 2023

(Ottawa, Unceded Algonquin Territory, Ontario) – First Nations leaders, Elders, Knowledge Keepers, women, youth, and veterans from across Canada will gather for the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Special Chiefs Assembly and Election of the National Chief from December 5-7, 2023, in Ottawa, Ontario. On July 11, 2023, First Nations-in-Assembly passed AFN Resolution 34/2023, Appointment of Chief Electoral Officer and Timing of the Election of the National Chief, which set the timing of the next election for December 2023 during the upcoming Special Chiefs Assembly.

Dates: December 5-7, 2023

Location: Hybrid (in-person and online)
Shaw Centre
55 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 9J2

Assembly Highlights:

Date Time (EST) Details
Tuesday, December 5, 2023 10:45 AM Grand Entry and Opening Remarks from the Interim National Chief Joanna Bernard
5:30 PM All Candidates Forum
Wednesday, December 6, 2023 9:00 AM AFN Election for the National Chief Opens
4:00 PM Announcement of the First Ballot Results

*Additional ballots may follow as necessary, with timings provided by the Chief Electoral Officer.

Date/Time (EST) Details
TBD Oath of Office Ceremony for the newly elected National Chief
TBD Remarks from the newly elected National Chief
TBD Media availability with the newly elected National Chief

Media accreditation is required. Please register in advance at For more information and to access the draft agenda, please visit:


The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is a national advocacy organization that works to advance the collective aspirations of First Nations individuals and communities across Canada on matters of national or international nature and concern.

Follow AFN on X @AFN_Updates.

Contact Information:

Kelly Reid
Senior Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
(613) 292-0857 (mobile)

Genna Benson
Director of Communications
Assembly of First Nations
604-340-3117 (mobile)


Indigenous Rights and Marine Spaces: Case Comment on Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation – First Peoples Law

November 30, 2023

Despite repeated commitments to advancing meaningful reconciliation, Canadian courts and governments have been hesitant to recognize the full scope of Indigenous rights in relation to marine spaces.

This fall, the Ontario Court of Appeal considered the test for Aboriginal title and submerged lands in Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation v. Canada.  The decision provides important insights into the challenges and possibilities faced by Indigenous groups whose territories include waters and submerged lands.

Aboriginal Title & Dry Lands

Canadian courts recognize Indigenous Peoples’ have a unique property interest in lands they used and occupied prior to colonization and the Crown’s assertion of sovereignty. This interest, referred to as ‘Aboriginal title,’ is recognized and protected under the Constitution Act, 1982.

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It’s time for feds to make amends for historical inadequacies of First Nation education – The Hill Times

November 30, 2023

It is time to repair the damage caused to generations of First Nations students. This can be done, in part, by consulting with First Nations in determining how reparations can best be made.

It is time for the federal government to make amends for the historical inadequacies of First Nation education. In the December 2011 report from the Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples (APPA), entitled Reforming First Nations Education from Crisis to Hope, the report states: “For over a century … Canadian policies have eroded the traditional social…

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Oilsands Companies Pursue $16.5 Billion Carbon Capture Project – NetNewsLedger

November 30, 2023

Mixed Support for Carbon Capture Project

THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – Canadian oilsands companies are actively engaged in the development of a proposed $16.5 billion carbon capture project, even as it encounters mixed support from local communities and ongoing questions about its effectiveness in the global battle against climate change.

Pathways Alliance Leading the Way

The Pathways Alliance, a consortium comprising the six largest oilsands companies in Canada, has reported that engineering and other critical work are currently underway for this ambitious project in northeastern Alberta. Approximately 250 employees are actively involved in the project.

Oilsands Emissions and Net Zero Goals

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Ontario Introducing Legislation to Support Victims of Crime and Enhance Community Safety

November 30, 2023

Province proposing changes to Victims’ Bill of Rights, Cannabis Control Act and Coroners Act

TORONTO — Today, the Ontario government will introduce proposed legislation, that, if passed, would make it easier for more victims of crime to sue an offender for emotional distress. The proposed Enhancing Access to Justice Act, 2023 would also protect children and youth from cannabis, enhance community safety and make court and government operations more efficient.

