Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Thank-You Pierre

I wasn't going to comment on the formal apology today, because despite the fact it was Harper, it was a necessary acknowledgement. That said, after reading Pierre Poilievre's comments, I don't feel bad saying the following.

Stephen Harper, and his merry band of stooges, are the last people to be front and center, offering the formal apology. Let's cut through the pretense and the pretty words today, Harper doesn't give a shit about our aborginal population, in truth they have a great deal of contempt for the entire arrangement. Pierre just articulated the bottomline, beyond the presentation.

Actions speak louder than carefully crafted words, with just the right hint of staged empathy. That isn't to say the apology isn't genuine, only that the source is entirely conflicted. What exactly has this government done for aborginals, besides kill the Kelowna Accord, fail to follow through at the United Nations, basically bring nothing to the table, demonstrating ZERO sensitivity or true understanding.

What kind of a creton asks if we are getting "value" for the compensation money, on a day that was supposed to be about healing. And, was I the only one who noticed the homophobe Lukwski directly behind the PM as he offered his sober apology. Chuck Strahl, this government's Minister of Indian Affairs, is hardly a friend of aborginals.

I'd like to thank Pierre, because in essence, his insensitive comments, that demonstrate no understanding of anything, offer a lovely reality check to the show we say today. The message was powerful, but it was really just scripted lip service from the messenger. Poilievre demonstrated that in spades.

58 comments:

Harold said...

There was a recent study done on Paul Martin's Billion dollar handout to the provinces with no strings attached to "fix medicare for a generation". It basically found that the money was being used for day to day expenditures and nothing had changed. In other words throwing money at a problem doesn't change things.(This always comes as a surprise to liberals and other left-wingers.)

Kelowna accord - the same uninspired money throw-away by Paul Martin. But let's cut through the pretense and the pretty words today, Liberals doesn't give a shit about taxpayer's money. And let's not even talk about adscam.

Steve V said...

harold

Thanks for proving my point.

harold said...

Kelowna was non-sense, throwing money at any problem, without a plan, is a recipe for failure. Good intentions mean diddly squat. By all means, let's improve the aboriginal's lot - but it doesn't mean throwing money around. Really is that still a contentious proposition Steve? If it is you Liberals are worse off than I thought.

The Conservatives will make more headway with resolving the aboriginals plight than the Liberals ever did. By the way, Pierre Trudeau was the biggest backer of aboriginal assimilation of any Canadian politician in Canadian history. He and his policies were anti-Indian.

Steve V said...

Oh, just go away. You're a bore.

JimmE said...

Harold,

Dude, you guys really, really have to tell me, what flavour is EFFing Blue Kool-aid?
I mean you guys drink so Effing much of it I just gatta know.

Gayle said...

"Throwing money at a problem..."

I see that all the time in my line of work. It is what lazy governments who do not care about results do - all ALL governments are lazy.

It is not about the amount of money given - it is about ensuring that money goes where it is needed - and it is needed.

For example, Alberta just announced a huge funding increase to address FASD. Almost all of that money will be spent on bureaucrats in offices trying to decide what should be done. Meanwhile children and youth who are afflicted with FASD will still be living on the streets because there is not enough money to ensure they have a home to go to - and yes, sadly, there are too many Aboriginal children who are afflicted with FASD.

You can point your finger at aboriginal band heirarchy and accuse them of misusing the money to which they are entitled, but that type of misuse is systemic over all levels of government, no matter which party is in power.

If you want real results you have to cut the bullshit, stop playing politics, stop looking for "quantifiable results" within a time period where they simply cannot be achieved, and do something proactive and positive.

Pointing at corruption at the administrative level as a justification to abdicate our responsibility to these people is weak, sad, pathetic and cowardly.

Gayle said...

Oh, and Poilievre is a fucking weasel who is too stupid to see that he is being used as a stooge by Harper to do his dirty work for him.

"Don't worry base, we are not abandoning our so-con right wing ideology just because we are issuing an apology"...

If all goes wrong, Poilievre can take the fall.

(sorry for the language Steve, but I kind of feel strongly about this...)

Anonymous said...

