So, it’s been a busy day. Going into the meeting, the AFN had a list of eight demands. But then a number of Chiefs decided to boycott – in particular, the chiefs from Ontario, Manitoba, the Yukon, and one from Saskatchewan. (You may be pleased to know that the Grand Chief of Northern Quebec quite properly articulated on TV that it was improper to demand that the Governor General be at the table). And so, despite the boycotts and the protests outside, the meeting took place. And out of the eight items, they apparently made some solid progress, so says the PMO and Atleo. But Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence? She’s still not satisfied, and she’s going to keep up her liquid diet. You see, she attended the Governor General’s ceremonial meeting at Rideau Hall, and then walked out – apparently it was “too much of a show” for the person who has created for herself a media circus, and she didn’t feel the honour of the occasion. Oh, and there was something about an improperly handled wampum belt, but nobody seems to be able to figure that one out, but really, it all pretty much amounts to the next round of political Calvinball.
While this was going on, the NDP decided to talk about trade – until the critic put out a statement about needing to listen to the First Nations. Emmett Macfarlane reminds us why it’s inappropriate for the Governor General to be at the table. Susan Delacourt looks that the role of public opinion and emotion in charged debates like these, which leads to a kind of dismissal about process and rules of order. Tim Harper looks at the difficult position that Shawn Atleo finds himself in. Chantal Hébert is reminded of the Charlottetown Accord, while Andrew Coyne writes about Shawn Atleo’s courage amidst the revolt of the other chiefs at the AFN.
The Department of National Defence can’t say what its criteria will be used when it comes to cost recovery for assistance during national disasters.
Some disgraceful Idle No More “protesters” vandalised the statue of Sir John A. Macdonald in Kingston, with “murderer” and “colonizer” epithets scrawled on it. (Police say it may be the work of someone trying to smear the movement, for the record). Because it wasn’t like he created the North West Mounted Police to ensure that white settlers weren’t massacring Aboriginals like they were in the States (most of their arrests were whites attacking Aboriginals), or that he gave them the vote in 1885 when it was limited to land-owning men otherwise (Laurier later repealed this), or that he didn’t try to come to suitable arrangements with them that allowed them to continue their traditional way of life. No, he never did anything like that for Aboriginals. Maybe the “protesters” could read a book before they decide to deface a monument like that.
Mark Jarvis writes about BC’s “absentee legislature,” which will finally come back next month after nearly a year away.
Maude Barlow, Naomi Klein and others are refusing Diamond Jubilee medals in order to show solidarity with Chief Spence. Err, never mind that Spence told someone else to accept the medal. And let this be a lesson as to why awards come from the Sovereign as the fount of honours, rather than the government of the day.
Over in the Liberal leadership contest, David Bertschi filed his papers, while Martin Cauchon is apparently close to filing his.
And here is your recap of last night’s political shows, in the midst of anticipation for that meeting to finish, and what the reaction was afterward.