“We’re putting victims of crime first, protecting children and keeping our communities safe,” said Attorney General Doug Downey. “Through proposed changes to the Victims’ Bill of Rights and the Cannabis Control Act, our government is increasing access to justice for victims of crime, holding offenders accountable, and protecting children and youth.”

The proposed legislation, if passed, together with supporting regulatory changes, will:

  • Update the Victims’ Bill of Rights, 1995 to make it easier for victims of crime (such as victims of terrorism, vehicle theft, human trafficking related crime and hate related crimes targeting places of worship) to sue an offender for emotional distress and related bodily harm.
  • Protect children and youth by banning the growth of recreational cannabis in homes that offer childcare services.
  • Amend the Coroners Act to allow for faster and more meaningful and relevant recommendations for construction-related death investigations.

“We’re taking steps to bring justice and closure to family members of construction workers who have lost their lives on the job,” said Solicitor General Michael Kerzner. “We’re also updating the Fire Protection and Prevention Act to give fire departments the tools they need to protect communities by strengthening compliance with Ontario’s rigorous fire regulations.”

If passed, the Enhancing Access to Justice Act, 2023, would also update the Courts of Justice Act and other statutes, including by limiting delays in a child protection trial when a judge is appointed to another court, to ensure that court operations are more readily accessible to Ontarians.


  • In 2022, there were 1,721 incidents of police-reported hate crimes which is almost a 20 per cent increase from the previous year.
  • In 2023, the Ontario government invested $25.5 million over two years to help address the rise of hate incidents against religious and minority groups. The new Anti-Hate Security and Prevention Grant will help faith-based and cultural organizations enhance or implement measures to ensure community spaces remain safe and secure.
  • From 2014 to 2021, there was a 72 per cent increase in auto theft across the province, and a 14 per cent increase in the last year alone.
  • Ontario has invested $18 million over three years to help police services combat and prevent auto theft and keep communities safe.
  • Human trafficking is one of the fastest-growing crimes worldwide. Ontario is a hub for human trafficking, with the most police-reported incidents in the country in 2019.
  • Ontario’s five-year Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy, introduced in 2020, focuses on raising awareness, protecting victims, intervening early, supporting survivors and holding offenders accountable.
  • Through the Victim Support Grant for 2023-24, Ontario is providing more than $4 million across the province to help support victims and survivors of intimate partner violence, domestic violence, human trafficking and child exploitation.

Additional Resources

Media Contacts

Andrew Kennedy
Minister’s Office

Maher Abdurahman
Communications Branch


Canada’s new 988 suicide-prevention helpline starts today. Here’s what you need to know – The Star

November 30, 2023

Three-digit number is enlisted in battle against second most common cause of death among young people.

Three years in the making, Canada’s new three-digit phone number for suicide prevention launches Thursday.

Starting at 9 a.m. EST, if someone is thinking about suicide or is worried that someone else is thinking about suicide, health officials say, “they can call or text 988 for suicide-prevention support at any time of day or night.”

The helpline is being led and co-ordinated by Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and funded — to the tune of $158.4 million — by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

Here is everything you need to know.

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Local fund has $125K to dole out for economic development projects – Sootoday

Nov. 30, 2023

Community Development Corporation of Sault Ste. Marie and Area wants to help with activities linked to tourism, labour force development and youth entrepreneurship

The Community Development Corporation of Sault Ste. Marie and Area has earmarked $125,000 to help community partners with projects and activities that promote economic development in our region.

The money has been allocated over the next five years.

“The CDC has been very active over the years supporting community economic development through our Loan Fund, Business Counselling, and Community Development Funds,” said Jerry Dolcetti, CDC chairperson. “This initiative, while modest, should be a catalyst for a number strategic projects requiring supporting capital.”

The maximum grant will normally be limited to $2,500 for projects such as:

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National Association of Friendship Centres Applauds Multi-Party Reception, Advocates for Crucial Priorities

OTTAWA, Nov. 29, 2023 — The National Association of Friendship Centres (NAFC) is pleased with the success of its first-ever multi-party reception hosted by the Liberal Party, the Conservative Party, the New Democrat Party, the Bloc Québécois, and the Green Party. This unprecedented event provided an inclusive platform for Friendship Centre delegates to champion the integration of Friendship Centre priorities across party lines, with a particular focus on long-term sustainable funding, emergency response mechanisms for natural disasters such as wildfires, and the devolution of services to urban Indigenous communities.

