In a somewhat surprising move, Stephen Harper agreed to a meeting with Aboriginal leaders next week – but it’s not exactly on the terms that Chief Theresa Spence demanded. Harper set the date for the 11th, while the AFN had proposed the 24th and Spence wanted one within 72 hours. Spence also wanted the Governor General in attendance – never mind that it’s not his role – but it doesn’t appear that he’ll be there. And Harper will let the AFN determine the agenda of the “working meeting.” Spence says she’ll attend, but will continue her hunger strike until then regardless. Grand Chief Atleo, however, appears to have his own problems as First Nations leaders are questioning his role and his legitimacy through these kinds of negotiations. From the other side of the debate comes a look at how the government has been taking pragmatic and incremental approaches to changes to First Nations issues that hope to bring greater economic opportunity, but they are measures being protested currently. Here is yet another reminder why, under Responsible Government, it’s inappropriate for Spence and company to call for the Governor General to join these meetings. And Maclean’s rounds up a dozen different opinions on the Idle No More protests, while also putting together an interactive map of where those protests happen.
Yet another mandatory minimum sentence for a firearms offence has been overturned by a court, this time in BC, because it didn’t fit the severity of the incident. And the Conservative crime agenda continues to be chipped away at.
There are some questions about whether or not the government has frozen aid to Haiti. One newspaper says it has, CIDA says it hasn’t, but they are focusing on getting better results for aid dollars, and Michaëlle Jean has some suggestions for how Julian Fantino can better communicate on the file.
Public Works is asking for companies to pitch their fighter jets as part of the CF-18 replacement bid, but it stops short of a full and open competition.
Oh, look – more money for the auto industry!
Olivia Chow announced that she is suffering from a temporary facial paralysis as a result of a viral infection that has since been treated.
And over in Ontario, the fact that the contentious Bill 115 on teachers contracts has a built-in Order-in-Council repeal clause appears to be an affront to the constitution, and to the powers of the legislature itself – not a good precedent to be setting.