Wednesday, April 01, 2015

This Day In Clarkland...In Which Ron Obvious Takes The Treaty Process Bait Hook, Line & Sinker.


First, Mr. Mason of the Globe takes the bait:

The B.C. government’s stunning move to put the 22-year-old treaty process on ice was sure to invite controversy and criticism no matter how it was rolled out. But the spectacularly ham-fisted way in which the governing Liberals managed the issue ensured that what may be a sound policy move was initially blanketed in scorn and ridicule.

The decision to offer former Liberal cabinet minister George Abbott the job of treaty commissioner, string him along for six months, and then tell him the position wasn’t his after all is inexcusable. As was Premier Christy Clark’s preference to have her Aboriginal Relations Minister make the uncomfortable call to Mr. Abbott rather than handling the matter herself...

Next, hook planted firmly in mouth, he immediately dives to the bottom and attempts to swallow the Titanic whole:

...The manner in which this significant program review (of the Treaty process) was revealed remains bewildering. It was effectively blurted out by the Premier in the course of answering questions in the legislature regarding the government’s treatment of Mr. Abbott. Remarkably, that is how we learned the government was re-evaluating the treaty commission’s mandate.

It caught everyone off guard, including the other parties involved in the treaty process – First Nations and the federal government.

Unfortunately, the plan’s rocky debut has helped obscure its legitimate underpinnings. In defence of the repositioning, Premier Clark said the present situation is not an option. On that she is absolutely right. The treaty process in B.C., as it’s currently designed, has been a colossal failure and anyone with any knowledge or understanding of the system would have to concur. That includes the Opposition New Democratic Party...

But here's the thing, Mr. Mason...

Sure, we do have Ms. Clark's non-apology apology for her ham-fisted communications state(r)gy on the actual record.


Do we (and, more specifically, do you) have any evidence whatsoever that Ms. Clark was and/or is actively working to come up with a new process that will make it possible to settle matters collectively and equitably in a more timely fashion?


In the absence of any such evidence (and we do mean 'any', any evidence at all) is there another slightly more conflicty possibility that you and yours might wish to consider?


And one last question...

Do you by any chance happen to have a dead parrot, stuffed or otherwise, on top of your telly?

Ron Obvious?....Chichester Cathedral?....This.
As for parrots 'n televisions and things?...Well, that's what the Youtube search bar is for.



Paul Ramsey said...

Rule #1 of publishing in the Empire: the Emperor is always wearing clothes, the finest, newest clothes available. To say otherwise would be just plain rude.

RossK said...



Although, I must confess I thought it was actually the Globe and (nolongerEmpire) Mail these days.


James King, Victoria said...

If the treaty table process is a failure it is a failure because the Campbell/Clark forces want it to be a failure...BC's citizens should cast their mind back to the early days of the Campbell government when Gordon decided to try and get public buy in for his real program - finding a way to deny Aboriginal Title altogether. And, - by legitimizing that policy in a province wide referendum. No doubt Miss Clark remembers the questions on that ridiculous exercise - in fact, the people of BC surprised the government of the time and the Treaty Table process continued - with churlish participation (at best) by the province and, subsequently, the Harper government.
I'm surprised Ron has forgotten.

RossK said...


The art of forgetting would appear to be skill highly regarded by Mr. Obvious and other Club members of his ilk.

Personally, I'm waiting for the National punditry to weigh in on this one like they did on the bogus Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! chicanery awhile back.


scotty on denman said...

Christy's got one thing right: the William (Tsilhqot'in) SCoC decision changed everything; she neglected to mention it's in terms of what the BC Liberals can get away with. Otherwise the William decision basically confirmed BC's obligation to fulfil the Royal Proclamation 1763 when it signed on to the Terms of Confederation in 1871. The official provincial notion that Aboriginal sovereignty had been "extinguished" when BC confederated has already been rejected by earlier decisions, but until Aboriginal Title was defined by the court's decision in this case, especially as it pertains to "infringement" of Aboriginal Right interim to treaties (which almost all BC FNs have yet to get), government could always hold those Rights to ransom with both intransigence and impunity. It's policy has been to reward its cronies resources it never had authority to licence while putting FN claims over a barrel: accept only a share of resource benefits to which they are entitled, and likely compromise any future treaty claim, or have their assets seized until they do. The government could unfairly wait-it-out in prosperity while the FNs did in penury.

The BC Liberals have tried to keep wounds from heeling toward long-overdue treaties by monkey-wrenching the process: first it was Gordo who personally challenged Aboriginal Right by way of judicial injunction against the historic Nisga'a Treaty; then as Premier he inflicted that odious Referendum which saw half the ballots destroyed in protest; then a sudden turn-around with Gordo feted with tribal honours at every big-house in the province; and eventually the spate of coercive resource deals that dodge real treaties and replace then with crony-tickling conditions on FNs accessing their own resources. The BC Liberals never wanted treaties to work.

Now, despite that fancy, Hare-like BC Liberal footwork, it looks like the Tortoise-like courtroom route has gotten BC FNs to the finish-line first. It's like a dance where the BC Liberals picked their own partners up until the William decision, and have smashed the victrola now they can't. But now it's BC FNs got them over the barrel, a complete Hare-and-Tortoise reversal: make a deal or forget about pipelines, tankers, mines and LNG, while FNs proceed to develop their newly defined Aboriginal title without further ado. The waiting games are over.

Personally, I think the prancing majorette's move is reactionary and rash, and shows real division within her caucus---or between her office and the rest of caucus, more like it. Whatever it means politically is probably irrelevant in terms of treaty settlement post-William decision. The BC Liberals appear not to know what to do next. Bargaining at the treaty table in good faith seems never to dawn on them even when the jig's up.

James King, Victoria said...

Couldn't agree more Scotty...One only hopes, at some point, the majorette and her chorus fall down when the music stops.

RossK said...


Me thinks, perhaps, that scotty is the anti-Ron.