Pretending everything is hunky-dory

Writer worried nothing is good enough to earn consent or reconciliation.


As reported, a member of Smithers town council expressed public sorrow at the harsh treatment those arrested at the Morice river blockade received in the hands of the RCMP. He may reflect on the treatment he’d receive if he, with some pals, blockaded public road in a defiance of court order. He can be certain it’d be much harsher than catch and release, especially if he chose to resist.

The Gaslink can jump through all the hoops, hold over 15,000 consultations, buy consent consent for hundreds of millions of dollars. In the end it’s just not good enough.

Jean Chretien in his memoirs recalls how, when minister of Indian Affairs in P. Trudeau government, they consulted extensively in 1968 and heard consistent complaint: we’re second class citizens, under the thumb of the Dept. of Indian Affairs, herded on reserves, etc. As a result, his gov. proposed to abolish the department and the reserves, get rid of the Indian Act, and declare Indians to be full Canadian citizens. At this point the chiefs, with great hostility, let it be known that on the contrary, they want more — more money, more special rights. The gov. backed down, they kept the $5 million (1968$) they were given in good faith to ease the transition, hired lawyers and lobbyists. The “Indian industry” was born. And ever since the complaint is: we’re colonized under the Indian Act, herded on reserves, etc. Therefore, we want more.

J Trudeau’s “reconciliation” isn’t going well, even though he promised anything and everything, plus a cherry on top. He delivered the ultimate: his signature on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples last year. It was only non-binding, “aspirational.” Now it’s a law of the land, affecting everything. A veto. (The rest of us, who keep the show on the road, aren’t trustworthy enough for a veto of any kind.)

But it’s not enough, and CBC agrees. They now refer to Crown land exclusively as first nations territories, perhaps on the general principle that the very concept of public lands that “belong to all Canadians” (remember those?) is bigoted and lacking in inclusivity. That’s our public broadcaster, lavishly accommodated by the taxpayer. Then there is our own “representative” Doug Donaldson who, with his wife, showed up at the blockade with goodies and support. His ideology of course was on display for decades. (Why do we keep voting for him, through a democratic process, which he then feels free to violate to flaunt his “progressive”agenda?)

Read more: B.C. MLA defends visit to LNG pipeline protest camp

A society that’s not race blind is rotten through. A system where some four per cent of the population arbitrarily rule the rest is not a democracy. A judiciary that impose rulings based not on law, but on a nebulous concept of “honor of the Crown,” or whose rulings can be ignored by some if they fail to please, is not a serious judiciary. Politicians who run for cover at a first sight of a masked lawbreaker don’t do their job, serving the constituents. But then the constituents are either asleep, or intimidated into silence by threat of being labeled intolerant or worse.

We muddle on, tax, borrow, tie our remaining industries in ever more red tape, throw bags of cash trying to keep everybody quiet. Pretending this country haven’t taken a wrong turn, that everything is hunky-dory.

Jerry Mencl


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