Showing posts from April, 2015

Conservative's Fear Budget 2015: Canada's Future Not High on Harper's Radar

One need only skim through the Conservative government's budget to see that this massive 528 page propaganda piece is Prime Minister Harper's last big election pitch - support Harper or the terrorists will get you. The political messaging goes even further and seems to suggest that the safety and security of Canadians in all facets of life are at risk and the only way to save themselves is support to support Harper's Cons. This is a do or die budget - literally, according to Harper. Menacing words like: threat, evil, terror, danger, harm, hurt, pain, suffering, risks/threats to safety appear 231 times in the budget plan. By comparison, the word "peace" only appears 3 times, and words like: Charter rights, constitutional rights, anti-poverty, equality, climate change, women's rights, Aboriginal rights, treaty rights, Aboriginal title, self-government, or murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls do not appear at all. The word "sovereignty"

RCMP Report on Murdered and Missing Aboriginal Women is Statistically Skewed

In 2014, the RCMP released a report on their "National Operational Review" on the issue of "Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women" which amounted to 1181 women total - 164 missing and 1017 murdered.  The core conclusion of the report was that "Aboriginal women"* were over-represented in the numbers of murdered and missing. They cautioned readers that their report contained a certain amount of "error and imprecision" given the thirty year period of review, the human error of investigators, inconsistency of collection, and definitional issues. Let's look at that caveat a little closer. The RCMP had to "limit" their file review to missing women who had been identified by RCMP on CPIC (Canadian Police Information Centre) as "non-white" female or "blank". The category of "Aboriginal origin" was only recently added to CPIC and so could not possibly capture all Aboriginal persons. Similarly, the numbers d

My Response to Questions from Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security on Bill C-51

*Mr. Romeo Saganash (Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, NDP):  Thank you, Mr. Chair. Welcome and thank you to both of our witnesses this morning.  I want to start with Ms. Palmater. I've been in this business for more than 30 years as well. I've been called many names, too. All of our protests and challenges posed by aboriginal peoples in this country are always related to the economy of this country: resource development is, of course, an important aspect to all of that. The far-reaching proposed provisions in Bill C-51 are therefore somewhat a direct threat to section 35 rights. National Chief Bellegarde recommended that we scrap this bill. You say that this bill must be withdrawn because it's not fixable. I happen to agree with that. For 150 years in the history of this country, governments have always been adversaries to aboriginal peoples in this country. We both know that. What we've always considered as rights issues have always been viewed or treated as pol

Transcript of my Testimony on Bill C-51 Anti-Terrorism Act - March 24 2015

Dr. Pamela Palmater (Chair in Indigenous Governance, Ryerson University, Department of Politics & Public Administration, As an Individual)*  Thank you for inviting me here today to speak.  I want to first acknowledge that we're on the traditional territory of the Algonquin Nation and that's not just the polite acknowledgement. That's the very reason why all of you get to sit here today. Were it not for the cooperation, generosity, kindness, and political alliances, Canada wouldn't be what it is. Were it not for the peace treaties between our nations that are now constitutionally protected and form part of the foundational aspect of Canada, none of us would be sitting here today. I think that goes to the very heart of Bill C-51 and why I am opposed to it. Canada has placed Bill C-51 before indigenous peoples without any information, analysis, details on how it will impact our nations, any consultation, information or consent from our part. It is a gross violation