By Ken Corbiere
Special to The Dialog
Stephen Harper is not being a leader. Harper is not listening to Canadians. Harper is not leading this country in the direction most Canadians wish to be led. Big business has his ear and he will listen to nothing else. It has been well documented that through the two omnibus bills, C-38 and C-45, he is carving up the country for oil and gas companies to come in and extract the riches of the land with little or no regard for laws which Canadians have worked so hard to attain. These laws ensured a place for the enjoyment and prosperity for our children and their children for generations to come.
There was no reason Harper should have been afraid to speak to Theresa Spence or the Assembly of First Nations if he had legitimate reasons for making the changes to the legislation covered in the two bills he put forward.
Greenpeace, through a freedom of information request, was able to uncover a letter from the oil and gas companies that asked the Harper government to change the laws that appeared in the omnibus bills, because it inconvenienced them! The letter was only one year old! Meanwhile healthcare, women’s rights, Aboriginal land claims are taking years to even take a look at.
The idle no more campaign, started by four women in Saskatchewan, saw the injustices of the laws being passed in these bills and began a fight to bring attention to Canadians. We have seen this movement grow exponentially in a few short weeks to a movement that has gone worldwide. This is a grassroots movement that has no leaders and is determined to let every Canadian know that Harper is set to damage the country we love and care for.
The navigable waters act looks tame enough until you realize that this was our only protection for our waterways and water habitats. Bill C-38 essentially tore apart many of the Acts that were in place to protect our water. Now only a select few are mentioned.
And the changes to the Indian Act? The First Nations were supposed to have consultations with the government in regard to any changes that affected First Nations policy in this country. This was guaranteed by a Supreme Court ruling against the government, but Harper has all but ignored this law and pushed through his own agenda!