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Aspiring targets is good for some goals, but not for others.

Remember when the APEC summit ended and Canada was being lauded by all the major polluting nations for helping to get everyone to agree to “aspirational targets” for Greenhouse Gases? In otherwards, nothing definite, no hard caps, no binding legislation, but golly gee, we all aspire to reach those targets!!

Unfortunately, Harper and the Conservatives couldn’t find the same enthusiasm for the aspirations of the Native people in Canada, or the world for that matter, when they were one of only 4 nations to reject the UN Native Rights Declaration:

Fontaine noted the declaration does not include any form of aboriginal veto and would not trump domestic law. “It’s an aspirational document, neither convention nor treaty,” he said. “We’re talking here about minimum standards that relate to our right to self-rule of our territories.” But Strahl said the government is moving ahead on “making an actual difference” in improving the daily lives of aboriginal Canadians, instead of offering “empty promises and rhetoric.”

Hmm.. so Strahl and the Cons. argue that aspirations are nothing but empty rhetoric regarding a non-binding declaration over Native Rights, but a week ago, aspirations to meet GHG cuts were a laudable achievement, according to Harper and Baird. I’m not even sure “talking out of both sides of their mouth” even fits here – how about just plain hypocritical?

As Steve says, if this is what Harper defines as Canada being “back” on the world stage, I want no part of it.

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6 comments to Aspiring targets is good for some goals, but not for others.

  • I've got news for you…rejecting it is going to cause way more problems vis-a-vis land claims.  I have heard natives and native leaders already saying that they are now going to be playing hardball because of this.

    Way to go Cons, you just guaranteed native unrest for years. Morons.

    And, if memory serves, it was Canada and the Liberals that actually helped draft this resolution. My guess is that, and only that, is the reason the Cons rejected it.

  • Section 67 of the Canadian Human Rights Act currently states that: "Nothing in this Act affects any provision of the Indian Act or any provision made under or pursuant to that Act."The question is: Why doesn't the progressive Liberal Party support repealing section 67? And what right do Liberals have to lecture us on aboriginal rights when they themselves are dead opposed to giving natives the freedom to challenge the Indian Act under Canada's human right act?

  • Look the Justice department has given clear advice on this manner over the years. Do not sign on. Signing on will have legal consquences. As it stands, the UN document will be brought up in furture land claims. The Justice Department is not alone in this regard and it opinion held by people and groups on both sides of the political divide. For Christ sake what do you think they were arguing about for 20 years?

    "But outright rejecting a declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples???"

    Again the document will have an impact as it is; the best way of insulating Canada from the possible consquences of such a document is vote against it. 

    >>>>  perhaps you could tell us why the Liberal Party is opposed to having the Canadian Human Rights Act apply to first nations?

    It most certainly does apply; it applies just as much to first Nation Canadians as does to Italian Canadians.  That is what makes it a HUMAN rights act.       

     

  • When you're done hyperventilating over our anti-indian government, perhaps you could tell us why the Liberal Party is opposed to having the Canadian Human Rights Act apply to first nations? Don't natives deserve human rights?

  • Lord Kitchener's Own

    Rabbit has a tiny bit of a point, but I don't understand why we didn't just ABSTAIN (several countries did). 

    Not wanting to sign on to a document you don't entirely agree with I get.  I could have accepted that.  But outright rejecting a declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples???  The symbolism alone is, to say the least, distasteful.

  • rabbit

    Even if it is an "aspirational document" and not legally binding, one shouldn't sign a document if one does not agree with all of its details. That would be two-faced and pandering to public opinion.

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