The article is a second hand review of Poilievre's remarks. In the actual interview, I did not get the impression that he resented the money being spent -- more that he regretted that despite the money available the problems are still rampant. He expressed a desire that more dollars could go into the hands of individuals -- rather than being controlled by the chiefs. He also regretted the lack of human rights legislation for aboriginals. I think CTV's account of this is misleading. I also think it was rather tasteless to broadcast it in the context of the apology and to try to link these two things. Of course, Polivere was interviewed about native issues because of the apology happening today, but the discussion did not focus exclusively on this, but rather on broader questions. I think most Canadians -- had they heard the whole discussion -- would agree with many of his comments.

Anonymous said...

Shame on Poilievre, for being stupid, at a minimum, an ass, more likely. Bur shame, too, I must say, on you. I've trawled both Liblogs and the Blogging Tories and have been depressed by the silence or gotcha treatment of this historical day. Mssrs Harper and Dion, especially, BOTH rose to the occasion; it would be nice if the rest of us could exhibit humility, if not due respect, in treating this sad, but also dignified and hopeful day.

I was proud to be a Canadian today. Harper did a good job. The oft-dubbed robot scarcely staved off tears. M. Dion was likewise emphatic, frank, sincere and moving. It was a rare day of dignified statesmanship in the House. Mr Poilievre may well be a jerk; let's not reduce the day to similar partisan jerkiness.

It's worth noting that none of the four, unprecedented, Aboriginal respondents in the House came anywhere close to doing so.

Anyhow... an observation and plea offered in good faith.

DMD

Gayle said...

The problem with what you are saying anon is this:

"My view is that we need to engender the values of hard work and independence and self reliance. That's the solution in the long run - more money will not solve it."

There is no way you can spin those words.

Anonymous said...

The problem Gayle is I'm wondering if on this day of all days--with all the suffering and courage and hurt and shame it entails; with Dion boldly and with his voice cracking acknowledging the LPC's role, as the default government of the past century, in this tragedy, with Harper stating simply what these schools were about, all the harm they did, all the ways they were wrong--we could actually think in terms other than spin. There were people on the floor of the House today who have suffered what no one should--I saw three party leaders, yes, you too Jack, who were moved and humbled by the burden a shameful history had laid upon them, who knew this was about something much more important than a pissing contest.....

That's all I'm saying. If the usually ignobly hyper-partisan leaders of the House can rise to the occasion, why need we become, or for petty partisan reasons fixate upon, the likes of Mssrs Duceppe or Poilivre.

DMD

Gayle said...

My post was not directed to you DMD. It was directed to anon.

And while I do take your point, I am also not about to give Poilievre a pass just because he decided to demonstrate his bigotry on the same day the rest of the nation was acknowledging the great harm we did to our First Nations people.

I will not ignore racism - I will call it out. I do not think that makes me a partisan.

Eric said...

"Stephen Harper, and his merry band of stooges, are the last people to be front and center, offering the formal apology"

I couldn't agree more, Steve!

Let's look at the Liberals who SHOULD have stopped this racist program and offered a formal apology:

1. William Lyon Mackenzie King (1921 - 1930) - no apology

2. William Lyon Mackenzie King (1935 - 1949) - no apology

3. Louis St-Laurent (1949 -1957) - no apology

4. Lester Pearson (1963 - 1968) - no apology

5. Pierre Trudeau (1968 -1979) - no apology

6. Pierre Trudeau (1980 - 1984) - no apology

7. Jean Chr├ętien (1993 - 2004) - no apology

8. Paul Martin (2004 - 2006) - no apology


In bold all the prime ministers that were fully aware of another Holocaust, and the implications this example of genocide could have for Canada's solution to the "Indian problem". Unfortunately Conservatives and Liberals in those successive governments appeared to have learned very little from the ever famous Nuremburg trials (1940s).

Did you know that the last residential school closed only in 1998? Yes, that is indeed only ten years ago. Unbelievable, isn't it?

Shame on you, you Liberal Party lovers, for your continuous support for these racist programs, decade after decade. And you dare to criticize the other (the lovely Conservatives) for doing nothing? Hypocrites! Shame on you!

Today, June 11th 2008, has been pitched as a day forward, and I agree. But lest we forget: it was the Conservatives and the Liberals (in cooperation with their holier than holy churches; god forgive them) that turned the Indian Problem into the genocide of Canada's aboriginal peoples.

And that's a crime against humanity if you ask me.

