Read this article from Canadian Press, published by The Tyee. Excerpt: “Your plan, your land, your future? This is not our plan, it’s the governments plan to annihilate our lands and our future.” – Chief Allan Adam (August 24, 2012)
Read this story from The Canadian Press posted on The Tyee about a new report calling into question the aboriginal treaty process in BC. (May 7, 2012)
VICTORIA – Ottawa needs to consider a flexible exit strategy for British Columbia First Nations frustrated and debt-challenged by slow-moving treaty negotiations, says a special report prepared for federal Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan.
The 47-page report by former Campbell River, B.C., mayor James Lornie, appointed Duncan’s special B.C. treaty representative last year, states First Nations treaty negotiations debt now tops $420 million, which is insurmountable and an unsustainable barrier to reaching treaties.
The report doesn’t suggest dumping the treaty process after more than 20 years of negotiations, but states First Nations need the option to leave the table without feeling intense pressure to pay off debts and with nothing to show after years of talks.
First Nations should also be allowed to return to negotiations at a later date, it adds.
“I consider that the single most important response that the federal government can make is to re-commit to treaty-making as a federal priority, and to commit to that priority at every level of the federal system,” stated Lornie in the report.
I have good news for our premier.
If what I’m about to say is wrong, you have nothing to worry about. You see, Premier, I have this radical notion that the mood of the voter has changed – you evidently don’t, making it obvious (sorry to talk as if you are a slow learner) that if you just paddle along, down the happy old stream, why the voters, so afraid of the bad old NDP, will put you right back in government in 2013.
In fact, if I’m wrong and you’re right, may I respectfully suggest that some tactics are natural:
1. Keep right on charging us the HST. No matter that if you could start it in an instance you could stop immediately. I’m sure that the voter knows that you’re really trying hard on this matter.
2. Ignore the Fish Farm issue – most of the jurisdiction is now with the Feds so just wash your hands of the whole mess. Some might suggest that you should now speak up for BC and urge the Feds to get rid of this monstrous rape of our precious wild salmon resources, but I’ll betcha most people will overlook the fact that you don’t want to piss off the feds just when you’re trying to make a deal on that pesky HST.
Even though I and others will, tiresomely remind voters that it was under your stewardship that this horrific mess came about you can depend upon the fact that the voters will still have faulty memories.
3. On the question of those private power plants you should assume that I’m wrong to say that voters are pissed over losing all those rivers to foreign companies to make power BC Hydro must pay for yet doesn’t need. I’m obviously a bad British Columbian who doesn’t realize voters don’t care about BC Hydro going broke, and trust in your bosom buddies at the Fraser Institute who say it would be a great blessing if all crown corporations and agencies went into private hands. (By the way, Madame Premier, did you know that a fairly recent “Fellow” of the Fraser Institute believes in “consensual slavery”? If, for example, a young single Mom can’t feed, clothe and educate her kids she should be permitted to enter permanent bondage to some guy with lots of loot! Look it up…I can give you the guy’s name but your government should, I know you would agree, do its own research.)
4. If I’m wrong about the pipeline issues clearly you should maintain your position. Just in order for people to understand what that position is, can we infer from recent comments that you don’t think the Enbridge pipeline from the Tar Sands to Kitimat should be dealt with by the National Energy Board? And that I’m wrong again to point out that a spill from such a pipeline is inevitable and the ability of Enbridge to get to, much less do anything about it is nil? Again, with respect, might I suggest that your people “google” Enbridge/Kalamazoo?
5. I am always on about tanker traffic and simply oppose it as being a sure source of catastrophe. Again, with respect and just for clarity, might I infer from your statements that you don’t understand that the Enbridge Pipeline must result in about 300 tankers a year out of Kitimat, down the most beautiful and most dangerous coastline in the world? It’s like the old song about Love and Marriage – “you can’t have one without the other.” I should add, Madame Premier, that I’m sure you know about the new capacity and planned huge expansion of the Kinder Morgan line to ship Tar Sands gunk through Burrard Inlet.
No, of course, a person of your attainments must understand the big picture here and just think that in this modern world we need gunk from the Tar Sands going to China more than a pristine environment.
I do have this little query Ms. Clark: what does BC get out of all this except short term labour? Are we getting royalties? Any security against damages certain to happen?
6. I have been making a lot of noise about First Nations rights where land has not been ceded. I believe First Nations have rights and, following the Supreme Court of Canada, ownership of land not yet dealt with. Following the theory that the opposite of Rafe’s opinions are the right ones, you should continue to ignore these interests and just barge ahead – after all, we’re only talking about a bunch of Indians here and you will surely make the case that Rafe’s concerns about their rights are not in the best interests of the Province. Standing against Rafe and all those who stand with First Nations, especially where the environment is at issue will surely be understood by voters for what it is – loyalty to all your old friends. Surely that trumps concerns for touchy-feely things like birds, bears, fish, caribou that don’t make you a nickel for election expenses.
May I make another assertion on your behalf, namely that the NDP are fiscally irresponsible and that your government is business-oriented. I want you to know my stance so that you can be clear what you oppose.
Here’s Rafe’s take:
Party philosophies and positions tend to change over time and the coming of new issues – surely you and your party would agree to that. I believe that the NDP has learned much more from its mistakes than you have learned from yours.
I say that there are things the public should know about.
The NDP from 1991-2001 doubled the Provincial debt. From 2001-2011 the Campbell/Clark government more than tripled it.
I understand that your claim is that the Liberal debt was caused by events over which you had no control. If that’s the case you must be saying that when you put together your 2009 budget and ran an election on it you hadn’t heard of the 2007 stock market crash and the 2008 massive Recession.
At the same time – I hope I’m not embarrassing you Madame – when the NDP were in power the Asian Flu occurred, all but obliterating that market for our forest products. I would like to say that then-Opposition Leader Gordon Campbell pitched in and offered bi-partisan support in our province’s time of need but, alas, such was not the case.
So there we have it Premier – your view of things and those who are of another persuasion.
Disagreement on all fronts – so let’s you and me have a debate!
Looks like pretty easy pickings for you but I’m used to being beat upon and will do it just so you can demolish all my silly, left wing notions with one swing of the bat.
Surely you, a premier with all the resources of government behind you isn’t afraid of an octogenarian who’s not running for anything. (I’m not running away from anything either – are you?)
So, let’s do a TV debate on these matters – any time, any place – and let the chips fall where they may.