The Deloitte & Touche audit of Attawapiskat is a textbook outcome of the fatal weakness in Canada's current model of First Nations governance, which is coded to fail. There could be hundreds of Attawapiskats.
Does anyone know what the average First Nations chief's level of training and management experience is? Or the average training and experience of band councillors? How many building inspectors live within 50 miles of Attawapiskat? How about CAs, CGAs or project managers capable of supervising and maintaining records on multiple construction sites?
We must offer support by sharing First Nations perspectives, and remembering that some truths are simple: we have to share this land together in a fair way that reflects a real understanding of its history. This Friday, a global day of action provides an opportunity for us all to stand together.
Every May 26, Australia has a National Sorry Day to remember the forcible removal of Aboriginal children from their homes. Why not a day of sorrow and acknowledgment for those that have suffered past racist and discriminatory actions for the sake of our national interest?
By Harper agreeing to meet Spence, the first step has been taken. Whatever the outcome, the movement will not fade away. By seizing the moment, the AFN and the government have been handed an opportunity where they can make common cause to affect positive change for First Nations communities. It is in everyone's best interest that they succeed.
Hunger-striking Attawapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence is the reincarnation of Mahatma Ghandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. She is becoming the ...
As we enter the new year, it is time for Chief Spence and Prime Minister Harper to pause and reflect about their on-going standoff. Both sides need to feel that they have won and both sides need to find a way to declare victory. Only then can the two sides proceed to the next step which should be fresh dialogue and agreed to solutions for key First Nations issues.
Bloopers have always been fun. A good collective laugh is a healthy thing for a society. This would be a perfect year to start the "Democracy Blooper Awards." Here are my favourite anti-democratic moments of 2012. Even at its best democracy has proven to be an out-of-control PR performance where points are given for best spin, rather than outcome.
Just before our recent over-sentimental overindulgence in gifts, food, drink and religion, the Star came out with a massive two-page spread titled "A Culture of Secrecy." It's a splendid rebuttal to the myth spreading through our culture that newspapers like the Star are doomed.
I woke up just past midnight with a bolt. My six-month-old son was crying. He has a cold -- the second of his short life -- and his blocked nose frightens him. I was about to get up when he started snoring again. I, on the other hand, was wide awake. A single thought entered my head: Chief Theresa Spence is hungry. Her hunger is not just speaking to Stephen Harper. It is also speaking to all of us, telling us that the time for bitching and moaning is over. Now is the time to act, to stand strong and unbending for the people, places and principles that we love.
Protecting Canada's lakes, streams and rivers and the habitat for fish and wildlife is the one out of the many issues raised by Idle No More that has the greatest potential to expand across much of non-urban Canada, uniting aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canadians, and crossing the political spectrum from the green left to the small c conservative right.
As 2012 ends, what do we in Canada understood as enduring truths that can we take into living forward in 2013? On the home front, we should have understood that democracy in Canada can be taken too much for granted. We take for granted that Parliamentary democracy is only as effective as the power concentrated in the Prime Minister's Office allows it to be. In the wrong hands, it can make MPs mostly irrelevant, as demonstrated by the Harper PMO.
Chief Theresa Spence will continue her hunger strike until the Prime Minister meets with her to discuss her concerns. While the government that represents me is shameful, I'm very proud to be Canadian today as I see so many people speaking out. But nobody more than Spence who is showing the world right now what it is to truly care about the country you call home.
"Perception is reality" in politics. A lot of this is nothing more than smoke and mirrors and well scripted talk points which are repeated over and over in the hope that voters will change their perception of that party or that of their opponents. It has been an interesting year in politics and next year will provide us with an opportunity to see if voter's perceptions of our leaders and their parties will change.
Mulcair has made his party and himself invisible while moving his party so far to the right in the blind pursuit of power and it is becoming impossible to distinguish it from the Harper Conservatives. I bet Jack Layton would have been disappointed. For the late beloved leader, he would have settled for continuing to be the "Conscience of the House" rather than sell the soul of the party via a short cut to power.
Think of the U.S.-Canada economic relationship as a hockey game (remember hockey? Sigh.) In the first year, despite the distractions posed by the 2012 elections and a series of U.S. budget battles, the governments of Canada and the United States have made a strong start on improving border and regulatory cooperation.
Why has Canada's federal debt jumped over 30 per cent since 2008, to over $600 billion? Why did the government miss its deficit target by $1.4 billion last year, and what is pushing this year's deficit forecast higher by more than $5 billion to $26 billion? Figures released by the PBO show that, contrary to all the talk we've been hearing about cutbacks, Ottawa's payroll is getting out of control.