Koby said...

>>>> "Indian problem". Unfortunately Conservatives and Liberals in those successive governments appeared to have learned very little from the ever famous Nuremburg trials (1940s).

The forced assimilation of a 150,000 native children over a 128 year period is not the same the murder of of 6 million in 6 years. And yes the last school was closed only in 1998. However the number of children attended residential schools after 1969 was minimal and there was no longer forced assimilation going on was the last school closed.

Now, does this mean that residential schools are not a blot on Canada’s history? Of course not. The residential school was system was a travesty and rightly apologized for.

As for Poilievere comments, sure they were simply more small minded conservative self-reliance crap and sure his timing was awful. He could not have picked a worse time to spout off. However, Poilievre is right about one thing. The reserve system, premised as it is on the notion of native rights, is a bureaucratic, fiscal, legal, intellectual and sociological abortion that does nothing save waste mountains of money, breed corruption and poverty, instill in the native community a vile sense of identity based on “blood” and breed racism in the Canadian society at large. Hell, if Harper promised to abolish native rights and privatize communal land holdings, I would vote for him. Well maybe.

RuralSandi said...

Well, Dion apologized for the Liberal government roles in this - Harper did not apologize for the Conservatives role in this. We're waiting for that Harper.

Perhaps people should take the time to read up on this - it's an eye-opener.

Blame the Liberals for everything? Enough already - it was everyone from 1840. Actually, I blame the British and the churches.

Everyone trusted churches in the old days and we know abuses were "hidden" even in recent times.

The blame game is over. Time to move on - that's what the First Nations want - why don't you at least let them have that.

Since when is it Harper's apology? It's suppose to be the apology of "all Canadians" - Harper doing it on our behalf. This is NOT about Harper.

There are no excuses in the world for Polievre - he's got 364 other days a year to be nasty and partisan - he can't let up for "ONE" day? And, nothing happens without Harper not knowing about it.

Anonymous said...

Harold's right about Trudeau.

Anonymous said...

Yep...an apology from the Canadian people in the HOC's, from a very moved Prime Minister. An apology from a very eloquent Opposition Leader on behalf of his party, past and present. Another touching and moving apology from the man the PM gave alot of credit for, Jack Layton and the NDP...and you morons turn it into a me versus you thing. Read these comments and you'll understand why Aborginals dont stand a chance in this country. And Gayle...for a person thats against spin and rhetoric you sure know how to let it fly. billg

Steve V said...

"from a very moved Prime Minister."

Yes, he is so moved by aborginal issues, he puts Strahl, with his controversial comments, at the helm. Pierre just gave us the real story.

Oh, and just to get this out of the political arena, with all this hypocrisy, Trudeau this, MacKenzie that crap, this government finally did something bs, get back to me next election and let's see how many aborginals flock to the Con candidates. Exactly, that says it all about relative "caring".

Anonymous said...

Gayle: The problem with what you are saying anon is this:

"My view is that we need to engender the values of hard work and independence and self reliance. That's the solution in the long run - more money will not solve it."

Well, Gayle, I think that this comment reveals your own paternalistic attitude towards Native people. Pollivere’s words might apply to all of us. In general people thrive on hard work, independence and self reliance. That has not been the philosophy that Canada has espoused in its treatment of Native people. It would be foolish to ignore the real problems that need to be solved here. The government obviously has a role to play in helping to resolve those problems, since the government has had a role in creating them – it’s called being an enabler. The GoC has so far fostered either assimilation or dependence among Native people. So far we have not got it right. Pollivere (like others) is at least looking for a solution. Natives have been seriously marginalized and do not have the same opportunities as others for work and self-reliance. I believe that Pollivere’s intention was to suggest that with greater independence, autonomy and self-reliance, Natives would do far better than they appear to be doing under the current system. What do you suggest?

(LS: The original anon)

RuralSandi said...

If Harper was so sincere - why was he so partisan about it?

He didn't even mention Gerry Merasty, a native and former Liberal MP - who put the Motion to the House is March 2006 - that same motion approved by all in the House - for the apology.

It was because he was Liberal - the fact that he is a native didn't even matter to Harper - the guy was a former Liberal and for that he should go to the woodshed.

Harper didn't even mention that this whole thing has been part of a process that began in "2005".

