Winter: "We'd like to see all parties at the same table..."

On March 14, the Campbell administration announced it would be delaying introduction of its proposed Recognition and Reconciliation Act "to take time for consultation" with the business community. But, in an interview on Public Eye Radio, British Columbia Chamber of Commerce president and chief executive officer John Winter said that process hasn't gotten underway. "We're fully anticipating that a formal consultation period will be undertaken in short order - over the summer months perhaps. But we've had no contact specific as of yet," he said. But when that process does get underway, Mr. Winter stressed it's important government, business and First Nations leaders be sitting at the same table.

"The meetings that have taken place - that are taking place - seem to be sort of two-party. It's business and the First Nations, it's First Nations and the premier's office, it's the premier's office and, hopefully, the business community. We'd like to see all parties at the same table so that we're all hearing and saying the same things. Because things coming back from discussions with First Nations leadership, for example, are catching us somewhat by surprise - what they don't know or, on the other hand, what we don't know and they know," he explained.

"So I think we sort of all need to be caught up with what the realities are and what the expectation are at the end of the day and what this is going to achieve so expectations are held in check. Because I think, right now, the expectations on behalf of the First Nations side are awfully high. And whether or not those are going to be met I don't know and couldn't comment."

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