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The Cons don’t even know how to do an apology correctly. Pipsqueak Pierre needs to be punished.

You know,  I WAS going to say that the apology Stephen Harper delivered today to the First Nations people was a nice and long overdue gesture, but it sure would be nicer if the Conservatives matched their words with actions – something this government hasn’t done, or rather it’s done actions in the negative -  as with the scrapping of the Kelowna Accord.

This evening however,  one of the Cons. knuckle-draggers, Pierre Poilievre, decided to show in an interview that really, deep deep down, the Cons. think the natives are just ripping the taxpayers off, even those who endured the years of abuse and mistreatment in the residential schools:

That gets to the heart of the problem on these reserves where there is too much power concentrated in the hands of the leadership, and it makes you wonder where all of this money is going. We spend $10 billion dollars – $10 billion dollars – in annual spending this year alone … now, that is an exceptional amount of money, and that is on top of all the resource revenue that goes to reserves that sit on petroleum products or sit on uranium mines or other things where companies have to pay them royalties and that’s on top of all that money that they earn on their own reserves. That is an incredible amount of money. Now along with this apology comes another $4 billion in compensation for those who partook in the residential schools over those years. Now, you know, some of us are starting to ask, ‘Are we really getting value for all of this money, and is more money really going to solve the problem?’ My view is that we need to engender the values of hard work and independence and self reliance. That’s the solution in the long run – more money will not solve it.”

The First Nations did not “partake” in the residential schools program. Partake is a synonym for sharing or participating in something, and the Natives certainly did no such thing.  And, Pierre, that money is compensation for their ill treatment. What in the world does “getting value for all this money” have to do with anything?  This looked like a nudge-nudge-wink-wink speech aimed at the likes of the SDA crowd, to reassure them that yea, we think that money going to the natives is a waste.

You wanna know what Pierre’s speech is the equivalent of?

This:

That’s basically what Pierre is giving to the First Nations, on the day of what was supposed to be a historic apology for years and years of mistreatment, neglect, abuse, and attempted assimilation of a culture.

I agree with Cam (who has First Nations in his ancestry and is a lot more irate in his blogpost about this); If Harper and his Cons. want to show they are really sincere in their apology – they will discipline Poilievre.

(H/T Kady O’Malley for catching this idiocy of Pierre’s)

21 comments to The Cons don’t even know how to do an apology correctly. Pipsqueak Pierre needs to be punished.

  • There was no need to translate it since Conservatives generally speak clearly and mean what they say.

    Is there something unclear here?

    Conservative MP PIERRE POILIEVRE:

    “On these reserves there is too much power concentrated in the hands of the leadership, and it makes you wonder where all of this money is going.

    “We spend 10 billion dollars — 10 billion dollars — in annual spending this year alone now, that is an exceptional amount of money, and that is on top of all the resource revenue that goes to reserves that sit on petroleum products or sit on uranium mines, other things where companies have to pay them royalties.

    “And that’s on top of all that money that they earn on their own reserves. That is an incredible amount of money.”

  • @Akira

    Gee Akira, and what was your interpretation of Pierre’s screed into “Plain Old English”? I see you missed that (what a shock).

    Mine was – “Don’t worry red-blooded Conservatives, we still think the Indians rip us off, despite the apology”.

  • Akira

    This is incredible!

    An Indian who complains that he wasn’t one of the lucky kids on the reserve who got to go to a residential school!

    He must be a racist like Pierre P.!

    http://brianakira.wordpress.com/2008/06/14/survivors-phony-apology-scam-syndrome/

  • Akira

    WHO SPEAKS FOR CANADIANS:

    Conservative MP PIERRE POILIEVRE:

    “On these reserves there is too much power concentrated in the hands of the leadership, and it makes you wonder where all of this money is going.

    “We spend 10 billion dollars — 10 billion dollars — in annual spending this year alone now, that is an exceptional amount of money, and that is on top of all the resource revenue that goes to reserves that sit on petroleum products or sit on uranium mines, other things where companies have to pay them royalties.

    “And that’s on top of all that money that they earn on their own reserves. That is an incredible amount of money.”