Harper makes me sick - he didn't even have the guts or heart to thank Gerry Merasty - shame on him.

Anonymous said...

Like I said Steve V...morons.
No matter what the issue is, find a way to spin it to your advantage, because as we all know, its not the issue that matters, its how to use it. Attitudes like yours are why Aboriginals are doomed. billg

Steve V said...

Oh bill, I take your moron comment seriously, because you obviously have personal expertise on what constitutes one. You see one everyday in the morning when you shave.

You guys are a joke on aboriginal issues, always have been, always will. Your solutions are beyond simplistic, and really it has nothing to do with empathy, its all about MONEY, so spare me the FAKE concerns.

BTW, which party has 3 aborginal MP's, and ran three times the amount of aborginal candidates in the 2006 election? Why aren't aborginals flocking to the party that wants to "get the job done"? Like I said, that cuts through all this bullshit SPIN your pitching.

Anonymous said...

Native culture teaches about our connection to each other, the earth and the spiritual world. The Conservatives have obviously embraced these lessons and could never practise the old politics again. Oh wait, I was dreaming!

RuralSandi said...

The history in this regard is altogether epic—detailed in years of official press releases, program announcements, settlements and speeches.

On the seventh day of 1998, the Chr├ętien government delivered a formal “statement of reconciliation” to residential school students and established the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. “The Government of Canada acknowledges the role it played in the development and administration of these schools,” explained Indian Affairs Minister Jane Stewart in that statement. “To those of you who suffered this tragedy at residential schools, we are deeply sorry.”

Three years later, the Department of Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada was created. The IRSRC introduced the National Resolution Framework, which included the Alternative Dispute Resolution program.

“Addressing the legacy of over 100 years of residential schools is one of the most challenging areas for our renewal and reconciliation as a nation,” declared Indian Affairs Minister Denis Coderre in April 2004. “However, we must continue to address our collective past because our future as a just and inclusive nation relies on it.”

In May 2005, the government signed a “Political Agreement” with the Assembly of First Nations. Six months later, Frank Iacobucci, the “Government’s Representative,” reached an “Agreement in Principle” that set aside $1.9-billion “for the direct benefit of former Indian residential school students.”

A year later, the Harper government approved a settlement agreement, proposed a Common Experience Payment, an Independent Assessment Process and a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and launched an Advance Payment program. “The government,” confirmed Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice, “recognizes the sad legacy of Indian residential schools.”

A year after that, the House of Commons, by a vote of 257-0, adopted a Liberal motion that moved “that this House apologize to the survivors of Indian Residential Schools for the trauma they suffered as a result of policies intended to assimilate First Nations, Inuit, Metis children, causing the loss of aboriginal culture, heritage and language, while also leaving a sad legacy of emotional, physical and sexual abuse.”

“The position of the executive branch of government is a separate issue,” cautioned Prentice at the time. But then in last fall’s throne speech the Prime Minister promised “to make a statement of apology to close this sad chapter in our history.”

This May, the government set aside this date for that apology. The promised truth and reconciliation commission, under the stewardship of Justice Harry S. LaForme, was declared operational on June 1. And a decade after Jane Stewart said sorry, here we found ourselves.

...this is from Aaron Wherry's blog - Macleans - The Commons.

I suggest all read it.

Anonymous said...

Um Steve V...I never commented about the Aboriginal issue, I've not shared how I think the problem should be resolved and dont for one minute think that either Conservative or Liberals have the answer..because history has proven other wise. My point was simple and you've proven it with your mindless nattering, that, when this issue becomes partisan noise, which if you read these comments it has, then, only one group of people suffer, and its not you. I've lived in Kenora and I do not for one minute pretend to have the answers, but, I had hoped that yesterday would be a start, but, people like you bring the debate down to its lowest level of "my guy's better then your guy" crap. Mr Dion impressed the hell out of my yesterday, because he ruffled feathers in admitting past guilt, that to me was the biggest step. Oh ya...Steve V..feel free to throw in a "bush-like" comment as well..those are always original.
billg

Steve V said...

"I've lived in Kenora"

Did you watch Dancing With Wolves too?

Anonymous said...

No...but I know why they re-built the side walks 42 inches higher then the road way in Kenora, I know why the parks in Keewatin are restricted, and, I know why freezers are sold with the lids seperately. How much lower can you bring the debate Steve V?
billg

Steve V said...

