One of the comments made during yesterday’s episode of the media panel on Q that stuck with me was made by Jonathan Kay of the National Post.
When asked about the National Post’s lack of coverage to date, he said
“…the underlying issues are things that we don’t find outrageous. The idea of empowering people to sell land, we don’t find outrageous; it might even be of benefit….”
Sure… it might – in the short term. But it seems to me, first of all, that the parties to whom it might be most of benefit are not the people of the reserve who would be able to sell reserve land to anyone they liked, but rather to the Federal government, who are clearly making these changes as a way to circumvent objections to pipelines crossing First Nations land. And, of course, to the huge corporations who will benefit from those pipelines.
If reserve land is owned by non-Aboriginal people, is it still reserve land? Duh.
The plan is not to empower Aboriginal people – it is to get rid of reserves, get rid of barriers to pipelines and – in the long run – to get rid of the entire notion of Aboriginal people in Canada. That’s called genocide, in case you aren’t clear on that.
And in any case, in my opinion, even if permitting the sale of reserve land to non-Aboriginal people (or, more realistically, corporations) IS the right thing to do, this is a pretty major undertaking, with huge ramifications for the treaties between First Nations people in Canada and Canadians, who lest we forget, are also a party to those treaties. It is in NO WAY APPROPRIATE that these sorts of decisions be made without significant consultation from both sides of those agreements.
The Harper government has seriously over-stepped its bounds, in so very many ways, through the ramming through of these incredibly ridiculous ominous bills, C-10 and C-45. They are undermining democracy, treating Canadians, Aboriginal peoples, our environment, our economy, our children’s futures….. with the same contempt they have shown since cheating their way to a majority government.
They are not living up to their committments to the UN treaties they have ratified, to Canadian treaties, or to Canada.
I am not Aboriginal (in spite of my last name, which many assume is, but which is actually of British origin). But I am so thoroughly disgusted with the Harper con that it makes me sick.
We don’t find that outrageous?
Maybe you don’t, Mr. Kay… but you should … because it IS outrageous.