Held on November 29, 2023, in Ottawa, the reception facilitated robust discussions on the unique challenges faced by Indigenous communities, allowing Friendship Centre delegates to advocate for sustained and predictable funding to ensure the ongoing success of their vital programs. The delegates also stressed the importance of creating a dedicated funding mechanism to effectively respond to natural emergencies, recognizing the vulnerability of many urban Indigenous communities to crises such as wildfires.

“We are grateful to the participants from the Liberal, NDP, Bloc Quebecois, Green, and Conservative Parties, and in particular the co-hosts for organizing this meaningful conversation to help us better address the immediate and long-term needs of urban Indigenous communities,” said NAFC CEO Jocelyn Formsma, “With Friendship Centre funding ending in 2025, it is significant to have all Parties engage with us, and we hope that we can count on their support to ensure there are no disruptions to the services we provide to over 1 million people.”

Political representatives from each party acknowledged the importance of the issues raised by Friendship Centre delegates and committed to considering these insights as they shape their policies moving forward.

The National Association of Friendship Centres remains steadfast in its commitment to building strong partnerships and fostering open dialogues with all political parties. The organization believes that collaborative efforts are instrumental in creating policies that reflect the diverse needs and aspirations of urban Indigenous peoples across Canada.


John Paillé
Senior Communications Coordinator


Unifor calls federal government deal with Google over Online News Act a step in the right direction

November 30, 2023

TORONTO – Unifor says yesterday’s announcement by the federal government to forge a path forward with Google by implementing the Online News Act and keeping local and national news content accessible for Canadians is encouraging, and the union eagerly awaits to see the finalized regulations.

“We are pleased to hear the government held its ground and Canadians can continue to access quality journalism on Google, which is so critical for the fabric of our society and for democracy,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. “It is also a significant step in the right direction for tech giants, like Google and others, to pay their fair share and support local news.”

The Online News Act, previously Bill C-18, comes into effect on Dec. 19, 2023, and requires companies, such as Google and Meta, to enter into agreements with Canadian news outlets to pay them for news content that appears on their sites.

As part of the framework, Google will pay $100 million annually in a cash deal, indexed to inflation, to news outlets across the country, including independent media companies and those from Indigenous and official-language minority communities.

However, this is still $72 million below the government’s estimate from draft regulations of the bill released earlier this year. Given the crisis facing Canadian journalism, this revenue stream needs to be implemented immediately.

The federal government must ensure that the money is distributed to newsmakers is a transparent and inclusive manner, so that smaller, independent outlets aren’t left out.

The deal also cites that if other countries, such as Germany, who are in similar disputes with Google, end up getting better deals, the Canadian government can revisit its agreement with the company.

Unifor has made recommendations for Bill C-18 and eagerly waits to review the language in the finalized framework in mid-December.

The union hopes the deal with Google will propel Meta, which shut down talks with the Canadian government last summer and blocked Canadian news on Facebook and Instagram, to follow suit.

“Meta needs to stop bullying Canadians by lifting its ban on distributing news from Canadian outlets,” said Unifor Media Director Randy Kitt. “If Google can step up to the plate with this deal, hopefully it will encourage Meta to come back to the table.”

Unifor is one of Canada’s largest unions in the media sector, representing more than 10,000 media workers, including 5,000 members in the broadcast and film industries.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For more information, please contact Unifor National Communications Representative Jenny Yuen at or (416) 938-6157.

Media Contact

Jenny Yuen
National Communications Representative



Landfill halts Chedoke waste disposal after ministry inquiry – The Spec

November 30, 2023

Search on for alternative after eight of 400 truckloads made it to GFL site

A local landfill has shut its gates to waste dredged from sewage-soaked Chedoke Creek, forcing an unexpected scramble for another disposal option with a provincial deadline looming.

The city’s contractor had counted on GFL’s landfill in upper Stoney Creek to dump an estimated 8,000 cubic metres of sediment by Dec. 31, the cleanup project’s deadline.

But after eight truckloads — of an anticipated 400 — were transported there last week, GFL stopped accepting the material after the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks “inquired” about the landfill, the city says.

“We found out from our contractor that essentially GFL turned them away at the gate,” Cari Vanderperk, the city’s director of watershed management, said Wednesday.

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