I don't know how many of you are following the "Idle No More" movement but I have been watching it grow with much interest. I know this is not motorcycle related but it is important to anyone who likes clean water to drink among other things...and I have been asked by some of my riding buddies on Facebook to talk about this subject.

Omnibus Bill C-45 is over 400 pages long and includes changes to the Navigable Waters Act, the Indian Act, the Fisheries Act and the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act among other things.

I spent some time on the Idle No More blog, reading and educating myself on Chief Spense's hunger strike, the entire movement and all of the bills that violate the Untied Nations Declaration on the RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES.

Their blog provides volumes of information and history and a measured and wise plan of action.

I am very surprised and pleasantly so by their re-awakening and I hope that translates into other re-awakenings .

I am copying an excerpt from a blog post on "Idle No More

Begin Quote: Again, this is a two-pronged attack on our democratic processes, as this bill seems designed toshort-circuit parliamentary discussion of major legislative changes that would significantly reduce opportunities for public consultation.

Bill C-45 would further undermine the protection of Canadian nature by making substantial changes to the Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA, proposed to be the Navigation Protection Act), the Fisheries Act and the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act — critical laws that were once used to steward a sustainable environment, clean water and healthy oceans for all Canadians.

Together, the changes proposed in the omnibus bill would further weaken Canada’s environmental laws, remove critical federal safeguards, and reduce opportunities for the public to have their say about projects that could threaten the air, water, soil and ecosystems on which all Canadians, and our economy, depend.

The proposed changes to the NWPA are disturbing on several levels. The result is that the vast majority of Canada’s lakes and rivers would no longer enjoy proactive federal navigation protection under the new act. Instead, concerned citizens would be forced to spend their time and money in the courts fighting to protect their rights to unobstructed waterways. For those water bodies that remain “protected,” the changes would also eliminate all automatic public participation from decision-making, allowing the minister of transport to fast-track specific projects without even notifying, let alone consulting, the public.

Changes to the Fisheries Act, also buried in the bill, would further dismantle this key environmental law by giving industry the option to request that their existing commitments to protect fish habitat be amended or cancelled, or that they be let off the hook for promised compensation for lost or damaged habitat.

The changes in Bill C-45 would also eliminate the Hazardous Materials Information Review Commission, an independent body charged with making science-based decisions to protect Canadians from toxic chemicals and hazardous materials in the workplace. This could result in less disclosure from companies about the chemical contents of their products. Canadians deserve accountability and transparency about the use and distribution of toxins, yet if the commission is eliminated no independent body will oversee industry requests to mask chemical contents of the products that industry uses or produces.

Bill C-45 further demonstrates a pattern of recklessness by the federal government that puts the long-term safety and health of Canadians in jeopardy. These are major changes that, if not stopped now, willripple out across communities everywhere in Canada -- putting our water, air, food and quality of life at risk. END QUOTE

This excerpt does not address the changes to the Indian Act...the changes to this act are deplorable.

If you read what's going on - and please read both sides of the equation from the main stream media's point of view and the Indigenous Community information that is available through Idle No More
you will see that this is one time where the Indigenous peoples of Canada - all of the tribes - are united and putting their concerns forth not just as Indigenous peoples but as Canadians.

Our health, our country's lakes and rivers, our environment is at risk with the passing of Bill C-45.

I applaude Chief Theresa Spence for her hunger strike and how she is drawing her people's together - I applaud the way the First Nations & Aboriginal peoples of our country are standing up to defend Canada, to defend OUR land from those who appear to want to sell our resources off to big business.
I applaude the re-awakening of their pride.

I am disturbed by the changes to the Indian Act - done with no consultations.  Where is it legal or moral for our Government to make changes to an act that was created sovereign nation to sovereign nation?

Like it or not our forefathers agreed to certain conditions to their "take over" of managing Canada.

The Indigenous people of our country have rights that NO ONE should be trampling on.

And yet, as angry as they are about those changes, and rightfully so - their primary focus is on protecting Mother Nature - the very thing that makes Canada - Canada - it's land, rivers and lakes. 

These people - the First Nations and Aboriginals - the NATIVE Canadian - Our indigenous People are not fighting for the protection of their rights alone - their vision is much broader than that. 

It is a shift - a huge shift. Like I said - their has been a re-awakening in their pride of culture and heritage that I hope will translate into other things.

