Indigenous rights are not absolute

Public policy discourse needs to move away from where Indigenous issues are paramount to where they’re one set among many

Indigenous rights are not absoluteIndigenous people too often seem to think that their rights are absolute or act as if their rights trump everything else. This attitude was seen clearly in a reaction from the Saskatchewan-based Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) after the Saskatchewan government changed the policy regarding when people can hunt on summer pasture lands. All…

Two visions of mining for Manitoba

A path that includes meaningful consultation with Indigenous groups is destined to move development forward

Two visions of mining for ManitobaThere are two visions of engaging with First Nations on mining projects in Manitoba. The first will likely lead to considerable opposition and increased delays. The second focuses on meaningful consultation with Indigenous groups and is destined to move development forward. One can only hope that policy-makers adopt the latter vision and reject the former.…

New hope for Canada’s freshwater fishers

The end of Canada's federal marketing monopoly opens new doors around the world

New hope for Canada’s freshwater fishersMany people expected that the end of the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corp. (FFMC) monopoly would lead to a disaster in Manitoba. It has not, fortunately. In fact, this move by the federal government may revitalize the Indigenous commercial fisheries in the northern part of the province. Manitoba commercial fishers sell about $60 million worth of…

Privatization only way to help Manitoba Hydro – and the province

The badly managed Crown corporation put a whole province at risk of austerity and diminished economic opportunities

Privatization only way to help Manitoba Hydro – and the provinceAppeals to sentiment and other emotions won’t make Manitoba Hydro financially viable. Manitobans can’t wish away the debacle that cost the utility, and all Manitobans, billions of dollars. The problem started years ago and it will probably take decades to get out of the mess. Attempts at northern development and providing aid to Indigenous communities…

Balancing Indigenous claims of institutional discrimination

If we go beyond the increasingly shrill voices, we can find stories of compassion and equality

Balancing Indigenous claims of institutional discriminationWe keep hearing about the negative ways that institutions treat Indigenous people. It’s a perception that needs to be challenged. Think of what has been said during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, about the ’60s scoop, and at the trials into the…

Indigenous children continue to pay a steep price

No amount of funding plans or reorganization can solve this problem as long as alcohol and drug abuse persists in First Nations communities

Indigenous children continue to pay a steep priceWe want simple answers. But, sometimes, there aren’t any. Take Manitoba’s child welfare system, for example. We want to find a solution to a problem that has plagued us for generations: What to do about the huge numbers of Indigenous children taken into the care of child welfare agencies each year? Meetings are held in…

Manitoba mining industry buried by policies, taxes

Mining investors dramatically downgrade Manitoba in annual survey. Only the provincial government can fix this

Manitoba mining industry buried by policies, taxesBy Kenneth Green and Ashley Stedman The Fraser Institute Manitoba is no longer a top-ranked jurisdiction for mining investment because of government policy uncertainty, according to the Fraser Institute’s annual survey of mining companies. Every year, the Fraser Institute surveys mining companies around the world to determine which jurisdictions are attractive – or unattractive –…

Turning recycled value into wasteful municipal spending

Winnipeg's decision to go with new curbside collection providers ramps up unnecessary costs for taxpayers as the market for recyclables softens

Turning recycled value into wasteful municipal spendingThe City of Winnipeg’s intended austerity budget predictably nickels and dimes ratepayers, with rate increases and service cuts in response to lower than expected provincial transfers. But city council has thrown away tens of millions of dollars in available savings on garbage collections and recycling. In September 2016, independent pollsters found that 93 per cent…

How alcohol is killing Aboriginal Canadians

In his important book Firewater, Harold Johnson talks about the enormous problem of alcohol abuse that plagues so many Indigenous communities

How alcohol is killing Aboriginal CanadiansWhat is the ’60s Scoop and why should a conversation about it still matter to Canadians today? The ’60s Scoop has been much in the news recently, and I expect we’ll hear much more about it in the coming weeks and years. I’m guessing there are already plans to make it the subject of the…

Children with disabilities data out of date

We lack critical information on the diverse and often unmet needs of Canadian children with disabilities, as well as the out-of-pocket costs paid by families

Children with disabilities data out of dateBy Stephanie Dunn and Jennifer Zwicker University of Calgary “The true measure of a nation’s standing is how well it attends to its children, including their health, safety, material security, education and socialization, and their sense of being loved, valued and included in the families and societies into which they are born,” according to UNICEF.…