    ANITA NEVILLE, Liberal aboriginal affairs critic:

    “I invite him to take a tour of many of the First Nations communities in this country and see how people are living.”

    NDP MP PAT MARTIN:

    “Pierre sounded like the old redneck hillbillies we used to make fun of in the old days. I think Pierre has done himself a great disservice . . . I think he’s damaged his career.”

    TRANSLATIONS into Plain Old English:

    ANITA NEVILLE, Liberal aboriginal affairs critic:

    “Indians are living like animals in dire poverty, which means that some evil bastards are pocketing all that crazy moolah”

    NDP MP PAT MARTIN:

    “Pierre sounded like the old poor dumb White folks who’d get red necks ‘cos they had to work out in the field all day like assholes; those morons we still make fun of ‘cos we’re racist and class-obsessed and hate all rural and working class White pigs.”

  • barbder

    Imagine if our canadian government went to our canadian farmers, took their kids because that was best since we knew better that the farmers could not keep their kids (we the government knew better) so we fought the farmers on every angle to take their land, kept them from keeping the land they owned. The government abused, killed, belittled the kids in horrible schools, we abused them in every way. And then after the abuse we expect them to know how to live, deal with the pain, be good citizens. (we do not expect kids coming out of cults to be 100% why do we expect so much of first nations after we stripped them of everything.
    Can you imagine the money our governments spent on court case against the first nations to stop, refuse and deny them our all their rights. That money could be better spent. Instead of all this energy to stop and and fight against what about fight for some good for first nations. The governments never ask the first people what they need, want and how they see the problems could be solved. One women said she never learned love, did not know how to be, act, she lost her language, DID NOT receive a good education. Got out and was damaged, angry, (no therapy) did not know how to care for kids, drank to stop the nightmares. So when the first nations look for work they are discrimnated against again. They were treated like the scum of the earth, monkeys not a human being.
    We whites from the old world think we are superior, and the first nations are inferior (they were fine here, in USA and australia before we ruined them)
    So we whites came over with our dysfunctional, violent ways and just brutalized these people. Lied to them, abused them, put smallpox in blankets to kill them, treated them as though there were monkeys and not human. After we finished with them, we took their kids ( as young as 4 yrs old) put them in horrible schools, beat them, they got no love, no life skills, beat for everything they did, kept them for years. Then we gave them back to their parents who spoke cree and did not understand their kids. The kids were damaged, not loved, not nurtured. But we superior whites expect them to turn their lives around and function. function how.
    One women said she needs to learn her language and culture again, she needs therapy how to live (parenting, life skills, everything to be a good person, parent and worker) and they need education. But most of all we whites need education about these issues to stop inflicting the constant harm on them.

  • Eugene, my comment got lost in moderation, but I never made disparaging remarks about aboriginals. I was characterizing the governmental attitude to aboriginals, and I qualified those remarks to Cam.

  • Walkswithcoffee

    Ignorant, bigoted comment: “Yes that would be the simple answer, but a better answer would be abolish the reserve system.”

    For the record, the conservative goal is to steal more land from Indigenous people. See the comments above.

    For the record, Indigenous people do not receive anymore entitlements than any Canadian. In fact, they receive less per capita, particularly in education and infrastructure.

    The difference between Indigenous people and others is that transfers to Indigenous people are accounted for at the federal level whereas everyone else receives their transfers via three levels of government. Nevertheless in total, Indigenous people receive less from government than non-indigenous people.

    The conservative lie that Indigenous people receive more is just a bigoted racist lie.

    I stand by this accusation!

    Eugene Parks
    aka Coffee

  • >>>> The simple answer is for the Canadian government to honour the agreements they have signed.

    Yes that would be the simple answer, but a better answer would be abolish the reserve system.

  • Why shouldn’t Canadian politicians question the $10 Billion annual cost to taxpayers (or ~$70,000 per reserve native)? Is it sacred money that must be unquestioningly dished out? Is it a Canadian taboo, a guilt penalty?

    No, that is money the Crown is legally obligated to give the natives of this country because of treaties and land claims settlements, some dating back before Canada existed. These are legal agreements and contracts that have not been renegotiated or have not expired.

    Had the Crown and the various governments actually lived up to their end of the agreements, rather than ignoring cheating and parternalistically trying to run the native’s lives for them, we might not be where we are now.