I am not always supportive of some of the rights that the First Nations and Aboriginal communities have not because they aren't entitled to them but because of the way they do not appear to manage their money well and we taxpayers are always footing the bill for their lack of care to the homes that are built for them.  There are issues in my humble opinion where I feel the Indigenous community has taken the taxpayer for a rotten ride and yet...Our government over the generations has not honoured it's agreements with the Indigenous people's in a timely way either.  

When you make people grovel for what is theirs - rightfully - you create a depression in their spirit. When you are depressed of spirit - pride in one's self goes down the tubes. That can be evidenced on many reserves and communities across this country. 

And perhaps, just perhaps the re-awakening in their pride will lift this once proud nation out of it's collective depression and cause the Indigenous peoples to take better care of the property and possessions we taxpayers pay for when our Governments do finally do the right thing and settle treaty claims etc. 

When one feels good about themselves they tend to have more desire and energy and put more pride in what they possess and who they are. We the average "Joe" in Canada very seldom know all of the ins and outs of the various debasements our Indigenous people's have faced at the hands of our government.  

The abuse we taxpayers witness, whether real or perceived, does not give the Harper government the right to tamper with the Indian Act without proper consolation.  Remember that they were a sovereign nation when the treaties and act came to be. Just because it does not always appear that they use their money or resources well themselves does not give you the right to sell them or the Canadian people down the river. LITERALLY...

I for one am supporting the "Idle No More" movement because I resent my government writing away the protection of our lakes, rivers and land without consultation and I resent that all these years later I am still paying for the sins of my fore fathers because the governments of the day do not honour the word of our forefathers. And I am supporting "Idle No More" because I really like their approach to the issues that affect us all. 

My personal feeling on the subject is - Settle the treaty claims, honour the words that were written all of those years ago. Reverse Omnibus Bill C-45 - you had no right to push it through.

If our government would just do what is right and deal with all of the past baggage...we would see so much improvement in the circumstances and attitudes of our Indigenous peoples. But no - our government continues to make them grovel for what is rightfully theirs...and continues to write away - behind our backs -buried in 400 page bills -  the rights of the Indigenous peoples of our country and the rights of all Canadians to the protections for our environment.

Stephen Harper -I think you really need to sit down with Chief Spence and all of the leader of the Aboriginal community.  YOU NEED TO DO THAT - NOT YOUR MINISTER.

And then sir - you have a date with the Canadian voter and we are not amused. 

I hope and pray that before the next election, someone surfaces who could be seen as a Good Sense leader so that we can send a message loud and clear that we - the taxpayer of Canada are fed up and not going to take it anymore.

I'd love you to weigh in on this topic.

No funnies to day - I don't feel like laughing at the moment - I really just want our government to do the right thing, quit procrastinating and settle all of the treaty claims, honour the word of our fore fathers and once and for all put this issue to bed - JUST DO IT!

Belt Drive Betty
Editor and Ride

Post a Comment

  1. Bonecutter7:03 AM

    Just can't support this movement. Seen too many self-serving motives over the years - ones that claim to be over protection of rights but are bought off with a hefty cheque.

    Chief Spence lost all credibility with me by the handling of events on her own Reservation. A hunger strike and demanding special treatment doesn't change that.

    Sorry, just can't do it.

  2. I respect your opinion Bonecutter - I still however think that if our government just did the right thing and dealt with the treaty issues in the right manner - we wouldn't be here...not saying there hasn't been abuses etc. but the changes to our environmental laws scares the hell out of me.

  3. I have tried to make head or tails out of it and it certainly gets emotional and messed up and confusing ..... here in BC ,many land claims have been settled ..... I do wonder though why I don't see more Chiefs across our land going there and joining her ,,,,or thru the media , voicing their voice for Harper to Visit her ...... I'm just saying,,,,
    Unions of different chapters join together ,,,,where are the people joining her in the protest
    In India protest rose against rape injustice and with in days thousands and thousands joined the Rally ,,,,,.... Chief spence seems so alone ?....... I wish this was resolved though .

    Thank you for your Post , thank you for putting yourself out there ,,,, was nice surfing your blog. ( hope ya don't mind)

  4. She isn't alone, she has been joined by many. While I support them on some levels - I still wonder where the money all goes and why this hasn't all been resolved years ago.