Monday, September 21, 2015

A Supreme Narcissist


In last week's debate, when Stephen Harper talked about "old stock" Canadians, he wasn't talking about the oldest stock Canadians -- Canada's native peoples. Consider his record of that file. Michael Harris writes:

It was a telling moment in the debate. It was also perfectly in keeping with the Harper government’s view of indigenous peoples. They are invisible, except when beating drums or wearing feathers at one of those ghastly public ceremonies the Harperites like to substitute for real action on the injustices facing Aboriginals. Here’s just one example among many: Shoal Lake #40 – a reserve without safe drinking water for 17 years and counting.

The Crown-First Nations gathering of January 2012 promised renewal of the relationship and real engagement between the two parties. A year later, it was the same old same old. The Governor General didn’t even bother showing up for the anniversary. And that was a big diss since David Johnston represents the Crown, and First Nations treaties are with the Crown — not with any crass politico who fills an office by representing something less than a majority of Canadians.

Harper talks endlessly. But his words are plug nickels:

It would be hard to imagine a person for whom talk is cheaper than Stephen Harper. Point of fact: Harper record on Aboriginal issues is abysmal. Under the Constitution Act of 1982, Section 35 expressly affirms native treaty rights. In 1995, under the same section, Canada recognized that First Nations have an inherent right to self-government.

But instead of hitting the reset button, instead of consulting with First Nations as required by law, and moving towards full implementation of treaty rights and native self-government, Harper has lowered the boom on Canada’s natives at every opportunity. He wouldn’t meet Chief Teresa Spence but he did sic Deloitte on her and publish their audit during her hunger strike.

First, Harper poisoned the relationship by ramming through omnibus legislation, Bills C-38 and C-45. Both of them had a profound effect on native concerns for the environment and sharing in resource

The Harper government also made surreptitious and unilateral changes to the contribution agreements with Canada’s 630 bands. These contribution agreements are their primary source of income. Conditions buried in the appendix to the agreement appeared to suggest the bands would have to support the government’s omnibus legislation in order to access their funding.

After setting up the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to get to the bottom of the residential school fiasco, referred to by former prime minister Paul Martin as “cultural genocide,” the Harper government refused to hand over documents requested by the commissioners. In the end, the Commission had to sue the very government that created it in order to do its job.

Mr. Harper's definition of "Canadians" are people who look and act like him. Put another way, he is a supreme narcissist.


Lorne said...

Canadians now have access to an abundance of information that demonstrates the sorry record of this tired and corrupt regime, Owen. Let's hope they act on that knowledge come October 19.

Owen Gray said...

That evidence is overwhelming, Lorne. Thinking Canadians can't ignore it.

Toby said...

Owen Gray said..., "That evidence is overwhelming, Lorne. Thinking Canadians can't ignore it."

The problem, Owen, is that most Canadians aren't thinking.

Owen Gray said...

That's the problem, Toby. And Harper will do everything within his power to ensure things don't change.

Mogs Moglio said...

First this to get the context to which I write:

"Most of British Columbia (BC) is unceded Indian land traditionally under the jurisdiction of distinct nations [FN sovereign] (right). Aboriginal Title is an unresolved issue that creates conflict with settler society over the natural resources. "Our relationship to the land has always been of the greatest importance to our existence. The land is a physical representation of our spirituality. The natural resources must be protected. Our very essence and worldview is threatened by multinational industries such as mining, oil, gas, lumber, and water"


This is how it is now: Both the federal and Provincial Governments do not care to acknowledge a fact that they are the Israel of North America. Complete with violent intrusions arrests and deaths inflicted on Sovereign Peoples of Sovereign Nations in their own home territories through the governments collective policies toward First Nations who in turn are the as Palestinians [sans rockets and suicide bombs]. Our governments have carried out genocide apartheid harassment illegal arrests and murder for the purpose of giving away First Nations right of possession and privilege retained from birth and for thousands of years prior to their invasion in the favor of Transnational or Multinational corporations Foreign and Domestic for the purpose of theft of Natural Resources Water Air [through pollution] Land and all it contains. Since First Nations most important relationship is to their sovereign lands they hold in sacred trust for future generations. So why are Canada BC and other provinces continuing to carry out objectionable and destructive British Colonial attitudes and practices towards First Nations?

This is how it was then:

"As early as 1866, a member of the British Boundary Commission wrote in his travel account: "Salmon is of the most vital importance to the Indians: deprived or by any means cut off from obtaining it, starve to death they must; and were we at war with the Redskins, we need only cut them off from their salmon fisheries to have them completely at our mercy" IBID

"Canada's so called "Indian Problem" is caused by the illegal occupation of First Nations land by settlers. The dilemma results from the colonial state's failure to resolve the issue of the indigenous peoples' right to own and use their lands and resources. Aboriginal Title was confirmed in 1997 by the Supreme Court of Canada decision: Delgamuukw v. BC. In BC, where only a tiny fraction of the land is under treaty, land rights are most contentious." IBID

So why should the First Nations participate in a vote for or against a 'racist' [through his policy of prejudice denying FN's their rights by law] Prime Minister who condones apartheid territorial expansion and war by Israel, allows torture of POW's, sets policies that make innocents 'collateral damage' through bombing campaigns and has no respect for 'The Rule of Law'.

"Some native leaders, activists and intellectuals don’t see low native voter turnout in national elections as a problem. In fact they say that First Nations – whose sovereign rights are trampled over by political parties of all stripes – must take a stand against the ongoing and unjust colonization of their homelands by refusing to vote in national elections. Their position is principled: why should First Nations, whose governments, laws and communities pre-date settlement and colonization, vote for a Canadian government built on lands stolen from them?"


To be continued next frame.

Mogs Moglio said...

Further reading:

Mr. Harper and Ms. Clark please note the Federal and Provincial Government's have 'No Rights' here in British Columbia except that which First Nations Grant to them. You have both worn out your welcome. No development will go through without FN's participation, express written consent, agreements and oversights legal and scientific to such developments. Note: First Nations hold the power of veto ...

Governments end your Colonial ways now.

I’ll end with the Royal Proclamation, 1763:

“The Royal Proclamation is a document that set out guidelines for European settlement of Aboriginal territories in what is now North America. The Royal Proclamation was initially issued by King George III in 1763 to officially claim British territory in North America after Britain won the Seven Years War. In the Royal Proclamation, ownership over North America is issued to King George. However, the Royal Proclamation explicitly states that Aboriginal title has existed and continues to exist, and that all land would be considered Aboriginal land until ceded by treaty. The Proclamation forbade settlers from claiming land from the Aboriginal occupants, unless it has been first bought by the Crown and then sold to the settlers. The Royal Proclamation further sets out that only the Crown can buy land from First Nations.”

Owen Gray said...

How frustrating it must be for these folks, Mogs. Laws keep getting in the way.

Mogs Moglio said...

It does not bother harper he just runs roughshod over laws they are of no use to him on the road to throttling Canada's Sovereignty Laws and bringing all of Canada to bear on its knees under his Security apparatus...

Lulymay said...

Why is anyone surprised that Harper has never consulted with First Nations? He has never even consulted with the provinces, a very important point that seems to be ignored completely. His basic model of operating is "divide and conquer" at every turn and that includes First Nations, provinces, citizens, and even his own caucus.

And don't even get me started on his bias toward individual groups. For me, he is just a very distasteful human being and I don't understand how he got as far as he has in politics. Surely, we as a nation can do so much better.

Owen Gray said...

I agree wholeheartedly, Lulymay. It should be painfully obvious that we can do much, much better.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Mogs. If it were not for the courts, Harper would get his way.