Don’t rely on governments to spur technological breakthroughs

Governments only role should be to ensure that intellectual property (IP) rights are protected

Don’t rely on governments to spur technological breakthroughsHuman ingenuity – often motivated by profit – is generally miles ahead of government regulations in resolving problems in society. Take, for example, the issue of orphan wells in Alberta. In September 2016, the Alberta Energy Regulator said there were 84,100 inactive oil and gas wells in the province. The collapse of oil prices and…

Give First Nations priority access to marijuana industry

Indigenous communities should have the same access that private sector parties are demanding

Give First Nations priority access to marijuana industryThe legalization of marijuana in Canada in July 2018 gives the federal government an opportunity to bring communities – including Indigenous ones – into this lucrative sector in a big way. For example, Manitoba’s Opaskwayak Cree Nation recently took a major stake in a medical marijuana company. OCN purchased $3 million in shares in National…

Entrenched dependence one of the worst legacies of the Indian Act

Bands under the oversight of the act should take steps toward financial self-sufficiency now, in preparation for eventual self-government

Entrenched dependence one of the worst legacies of the Indian ActSplitting Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) into two departments means one will be in charge of negotiations with First Nation communities and the other will be responsible for service delivery. Presumably that means the negotiating department can focus on signing self-governing arrangements with more bands under the Indian Act. As a result, the economic future…

Indigenous department changes herald an important new beginning

The federal government must ensure that dividing the department into two helps bands negotiate self-government and create own-source revenue streams

Indigenous department changes herald an important new beginningRecent changes at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada are causing consternation across indigenous communities, and with other Canadians. The decision to split the department in two, one part overseeing Crown-indigenous relations and the other overseeing service delivery to communities, comes right out of the 20-year-old report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP), which…

Andrew Scheer must put First Nations issues back on the agenda

The new Conservative leader can do much to advance indigenous issues and the national agenda – and get his party elected in 2019

Andrew Scheer must put First Nations issues back on the agendaIndigenous issues didn’t play a large part in the recent federal Conservative leadership race. They were mentioned but took a back seat to other matters. But Conservatives must understand that indigenous issues are of vital concern to all Canadians. For instance, candidates devoted considerable time debating TransCanada’s Energy East and Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline projects. Energy…

B.C. Greens should support Site C dam, for all British Columbians

Aboriginal rights are extremely important but, like any Charter right, they’re not absolute. They must be balanced against other competing critical interests

B.C. Greens should support Site C dam, for all British ColumbiansBy Kenneth Green and Joseph Quesnel The Fraser Institute Given the desire for green energy, you would think a Green Party leader would support more hydro power for Vancouver. Or for export to the United States and Alberta, which would allow Alberta to reduce emissions. That would mean the Site C Dam, a hydroelectric project under development…

Ring of Fire: burning down a rare economic opportunity

First Nations can’t veto development in northern Ontario. They must engage in good faith, just like business and governments, and not squander this opportunity

Ring of Fire: burning down a rare economic opportunityBy Joseph Quesnel and Kenneth Green The Fraser Institute It’s often said that successful First Nations must operate at the speed of business, not the speed of government. That certainly applies to First Nations affected by the Ring of Fire mining proposal. Long delays and lack of communication between governments and the nine First Nation communities…

Taxing First Nations encourages accountability, good governance

Indigenous citizens would have real control over their communities and destinies if more funds were generated through taxes on reserves

Taxing First Nations encourages accountability, good governanceThe Cree Nation government in the James Bay region of Quebec recently approved a draft constitution and governance agreement that – among other things – would give them the power to collect taxes. In an interview with CBC, Bill Namagoose, the Cree Nation executive director said, “It provides security for the Cree Nation. There are no options…

Conservatives should distance themselves from Beyak

Senator's twisted perspective on residential schools and the horrible suffering students went through should not be accepted by the party or other Canadians

Conservatives should distance themselves from BeyakCanada’s last Indian residential school closed in 1996. The residential schools experience is not ancient history. Nor was the residential school experience positive, despite comments from Conservative Sen. Lynn Beyak. It’s easy to be blasé about the topic when you’ve never been around First Nation and Metis peoples who attended these institutions. It’s easy to…

New data pans First Nations custom-made election rules

May lead to discrimination and abuse of power, with disputes frequently ending up in federal court

New data pans First Nations custom-made election rulesLast month during band elections on the O’Chiese First Nation in central Alberta, incumbent Chief Darren Whitford won his seventh straight term after a new electoral rule, which required candidates to be fluent in one of the local indigenous languages, disqualified all challengers. Unfortunately, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) is unlikely to intervene in…