Bill, in case you haven't noticed, I'm not interested in "debating". You guys are a waste of time, mocking is about all I can offer. Feel free to go somewhere else, I can't take you seriously.

Jim said...

Pierre was right, and it is about time someone said it.

I am voting conservative next time.

Anonymous said...

Yes I have noticed that about your debate skills, and, its the main reason why Aboriginals are stuck with "same old same old"...too many people just dont care.
billg

Gayle said...

"Read these comments and you'll understand why Aborginals dont stand a chance in this country. And Gayle...for a person thats against spin and rhetoric you sure know how to let it fly. billg"

Yeah, sure - it is amusing to see you get all holier than thou about rhetoric, and partisan shots - and then end with a gratuitou cheap personal attack.

What a raging hypocrite you are.

I am loving how so many people suddenly think it is appalling to comment on Poilievre's racism, on a day that was dedicated to apologizing for the biggest example of institutionalized racism in this country.

Guess what people - Poilevre is a disgusting little man who made even more disgusting little comments. To suggest we should brush those comments under the carpet in the name of "reconciliation" and "non-partisanship" says a lot about you.

Poilievre did not appear on the radio as a non-partisan. He spoke as a Member of Parliament and as a representative of the CPC.

Gayle said...

"Well, Gayle, I think that this comment reveals your own paternalistic attitude towards Native people. Pollivere’s words might apply to all of us. In general people thrive on hard work, independence and self reliance. That has not been the philosophy that Canada has espoused in its treatment of Native people. It would be foolish to ignore the real problems that need to be solved here. The government obviously has a role to play in helping to resolve those problems, since the government has had a role in creating them – it’s called being an enabler."

Anon

What is patronizing is suggesting there is something wrong with the value system of Aboriginal people, and that they could benefit from "our" value system.

The "real problem" is not that Aboriginals do not share the Protestant work ethic.

Systemic, institutionalized, multi-generational racism...

Do not point fingers and a whole class of people and suggest they, and the government, work this out. The first step would be for the rest of the country to recognize their own racism and stop demanding the Aboriginal people do something to change that racist perspective.

Take some responsibility for your own actions and own role in all this.

Steve V said...

Oops, looks like Pierre was forced to issue a "clarification". The PMO doesn't take kindly to people expressing their real opinion:

"After the uproar surrounding his comments, Poilievre tried to clarify his position in a statement late Wednesday:

"I stated that aboriginals deserve protection under Canada's human rights laws and that the record dollars that the government is spending on aboriginals should reach the people in need,'' the e-mailed statement said.

"I agree with the prime minister when he said ... the treatment of children in Indian residential schools is a sad chapter in our history.

"Today we recognize that this policy of assimilation was wrong, has caused great harm, and has no place in our country.''

Anonymous said...

Oh for God's sake Gayle..Pierre is no different then the famous "Rat Pack" way back when..you remember, the ones who sang Oh Canada for hours because the GST would destroy Canada. Besides, I dont even know what Pipsqueek Pierre said...cuz it doesnt matter. How does what an MP says on a radio show damper what happened yesterday in the HOC's? Unless of course...gasp...the light shone a little to brightly on the guy you people hate the most, so, lets figure out a way to dull that spot light a little. Yesterday was a great day with all 3 major party leaders at their best, and, if you've read any of my previous comments you'll know that I've written before that if Harper is serious about a majority he's got to put a muzzle on little Pierre, but, it still doesnt damper yesterday, unless of course your a rhetorical partisan windbag. As the great John Prine once said.."quit wishing for bad luck and knockin' on wood" billg

Anonymous said...

Thank you...that would be the muzzle I was just talking about.
billg

Steve V said...

bill

You're forgetting that it's Harper that voluntarily elevated Pierre to the frontlines. When you say Harper should muzzle him, it's sort of strange, considering he's the guy who let the puppy out of the yard. Harper wanted the mean-spirited, uber-conservative, out there, so it's really more a reflection on his bad judgement, or real attitudes, than about Pierre. Ditto for Strahl at Aborginal Affairs.

Gayle said...

"Pierre is no different then the famous "Rat Pack" way back when..."