    I would think that a Conservative, of all people, would respect a contract, mad in good faith, between two groups?

    Or is it that contracts only count when we are talking about white people? Or Christians?

    Or shall the Natives of this country take back their land, since the agreements have been violated by the Crown? There’s a lot of mines, oil fields, train tracks and power plants that exist today because the natives upheld their end of the bargain. What do you think would happen if they decide to act like the Canadian government?

    The simple answer is for the Canadian government to honour the agreements they have signed. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • >>>>> Ignorant because aboriginal communities receive less from government than the rest of the population.

    Reserve poverty is real, but so too is the huge sum of money that government spends every year. That alone should be reason enough to simply hand over reserve land to individual band members to sell it to whomever they please instead of reserving the land for communal use by a legally defined race of people. Collective farms were a money bit too.

    >>>> As far as the two references to drunken Indians (actually, Colin called them “indians”), it’s an embarrassment to the Canajun boogeysphere that such comments are unashamedly made in 2008.

    It is indeed an embarrassment, but it is also yet further proof of what I said. Such comments will be far too common place so long as the reserve system remains in place. Abolish the reserve system and native rights and comments about “drunken Indians” will become as rare and archaic sounding as “drunken” whatever, Irish, Russian.

  • Walkswithcoffee

    Bigoted and Ignorant Question: “Is it worthwhile to continue throwing money at the aboriginals?”

    Ignorant because aboriginal communities receive less from government than the rest of the population.

    Bigoted because money for education, water, infrastructure is not considered a throw-away when directed at non-aboriginals.

    Pure BS from R.A. and on a day of reconciliation… shamefull comments… truly shameful and ignorant.

    Eugene Parks
    aka Coffee

  • Poilievre expressed his independent, personal view on the cost of the aboriginals to the Canadian taxpayer. Is he not entitled to his point of view, or should he have been duct-taped?

    Poilevre has been a front-and-centre mouthpiece for the CPC and for teh government quite a bit lately. When he speaks, he does so as an elected MP and a member of his party. This is true for all elected officials and especially true when that official has acted as a spokesperson numerous times in the recent past.

    Deliver the apology then cut off the money. It hasnt helped indians thus far and more isnt going to straighten them out or dry them out.

    Large cash payments will likely cause many to drink themselves to death even faster.

    This is racism, pure and simple. How about the feds cut off all funding to provinces and municipalities? First Nations people do pay taxes. Land taken from First Nations people is being sold by the provinces and municipalities and being developed upon by tax-paying businesses. That money rightly belongs to the owners of the land.

    As far as the two references to drunken Indians (actually, Colin called them “indians”), it’s an embarrassment to the Canajun boogeysphere that such comments are unashamedly made in 2008. Yes, a childhood of kidnap, physical, sexual and mental abuse often leads to substance abuse problems later on. Being ripped from the bosom of the family and cast into a cruel institution robs individuals of life skills such as parenting and self-improvement.

    Harper’s words acknowledged as much. Too bad the people who vote for Harper can’t act as civilized as their leader.

    JB

  • I wonder what Donald Marshall would think about how he spends his “beer” money for being wrongfully convicted of murder and sent to prison. Perhaps we should never compensate people because they might get drunk. Canada compensated Japanese Canadians for imprisoning them during World War II. Did we worry if they would get drunk after receiving their compensation? Did we worry that Canada would not get full value in return from their compensation? When we compenate individuals with money, it’s theirs to do as they wish.

  • Colin

    The Aboriginal industry is out of control. Billions of dollars are spent every year and nothing ever gets better.

    The apology should also signal the end of government handouts based on some mythical heritage.

    Deliver the apology then cut off the money. It hasnt helped indians thus far and more isnt going to straighten them out or dry them out.

    Large cash payments will likely cause many to drink themselves to death even faster.

  • “To paint all Aboriginal leaders with that broad brush is just wrong and helps nothing.”

    Conceded. But to paint conservatives with the brush of dispassionate disregard is likely as unhelpful. I do understand you were making an observation about the perceived hypocrisy of our leadership.

    “And as for those that want to live a traditional lifestyle on the land, that is there choice.”

