Using money to bring fairness to Indigenous groups

The Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla need to put the Ridley Terminal money to work on things that will lead to future returns for their people

Using money to bring fairness to Indigenous groupsIf there are any special Canadian values, fairness is surely one of them. We want and expect our laws and courts to be fair. Our economy, too, should give everyone an opportunity to do well. The resulting income streams should not excessively reward the rich nor should our taxes penalize the poor. The United States,…

Wilson-Reybould directive to Justice Department staff raises alarm

Wilson-Raybould instructed Justice Department lawyers not to aggressively fight claims brought by Indigenous groups against the federal government

Wilson-Reybould directive to Justice Department staff raises alarmSince former Justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould’s dramatic testimony before a committee of the House of Commons, followed by the testimony of Gerald Butts and Michael Wernick, much attention has been paid to SNC-Lavalin and the questionable behaviour of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Mostly missed were the last words of Privy Council clerk…

Ontario court ruling drives a wedge between Canadians

Decision encourages an infinite, ever-changing, race-based relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous

Ontario court ruling drives a wedge between CanadiansIn December 2018, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice released its Restoule decision, which renders Canada and Ontario equally liable to pay the 21 Robinson Treaties bands their “fair” share of all Crown revenue received from sales, leases and licenses, less expenses, derived from treaties-surrendered lands retroactive to 1850. The land covers basically the entire…

We can’t let outside powers dictate law in Canada

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples should be treated as nothing more than an aspirational document

We can’t let outside powers dictate law in CanadaThe final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission called for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) to become law in Canada. This is a very bad idea for many reasons. Enacting a law that would make all legislation subject to UNDRIP could render Canada virtually ungovernable. Justice Minister Jody…

Indigenous affairs portfolio is democratically flawed

The department holds inordinate power over First Nations people, yet the citizens have no say in how it operates

Indigenous affairs portfolio is democratically flawedIt isn’t easy to grasp just how vast and complex Canada’s federal Indigenous affairs portfolio has become over the past 50 years. Now divided into Indigenous Services and Crown-Indigenous Relations, it’s unlike any other federal government department. The portfolio is more accurately described as a federally-run province. This makes sense because, according to the department,…

One sentencing standard for all offenders

Terri-Lynne McClintic shouldn't have been sent to a healing lodge. In fact, the very nature of such institutions defies fair practise

One sentencing standard for all offendersTerri-Lynne McClintic, convicted of the 2009 abduction, rape and murder of eight-year-old Tory Stanford, was recently moved from federal prison to a healing lodge. Canadians were surprised – to say the least – that the transfer of a convicted child murderer to a healing lodge was not something new but had being going on since…

One set of laws for all the only way to end racism in Canada

In his new book There is No Difference, Peter Best details a way to resolve Canada’s legal and social relations with its Indigenous

One set of laws for all the only way to end racism in CanadaIn his new book There Is No Difference, Ontario lawyer Peter Best begins a long-repressed national conversation about Canada’s legal and social relations with its Indigenous people. Best asks: Why can’t Nelson Mandela’s goal and vision of one set of laws for all be the goal in Canada? Why keep and even extend the demonstrably-failing separate…

We can’t ignore the roots of some rural crime

Trotting out historical excuses for criminal actions will only leave rural residents to continue to be terrorized by gangsters

We can’t ignore the roots of some rural crimeRural crime near troubled reserves on the Prairies must be acknowledged if there’s any hope of remedying the situation. Doug Cuthand, an Indigenous Saskatchewan columnist, believes the phrase ‘rural crime‘ is code for crimes committed by Indigenous thugs. But in Saskatchewan, for example, an Indigenous man is 33 times as likely to be convicted of…

The strangling nature of Canada’s ‘duty to consult’ the Indigenous

A recent Supreme Court decision seems to have loosened the constraints, but will new legislation push such matters to the UN?

The strangling nature of Canada’s ‘duty to consult’ the IndigenousThe Supreme Court of Canada’s Mikisew decision, delivered on Oct. 11, 2018, marks what could be a very significant development in Canadian law – possibly ushering in a more reasonable era, where courts intervene less in matters that properly belong to the people’s elected representatives. Let me explain: Section 35 was written into Canada’s brand…

Skills training, education keys to finding work for First Nations people

Eight of 10 unemployed Indigenous Albertans living off reserve said there was a shortage of jobs: StatsCan

Skills training, education keys to finding work for First Nations peopleSkills training and more education were identified by First Nations people living off reserve as the key to finding work, according to the 2017 Aboriginal Peoples Survey released on Monday by Statistics Canada. The survey found 27 per cent of respondents said those two factors would help them most to find a job. “The off-reserve…