Really? Do you have any quoes from them where they expressed such racism as Poilievre did yesterday? There is no comparison,

"Unless of course...gasp...the light shone a little to brightly on the guy you people hate the most, so, lets figure out a way to dull that spot light a little."

So now we get to what you are really talking about. Chasitcing us for partisan politics when your real concner is that you did not want this particular raxcist CPC MP to overshadow Harper's big moment.

Except, as it has already been pointed out on this blog, Harper spoke for all of us. It was not HIS moment...it was ours.

Gayle said...

umm "chastising"

Gayle said...

Clearly I need to proof read before I post

Anonymous said...

Steve V...your right. Polievierre or however you spell his name is an obnoxious mouth piece...he's young...and got his wings clipped a little today, he should not be out in front of camera's and mike's until he gains a little humility...I would imagine the 2 minute call from Stevey this morning might humble him a bit. I dont know that much about Strahl..I just cant seem to remember a great IA Minister.
billg

Steve V said...

So now we get to what you are really talking about. Chastising us for partisan politics when your real concern is that you did not want this particular rascist CPC MP to overshadow Harper's big moment."

It's not our fault, that some candid comments from one of Harper's racist MP's distracts from the scripted speech. And, that's why they're all in a tizzy, because yesterday was supposed to be Harper's chance to shine. The criticism of those that point to Pierre comes from a partisan consideration, which is ironic given the higher ground nonsense.

Like I said in my post, I wasn't going to take shots, because the issue overrides the messenger, but then Pierre comes out and it just brings you back to what these people really think of Aborginals, poignant soliquoy's aside.

Steve V said...

"your right. Polievierre or however you spell his name"

That's why I call him Pierre most of the time :)

Anonymous said...

Well Gayle..it was his moment, and, that clearly is the issue with you. To most of us, we know that this started along time ago, and, that alot of the credit belongs with Mr Chretien and Mr Layton, but, politics being what it is..too bad so sad. Mr Chretien rode the GST to deficit reduction and good economical stewardship...much to the howl's of Conservatives..too bad so sad. Mr Harper reeped the benefits yesterday of IA ministers and PM's before him...its just the way it is Gayle. Optics baby...optics!!

Anonymous said...

I dont get all messed up over what back benchers say Steve V...god my MP is Cheryl Gallant..imagine how many times I cringe when she speaks without script?? But, she's a great MP and has learnt to sush it and to keep her heart felt beliefs to herself. And she has learned that because a thousand people like me have said to her that I'd rather vote Conservative, but, if you go all nutty religious/abortion/gay marriage on me then I'm outa here. So excuse me if I sounded higher then thow..I just dont listen much to Pierre...he wants to be more then he is..and he's just not ready yet.
billg

Steve V said...

bill

That's fine, but just don't criticize anyone for happening to notice what Pierre said, it's entirely relevant to the entire question.

Anonymous said...

How so SteveV? If your saying that Poliviere was somehow speaking for the party then what about the Liberal MPs who have spoken out against gay marriage, or the HRC's, safe injection sites, Afghanastan, Immigration..and so on and so on. Unless it comes from a Minister or from the PM then yes it is irrelevant. Saying that it is only sets up the next MP..and soon enough we get MP's who answer questions like athletes. billg

900 ft Jesus said...

gayle said: "I will not ignore racism - I will call it out. I do not think that makes me a partisan.
"

right on. And Poilievre's statement was racist. True also that Harper & CPC can't claim no connection to P.P.'s comments since Harper has been appointing him as front barker and ankle biter hyena for the party.

Pierre might have to go back on the training/choker leash for a bit, though.

Gayle said...

"Well Gayle..it was his moment, and, that clearly is the issue with you."

Really. How "clear" is that?

Stop projecting, stop making this about me.

It is about Poilievre, the slimy little racist.

Anonymous said...

Gayle –
I hear what you are saying about Polivere being racist and I think you are colossally ignorant and hide-bound by political correctness. NOTHING in what Polivere said could be construed as “racist” – it is YOU who have read racism into his remarks. I think your perceptions are vitriolic and hateful.

