Monday, October 29, 2007

Has the buck finally stopped?

Dalton McGuinty's decision to have the Aboriginal Affairs ministry stand separate from Natural Resources, sounds like a good one at first glance. Natives and non-natives alike think it's about time.

Yet, I can't help agreeing with Aaron Detlor's take on things:

Detlor also described the post-election move as a "reluctant admission" on the part of the government that land claims are in fact a provincial concern.

That was exactly what I was thinking.

Time to start actually taking responsibility, Dalton.


Meanwhile, there's a throne speech coming.

Smitherman and Wynne are staying put.

*Sigh*


And I didn't see that one coming.

How many more sleeps til the next election?

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

All that means for Ontarians is another bureaucratic black hole for our tax dollars and little else.

Can this premier grow government any more?

Caveat said...

1442 more sleeps, I believe.

I put up a little commentary on the shuffle today too.

I wonder how McGuinty will expand Cabinet (and therefore vote sync) this time? Surely he can't add any more boot-boys - er, I mean parliamentary assistants.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

1442 more sleeps, I believe.

Ugh.

I put up a little commentary on the shuffle today too

Good for you. I won't be posting anything else. It's just too depressing.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Caveat, I just checked out your post. Good stuff! Do you think that Bryant will be pushing to take away guns from the natives?

Caveat said...

Joanne,

Thanks for the compliment, means a lot coming from one of my favourite Ontario bloggers.

I doubt that even Bryant has the guts for what you suggest because First Nations are federally administered, unless of course he can bamboozle the public into thinking that an all-out ban on both hand- and long guns will solve problems of violence in Ontario.

The crime rate is actually decreasing nationally and provincially, but why let facts get in the way of a good media op?

The thing with Bryant is, you never know what he's doing to do - he seems to come out of nowhere with bizarre ideas that don't address the issues in a meaningful way.

Should be fun to watch, I guess, in a dark humour kind of way.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

...means a lot coming from one of my favourite Ontario bloggers.

Well, now we've both been complimented. Thanks. ;)

Yes, Bryant and his dark ideas wouldn't have been my first choice for Aboriginal affairs minister.

I didn't quite grasp what happened to Ramsey...

Caveat said...

Ramsay is an honest, decent man. Those are not desirable qualities in the McGuilty clique, from what I've seen.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Caveat - So true.

Zac said...

Detlor also described the post-election move as a "reluctant admission" on the part of the government that land claims are in fact a provincial concern.

Detlor should consult the constitution, as it still says - despite a cabinet shuffle - that land claims are the sole jurisdiction of the federal government. Harper needs to admit that he has to deal with this problem. Unless his government takes ownership of it, the problem will persist. Political expediency is killing us.

We have two options. 1) continue to bury our heads in the sand and continue to blame Dalton McGuinty for being unable to solve a problem that he cannot legally solve, or 2) pressure the federal government to step up the plate.

Oh, and I'm not sure what happened with Ramsey either. To be honest, I'm very disappointed.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Zac, first of all, I'll agree with you about Ramsey. I think he is a less contentious choice than Bryant. I saw some reaction on the news from natives and they weren't impressed.

Secondly, your statement about land claims being under federal jurisdiction is true. However, the province is responsible for land titles. This is the problem because land titles are being transferred apparently without the approval of the natives who think they should be consulted - especially anything along the Halimand tract and Grand River.

There is such a disconnect there that it is really quite incredible. That is solely a provincial responsibility Zac, and I challenge you to prove otherwise.

Caveat said...

Law and order is also a provincial issue and it hasn't been maintained at occupation sites by the McGuinty government.

Bryant defied a court order to appear over the Caledonia fiasco. Doesn't say much for a government when not only a Minister, but also the Attorney General, thumbs his nose at the courts.

Zac said...

There is such a disconnect there that it is really quite incredible. That is solely a provincial responsibility Zac, and I challenge you to prove otherwise.

I don't plan to. My contention is that the federal government has to adjudicate the existing land claim and they have failed to do so. Without any defined agreement, the problems will persist. Simple as that.

