Thursday, November 08, 2007

Cultural disparity and the rule of law

The first thing Michael Bryant should do as Minister of Aboriginal Affairs is to establish which rule of law applies the native population in Ontario.

According to some native activists, the Canadian government has no jurisdiction over their people. Therefore any action by non-native legal systems is viewed as 'high treason'.

This isn't the first time this argument has been advanced. Many Canadian taxpayers are left wondering why they are still having to support reservations, etc.

In fact, Jonathan Kay mentioned this little item in a recent editorial:

Each year the federal government spends over $8-billion on reserve-resident natives, or $80,000 per reserve-resident household (a statistic I never get tired of quoting, because it puts to rest the idea that natives are somehow being nickel-and-dimed under the current system).

Yet, many natives still feel that they should only be accountable to themselves. It would appear that sometimes our courts condone this view, as in the release of Byron Powless on $5000 bail. (You remember the Sam Gualtieri story, right?):

As part of the bail conditions, Powless must live on the Six Nations reserve with his parents, have no contact with the alleged victims and not possess any firearms, explosives or ammunition. Styres said he agreed to be Powless's surety because he believes it's an important time in Canadian history as the Six Nations Haudenosaunee try to assert their land rights. "He was defending the right of the Haudenosaunee people (to their land) as he understands it," he said.

This idea of 'we can take care of our own' appears to be in direct conflict with the rights of non-natives.

Michael Bryant will need to bridge this chasm of understanding.

Julian Fantino seems to be blaming the non-natives for stirring the pot, but blame is not getting us anywhere. Neither is passing the buck to the feds for policing issues.

Oh, and by the way, here is a slightly more accurate figure on the Caledonia price tag.

Michael Bryant, you have a job to do. Let's see some action.



Anonymous said...

Bryant the man that ordered the holocaust for dogs? Wow it didn't take long to recycle this guy did it? On to topic: I think when natives and the general public believe that past native grievences are settled fairly then they may see more cooperation from them.
(real conservative)

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Apparently there was an offer involving Caledonia, but it wasn't received with much enthusiasm.

Anonymous said...

Canadian racial purity laws need better scrutiny, especially if the law is to be applied according to race.

Large sums of money and differing applications of law require that in all fairness, the government must establish a regulatory regime based on DNA samples of the Canadian population.

Once fully established, all Canadians would know the extent to which the law applies to them, and their entitlements to the money of other Canadians.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Anon at 1:45 - That is something I always wondered about - how is it established just who is a 'native'; especially among the descendants of racially mixed marriages.

Anonymous said...

It's not just all about Caledonia. A neighbour's boyfriend has his truck stolen from a mall in London Ontario. The police found the vehicle on native land, but couldn't go in and recover the vehicle....because it was on native land.

What's fair and equitable about THAT?


Tony said...

The appointment of a new Minister of Aboriginal Affairs is just a smoke screen. It gives the appearance that the Ontario government is actually doing something about this issue, but I seriously doubt we will see any action anytime soon in regards to Caledonia.

The Liberals, "Do not Enforce The Law So That We Don't Offend Natives" policy clearly is not working. The aboriginals know it and they are using it to their advantage, but to the detriment of the people living in Caledonia and other surrounding areas. After almost 2 years, there is no end in sight to this mess, so I would not be surprised if we are talking about this same issue a year from now.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

It gives the appearance that the Ontario government is actually doing something about this issue

Tony, that's how they deal with everything unless they can ban it.

Caveat said...

Hey, Joanne, you're coming around to my way of thinking :>)

Isn't it the height of hypocrisy to say you don't recognize a government and then take money from that same government?

Just asking...