“There is something wrong with the value system of Aboriginal people, and that they could benefit from "our" value system.” Polivere never said there was something “wrong” with the Native value system. Hard work and self-reliance are NOT the “white folks” value system. I would have great difficulty identifying any people in this world who do not have hard work and self-reliance as a core value. Societies rot if they do not feel self-reliant and independent. We are NOT talking about “getting ahead” or screwing the other guy – this is about the pride of a people. Native people have been badly abused in this society and to castigate someone who is looking for real solutions (limited as they may be) is narrow-minded and destructive. Since we have had a hand in destroying Native culture, it is incumbent upon us to help seek solutions. Actually, I think this is something that Native people and Canadians must do together. I will remind you that Polivere is a local politician and he was being interviewed on a local radio program about aboriginal issues because of the significance of the day. His comments were wide-ranging . . . most worth thinking about. I think your perceptions are very out-of-date – reflecting 50’s thinking. You must be a real geezer.

LS

Anonymous said...

Ruralsandi
"If Harper was so sincere - why was he so partisan about it?

He didn't even mention Gerry Merasty, a native and former Liberal MP - who put the Motion to the House is March 2006 - that same motion approved by all in the House - for the apology."

This may have been an oversight, but I don't think it was partisanship. My understanding was that Harper insisted that Paul Martin be by his side because the initiative was started under Martin's tenure. He also acknowledged Jack Layton's contribution. Really, I don't think anyone was partisan about this.

Lots of partisanship on this board though -- no wonder why we can't solve human problems with everyone being so suspicious and angry at "the other".

LS

Gayle said...

"I hear what you are saying about Polivere being racist and I think you are colossally ignorant and hide-bound by political correctness."

How nice for you.

Steve V said...

anon

Nothing he said was racist? What about the work ethic comment? Get your head out of you partisan ass for a second.

Gayle said...

Steve, you don't understand.

He didn't say it. He implied it - and now you are inferring it.

But he didn't say it...

Steve V said...

Oh, the verbal gymnastics of a Cons supporter. It's so tiresome, it's like you have to lose all common sense and perception.

Anonymous said...

Gayle and Steve V --
I guess what I am trying to get at is that it is not the remarks themselves that are racist, but the context in which you choose to view them. I doubt very much that Polivere is racist. Most of the racism against natives that I have witnessed comes from people who live in communities where there are nearby native communities . . . and where racism is a manifestation of fear -- not rational. I used to live in Winnepeg's North End, and I witnessed racism there. Polivere comes from a suburb of Ottawa. That might make him naive -- but it is not likely he is racist. (He might be, but I don't think we can conclude this from just this comment. Bigotry in Ottawa tends to be anti-Francophone, or anti-Anglo, and these days some anti-Muslim).

I also think that you are really reading a lot into the "hard work" comment. I think that Polivere stumbled on a "hot button" expression -- but I think his head was into the question of what sorts of policies are best to deal with Native issues -- rather than "this is what's wrong with Natives." Actually I have heard many most definitely not racist people voice the same thought. Unfortunately for him, a lot of people took the remark in the wrong way.

I get upset with what I perceive to be knee-jerk political correctness because I think it is a way of circumventing and avoiding dealing with problem areas. It is true that a lot of Natives (for many complex reasons) do not have meaningful work -- and many would, I am sure greatly value more opportunity for creating something through work. (This is a human value -- I don't think that Protestants own it.) The point is, it is imperative to look at solutions beyond money -- "Throw money at the problem" -- now that is the "white guys" distorted value system.

LS

Steve V said...

"I guess what I am trying to get at is that it is not the remarks themselves that are racist, but the context in which you choose to view them."

Sorry, I think you are the one with the viewing lens of your choosing, question native work ethic is cut and dry. Pierre is a nasty piece of work, you want to excuse him, then fine, but what he said actually fits very nicely with his whole schtick. It's not about political correctness, we need to have a discussion, but this guy isn't who we should be listening too, it comes from a different place, it's COLD.

Anonymous said...

Steve V --
Well I heard the interview and did not hear him "question native work ethic." I agree that we both are viewing the incident through our own subjective lens (hard to avoid, is it not?) Don't know about Pierre being a "nasty piece of work." I have not heard that before. I simply took his reference to "hard work" as an attempt to grapple with solutions and did not interpret them as a racist slur. If you have previous evidence that he is racist -- well then, our interpretations of this will be different.

LS

Steve V said...

If you want to offer yourself as his apologist, go ahead.