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Friday, June 02, 2006

Quid pro quo 

The Tories were so upset about millions flowing to Quebec advertising agencies -- but apparently in just the last four months they have lost the $5 BILLION which had been allocated for the Kelowna accord!
Funny how this works, isn't it? When governments want to do something, then finding the money is no problem. But when they don't want to do something -- like fulfill the Martin Government promise for $5B in funding for Aboriginal people -- then all of a sudden, well, sorry guys but we just can't find the money.
This story hints at what I think will be the Harper government scenario -- that the Tories intend to force through a new Indian Act as quid pro quo for the Kelowna funding:
Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice has been harshly criticized by some native leaders who say his government is discounting the results of 18 months of good-faith Kelowna talks. "We've said all along, those are laudable targets and objectives and we're supportive of them," Prentice said Friday in an interview.
[Editorial interjection: bullshit!]
He attended the conference in Kelowna last fall as premiers and most native leaders hailed what was billed as an historic milestone in aboriginal relations. "Everyone stood behind the expression of the goals and objectives," Prentice acknowledged. "The issue is ... advancing the money towards those goals and objectives. How's it going to be done? None of those questions were answered."
For his part, Prentice says structural change will be needed to get First Nations out from under an oppressive, outdated Indian Act.
He'll move soon to enhance the rights of aboriginal women, improve education standards and the native child-welfare system, he said.
"You'll see progress and you'll see a roadmap of where we're going to go."
"Structural change" is, I think, code for getting rid of Aboriginal tribal councils, which are perceived as obstructuve and corrupt. And I think that roadmap will say that Aboriginal people won't get the Kelowna money until the Tories pass a new Indian Act.

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