Thursday, June 28, 2007

Two-Tier Law o.k. for Canada?

I have a strong feeling that Globe readers will not be overly impressed with today's National Post editorial.

* * * *
Update: There appears to be somewhat of a difference in opinion between Phil Fontaine and Shawn Brant as well.

Also - Prentice: Reserve Elections a Worry.

Star - Natives' tactics could hurt cause. (H/T to reader Southern Ontarioan).

CTV - Via Rail shuts down service ahead of protests. Smart move!

Important Update: Things changed dramatically by the end of the Globe poll!

More updates - Guns ready to deal with police - “It's our intent to go out and ensure a safe day. Unfortunately, previous incidents have shown that aggressive tactics by the police need to be met with equal resistance by the people that they're bringing those against.”


SouthernOntarioan said...

Check out the Toronto Star's editorial warning that disruptive tactics will destroy the any sympathy that native groups have from non-natives.

This is a very true and very fair warning, and if the Toronto Star is giving it, then they should pay attention.

Patrick Ross said...

You're precisely right. We shouldn't have two-tier law in Canada.

Yet, to an extent, we almost do. It's almost demonstrable that our justice system maintains a bias against aboriginals (non-treaty indians in particular), as they are statistically more likely to be found guilty of crimes, and also tend to recieve longer sentences.

The extent of that bias is fully open to debate. As the old adage maintains, where there's smoke, there's fire. Perhaps my own bias shows when I suggest (as I will now) that perhaps more natives are being found guilty of crimes because they are guilty of those crimes.

But debating whether or not natives -- let's keep in mind, the most impoverished category of Canadian society -- are more prone to committing property crimes (in particular) or alcohol-related violent crimes (remembering also that Europeans gave them the alcohol go begin with) doesn't explain why they are sentenced so strictly compared to non-natives.

The other thing about the native protests that I find troubling is the apparent obsession with money. Natives clearly occupy an unequal position in Canadian society. But I'm personally predisposed to view that inequality as stemming from deeply-rooted constitutional and legal issues, as opposed strictly to economic issues (although economic issues are clearly part of it).

It seems that a lot of natives want us to just throw money at them, and hope they'll be quiet. This won't solve their problems.

I think a better strategy to deal with native unrest is to open a new round of (dare I say it) constitutional negotiations that would officially welcome natives within confederation (and Quebec, while we're at it), and root their self-governing institutions in the democratic process.

While we're at it, we'd better remove their immunity to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, as well.

Are the Liberals and NDP being serious when they insist we have to consult natives before giving them their rights? Ludicrous.

Anonymous said...

Here's a comment that will draw a lot of fire. The most racist people living in Canada are First Nations. Yup, Indians are racist. And it's not just Indian against Whiteman, it's Indian against Indian. And Inuit against Indian.
25 years ago I sat in a bar with my then brother in law and listened as he told stories about how he and his fellow negotiators royally screwed over the indians in the NWT land claims. Shocked the heck out of me. Did I mention he's Inuit? A player in the creation of Nunavut.
Another thing... my sister, the gov't nurse, used to answer the door at her nursing station in the territories with a loaded rifle in hand. Because her supervisors told her to. Seems the people living in that community thought rape was a community sport...

Yah, I know I sound like I don't like First Nations people, but that's not the truth. I'm one. And I think the reservations are the cruellest thing that could have been done. Segregate people, hand them food and money, and take away their initiative. Teach them that the gov't owes them a living. Then sit back and wonder why the suicide rate is so high and violence is a way of life. Right...!

Me, I was brought up to pay my own way. I've never lived on a reserve and I don't want to. I've also never had a criminal record, never been in jail, never etc..! I've been too busy making a living and raising my family. (Ah, we won't mention speeding tickets, okay?)

Anyhow, that's my opinion for what it's worth.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Anyhow, that's my opinion for what it's worth.

It's worth a lot. Thanks for weighing in here.

SouthernOntarioan said...


Very well argued. But I personally believe that native groups will only be successful in Canada when they stop demanding financial hand-outs and start using the resources they have available to become financially stable. And I'm not alone in this sentiment, the CBC ran a show about a native entrepeneur who said the exact same thing.

Case in point: Walpole Island, land on the border with the US and Canada that was given to the native bands. Its farmland was some of the best in all of southwestern ontario. Now, it is known on both sides of the border as being a haven for human traffickers and a key crossing point between the US and Canada for organized crime. (see the US Federal 2003 report and the CSIS 2000 reports available on the web) Obviously not the right kind of use of the land that i was talking about.

As well, the high teen suicide rate and the high drug abuse rate on reserves is not the fault of 'white people'. It stems from the lack of hope that exists on reserves for the future. This is similar to the crises facing small cities in southwestern ontario. But in those cases, people just move away from the cities and go where there are jobs to be found. For reserve based natives, they can't or won't.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

This is a very true and very fair warning, and if the Toronto Star is giving it, then they should pay attention

S.O. - You've got that right!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

As well, the high teen suicide rate and the high drug abuse rate on reserves is not the fault of 'white people'.

The drug problem seems to be a reoccurring theme connected to hopelessness and poverty. I'm thinking of the Jane-Finch type situations.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Caledonia mayor concerned about number of out-of-province licence plates showing up at the occupied site.

PGP said...

The liberal/socialist types are always in favour of special laws for special groups. Of course they like to be the ones to decide who gets the special treatment.

Our justice system is not the only institution that has been corrupted by this kind of relativism.

Fundamentally, liberals always get it wrong!

Anonymous said...

Aboriginals follow different laws and regulations in all sorts of ways, Canadians are better off not doing business with them because Canadians will get burned.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Anon at 05:30:00 PM, that was a rather broad generalization, don't you think?

Anonymous said...

Indians are taking over our rights. You lost, get over it. Move on.

We're being strangled by those of special interests who demand rights because they are...wait for it...different than the rest of us.

BS! Stop two-tier justice. Stop immigratin. Stop leftist propaganda! Take back Canada!!

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Anon, I hear your frustration, but it is important to differentiate between someone like Shawn Brant and Phil Fontaine.

Joy McPhail called Shawn Brant a "punk" on MDL. Much as I dislike name-calling, I did have to chuckle at that one.

Phil Fontaine has wisdom and class. He knows that nothing will get resolved through anger and violence.

Anonymous said...

Fill Fontaine knows that nothing will get resolved - that's just the way he likes it!

His pockets, and the pockets of other Chiefs, get 'fill'ed by not changing a thing.

Chiefs will fight against any kind of long term solutions to aboriginal problems, they'll fight tooth and nail to keep this gravy train on the squeaky tracks.

Brian S. said...

Perhaps we should set up our own blockade the next time they try to release Shawn Brant from jail.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

I was amused to see that this particular post has caught the attention of Canadian Cynic.

Considering that it is post #666, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.