The Government of Manitoba has not fulfilled its commitments to reconciliation: Auditor General

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[April 21, 2022] The Government of Manitoba has not fulfilled its commitments under The Path to Reconciliation Act, says Auditor General Tyson Shtykalo. The finding is contained in a new audit report, Manitoba’s Implementation of The Path to Reconciliation Act. It was one of 2 Auditor General reports tabled in the Legislature today.

The audit found the Government had not developed a strategy for reconciliation—which is required under the Act. “Without a strategy, efforts towards reconciliation are hampered, ultimately lacking focus and vision,” Shtykalo said.

In addition, the audit found reconciliation efforts were lacking cross-government coordination—and there was no direction given to departments. The Act requires each cabinet member to promote measures to advance reconciliation through the work of their department and across government. Of the 5 departments examined in the audit, only the Minister of Indigenous Reconciliation and Northern Relations had any significant mention of actions to advance reconciliation in their most recent mandate letter.

The report notes the former Minister responsible for reconciliation resigned in July 2021, saying her voice was not being heard. Prior to her resignation, she promoted initiatives to advance reconciliation and to recognize the contributions of Indigenous peoples to the founding of Manitoba.

“Reconciliation is about the relationship between all Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples—it requires action in all sectors of society, and a whole-of-government approach,” Shtykalo said. “Unfortunately, there is no government strategy for reconciliation that ministers can use to guide and coordinate their actions.”

This Auditor General made 5 recommendations for the Government to help make progress in meeting its commitments to advancing reconciliation. “While the Government has accepted all recommendations, actions speak louder than words,” Shtykalo said. “It’s my hope our recommendations are acted upon immediately.”

The Government passed The Path to Reconciliation Act in 2016 with unanimous support in the Manitoba Legislature.

Also tabled in the Legislature today was the Auditor General’s report, Follow Up of Previously Issued Audit Recommendations. The report follows up recommendations made in previously-issued reports.

To view the reports, please visit http://www.oag.mb.ca/reports.

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