By overlooking the land claim and focusing attention on the land titles, we're snacking on crumbs while not eating the loaf.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Caveat, thanks for reminding me about Ontario's other responsibility - law enforcement. When it comes to native issues, it's one that's easy to forget.


Zac - My contention is that the federal government has to adjudicate the existing land claim and they have failed to do so.

First of all, in the case of Caledonia, the government already said the claim is invalid. That was some time ago. Six Nations wouldn't accept that.

Secondly, they offered Six Nations millions but they want billions for overall compensation. They're holding out for as much as they can get.

If you need any sources for the above I can find them. Short of time this morning though.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

And BTW, in the meantime we have this fiasco of a situation along the Grand River where any new development has to be approved by the Six Nations (fees involved), even though the province says no they can't do that.

The builders are left in the middle.

(More backup can be provided here as well if you need it, Zac.)

Zac said...

First of all, in the case of Caledonia, the government already said the claim is invalid. That was some time ago. Six Nations wouldn't accept that.

The assesment team has declared the claim valid Joanne. The federal government has said it is legit. From Ron Doering:

"Canada has done an assessment and feels there was a breach of some lawful obligation."

Additionally, if the federal government actually felt the claim was invalid why would they put over $100 million on the table. If it was invalid, this would be similar to me sitting on your front lawn and you paying me to leave.

Secondly, they offered Six Nations millions but they want billions for overall compensation. They're holding out for as much as they can get.

Joanne, I believe that you have misdiagnosed the purpose of the stand-off. For the Six Nations, this is about land, not money. For them, land is not a commodity.

Which is why when the federal government put $125 million on the table, they rejected it. Basically, they said, "keep your money, we want the land, which is what you've already admitted is ours".

Additionally, the settlement the federal government proposed only promised to put to rest 4 of the 27 outstandng land claims and didn't even touch on the major claims, such as the Grand.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Zac, I'll try to locate my sources.

(Hey, this is just like the good old days, eh? Arguing back & forth...)

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Zac, this is what Aaron Detlor said about the $125 million compensation package:

Detlor said Ottawa has implicitly acknowledged responsibility for past abuses by offering a $125-million compensation package to the HSN during the ongoing land claims negotiations.

But Detlor believes it will take "billions" rather than millions to properly compensate the HSN.


Source.

More to follow.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

And how about this, Zac?

Feds say Six Nations land claim is invalid.

If it was invalid, this would be similar to me sitting on your front lawn and you paying me to leave.

Gee, that sounds like something Dalton would do! No, wait. He'd buy the land for you and ask if you needed anything else.

Zac said...

Yes...the good ol' days again.

The link you provided is from January, the government capitulated in May. They've stated, not only in their assessement but by various members of the department of indian affairs that the claim is valid. It's valid, there's no real way around that.

Since it is valid, and the government decalared it so in May with their last assessment, where have they been? Why no action since?

Gee, that sounds like something Dalton would do! No, wait. He'd buy the land for you and ask if you needed anything else.

So, let me get this straight. You, a person who believes that the claim is invalid and the at the Six Nations should vacate the site, is heaping scorn on McGuinty for purchasing the land, but not a single word about Harper who put $125 million on the table? No concern there about your hard-earned tax dollars being pissed away?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

The link you provided is from January, the government capitulated in May.

Zac, I wasn't aware of that. Do you have any references? I'm curious why the about-face since the January decision. Thanks.

Zac said...

Here ya go...

http://www.thestar.com/Unassigned/article/219853

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Zac, thanks. I'm not sure how that one got by me. So, what's the current story? Six Nations has turned down the offer?

Zac said...

Six Nations has turned down the offer?

Yes, they turned it down. I've been up there numerous times and every time I'm there they tell me right off the bat that, "we don't want the government's money". The claim was never about money or power or clout or anything like that. It's always has been - and will always will be - about the land.

Here lies the disconnect between the two cultures. We view land as a commodity - an investment of sorts, which is fine. First Nations view land as a communal right. There's culture aspects at play here as well.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Well, I appreciate you bringing me up to date on this, Zac.

How do you think Bryant will do on this file?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

One more question before this disappears into the archives - What do you think about Aaron Detlor and the HDI saying all new development must be approved by them even though the province says it isn't necessary and it is not legal.