Here's the real issue, buried in election foofurrah ... The Federal government took all funding from the community and gave it to their new 'Council'. As for the background behind yesterday's protest, Mr. Matchewan was speaking on behalf of a group that supports the previous chief and council at Barriere Lake, led by Jean Maurice Matchewan and Benjamin Nottaway. Indian Affairs minister Chuck Strahl now recognizes a new chief and council led by Casey Ratt on the grounds that the previous leadership was replaced during a leadership review meeting in January. Supporters of the former council say the meeting was not conducted fairly and that Mr. Strahl is interfering in local band matters.Tories apologize for "sober" remark to aboriginal protester BILL CURRY Globe and Mail Update September 18, 2008 at 2:31 PM EDT OTTAWA — The Conservatives have issued another apology, this time for comments caught on video Wednesday by an assistant to Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon. Mr. Cannon was campaigning in Maniwaki, Que., Wednesday when a group of protesters from the divided native community of Barriere Lake showed up to outline their demands. Mr. Cannon listened to their speech and then left, but his constituency assistant continued an exchange with the lead protester, Norman Matchewan. The exchange was caught on video and broadcast as the lead item Wednesday by the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. “If you behave and you're sober and there's no problems and if you don't do a sit down and whatever, I don't care,” said Mr. Cannon's assistant Darlene Lannigan to Mr. Matchewan. She then added: “One of them showed up the other day and was drinking.” “Are you calling me an alcoholic?” replied Mr. Matchewan. “I'm not calling you an alcoholic. No. It was just to say that you're in a federal office. If you're coming in to negotiate, I expect, there's [decorum] that has to be respected,” said Ms. Lannigan. APTN then read on-air a statement from Mr. Cannon's director of communications, Catherine Loubier. “The comments from Mr. Cannon's riding office official do not reflect the views of the Government of Canada. We would like to take this opportunity to apologize for any offence given,” Ms. Loubier stated, according to APTN. “We also understand these comments were made in a difficult context. That is regrettable. The good news is the parties have agreed to meet later this week in a spirit of collaboration.” The apology provided to APTN came the same evening Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz issued a public apology for remarks he made in relation to the outbreak of listeria during a conference call. A Conservative party spokesman, Ryan Sparrow, has also issued an apology and was suspended from the campaign for suggesting remarks made by the father of a fallen Canadian soldier were politically motivated. Meanwhile the Liberals have also had issues this campaign related to aboriginals. Two Liberal candidates in Quebec resigned last week in relation to controversial remarks. Simon Bédard is no longer the Liberal candidate in the riding of Quebec for comments the former radio-host made in French to the Le Soleil newspaper about his views during the 1990 Oka standoff. “Everyone was scandalized because I said: ‘Send in the Army and let's clean this up once and for all!' But maybe we should have done that because 17 years later, it's still the same thing. If anything, it's worse,” said Mr. Bédard, according to Le Soleil. The Liberal candidate in Beauharnois-Salaberry, Ricardo Lopez, also resigned after attention was drawn to remarks he made in 1988 when he was a Tory MP. “I think all the Indians should be sent to Labrador, to go live together and have peace and leave us in peace,” Mr. Lopez was quoted as saying at the time. The Green Party dropped its candidate in Newton-North Delta, John Shavluk, early in the campaign over internet postings that were deemed anti-Semitic. On Wednesday, the NDP accepted the resignation of West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast candidate Dana Larsen after the Globe and Mail made inquiries about his role in a company that sold coca seedlings. Mr. Larsen was questioned about his involvement with the Vancouver Seed Bank, a company that sells seeds for marijuana, poppy and hemp seeds, as well as for coca plants that produce cocaine alkaloids. As for the background behind yesterday's protest, Mr. Matchewan was speaking on behalf of a group that supports the previous chief and council at Barriere Lake, led by Jean Maurice Matchewan and Benjamin Nottaway. Indian Affairs minister Chuck Strahl now recognizes a new chief and council led by Casey Ratt on the grounds that the previous leadership was replaced during a leadership review meeting in January. Supporters of the former council say the meeting was not conducted fairly and that Mr. Strahl is interfering in local band matters. They have held several protests in Ottawa, as well as one in June at Mr. Cannon's Buckingham, Que. constituency office. At that time, six of the protesters were arrested. The group appealed to the Federal Court, requesting that the leadership change be overturned. However justice Kevin Aalto struck down the request in an Aug. 28 ruling. Justice Aalto pointed out that if there are Barriere Lake members who are not happy with the Ratt-led council, they are free to invoke the band's custom code rules for leadership review. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080918.welxncanapolgy0918/BNStory/Front I must say, I am glad to see such things treated with importance. I wonder how many times Indigenous people have been publicly offended and it never came to anyone's attention. Now a little more attention to the wishes of the people of Barierre Lake would help too. Ratt and Co. were parachuted in to take control of the money away from the traditional Council selected by the people. The Federal government doesn't like traditional leaders, traditional rights, so they disappear from power 'somehow'.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Tories apologize for "sober" remark to aboriginal protester