    Well, of course. But then that would be their choice to reject our way of life, and with that choice comes the consequence, as Pierre Poilievre said, of self reliance. It’s obviously a condescending term, “self reliance”, and yet we cannot hold the dual notion of “helping” while also pushing away. If aboriginals want more independence, then the liberals of this nation are going to have to accept that their prosperity may take generations to take hold.

  • Observant

    Poilievre expressed his independent, personal view on the cost of the aboriginals to the Canadian taxpayer. Is he not entitled to his point of view, or should he have been duct-taped?

    Why shouldn’t Canadian politicians question the $10 Billion annual cost to taxpayers (or ~$70,000 per reserve native)? Is it sacred money that must be unquestioningly dished out? Is it a Canadian taboo, a guilt penalty?

    Perhaps the Canadian taxpayer wants to know if they are getting value for money, particularly since aboriginals seem to still be in dire straits even after all these decades of dishing out Billion$$$$.

  • @Raphael Alexander – Raphael, while I accept your apology on the first part, I have to disagree with the whole part on the leaders. To paint all Aboriginal leaders with that broad brush is just wrong and helps nothing. Are there a small minority that have issues??? Yes, but is it a vast majority? Hell no. INAC reviews their books every year, and ensures that things are on the up and up. Those leaders gain nothing from seeing their communities suffer. As for the money, most of it is eaten up by the INAC bureaucracy, not the local leaders.

    And as for those that want to live a traditional lifestyle on the land, that is there choice. They don’t sit back and wait for hand-outs, they try to live off the land but are impeded by other things. And frankly, the whole country issue, remember those treaties were signed nation to nation, and I can understand why people who have had their traditions, religions and laws disrespected by the Government of Canada won’t want to have any part of that same government. This apology today was supposed to be a start to rebuilding some of that respect, but the Boy Wonder just shat all over that.

  • “leave it to a Conservative to call doing a half-assed job of meeting legally binding treaty duties as “throwing money at the Aboriginals””

    Perhaps that was crudely worded. My apologies. I meant to infer that the government has, for years, simply tried to use money as a means of putting off the importance of actually dealing with some of the more difficult issues facing aboriginals.

    My second comment is in reference to aboriginal leaders, many of whom act not unlike those in the corrupt Third World by not doing enough to ensure that assistance gets where it is needed. I did not say that aboriginals have no intention of making their lives better, but that some communities can get all the money in the world, and it still won’t filter down to help the real people in need.

    And then there are those who quite literally don’t want to participate in our economy or our country. For various reasons they have decided, or feel they have no choice but to stay on reservations and accept handouts.

  • Poilievere: “My view is that we need to engender the values of hard work and independence and self reliance. That’s the solution in the long run – more money will not solve it.”

    This is typical small minded conservative self-reliance crap. A lack of “self-reliance” is consequence not a cause. Also Poilievere’s timing is awful. He could not have picked a worse time to spout off. That being said, I will second Ralph Alexander and say Poilievre is right about one thing. The reserve system, premised as it is on the notion of native rights, is a bureaucratic, fiscal, legal, intellectual and sociological abortion that does nothing save waste mountains of money, breed corruption and poverty, instill in the native community a vile sense of identity based on “blood” and breed racism in the Canadian society at large. Hell, if Harper promised to abolish native rights and privatize communal land holdings, I would vote for him.

  • @Raphael Alexander – leave it to a Conservative to call doing a half-assed job of meeting legally binding treaty duties as “throwing money at the Aboriginals”

    Also leave it to a Conservative to then accuse those very same Aboriginals of having no intention of making their lives better. Things get very ugly when the ill informed speak. I guess if they all found Jesus and attended church more often all Aboriginals in Canada would do just fine, right Raphael? Such horseshit.

    I’ve been told by a few MP’s first hand about the ignorant comments of Conservative MP’s on this matter, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to see these comments coming from their supporters either.

  • He does raise one valid point. Is it worthwhile to continue throwing money at the aboriginals? Or are we going to have to finally sit down and get to the business of solving the Third World crisis in Canada seriously once and for all?

    More recompense is meaningless to communities which have no intention to implement a better life for their people.

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