On the same day Brant is found not guilty of uttering threats against Canadian Soldiers, he’s announcing another “day of protest”, and if you read his comments in the following article from the Canadian Press, he’s clearly saying he wants and expects others to join him this year in using more aggressive terror tactics against Canadian citizens to further his political agenda.
I would agree however with one statement Brant made “”I think if there is an escalation from last year, you know, the government has only itself to blame.” I would say that’s entirely true since they had the chance to have him charged with Terrorism and failed to do so last year.
I would also like to take this time to thank Stewart Phillip head of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs for clarifying the status of negotiations between our government and First Nations with the statement “Negotiations between the government and ourselves have produced absolutely no results whatsoever,”
Why are we still spending millions of our tax dollars on these negotiations then?
Please take the time to read the full article below from the Canadian Press.Jeff Parkinson Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality
OTTAWA – The Mohawk protester who helped shut down a stretch of Ontario’s busiest highway last June says Canadians can expect more disruption on May 29.
That’s the date chiefs across the country have circled for another day of peaceful demonstration to push for urgent action on native poverty. Shawn Brant, who led highway and railroad blockades near Kingston, Ont., last June, says placard-waving won’t cut it.
If anything, he says, militancy has grown over the last year.
“Now we’re in another nose-to-nose situation. What I’ve been hearing from the communities and leadership is that people who stood relatively quiet last year, like B.C., are committing big-time to this initiative.
“Certainly locally, ones that demonstrated and held rallies are talking about stepping it up and maybe going out on to the highways and railways.”
They’re set to send a loud and clear message to tax-cut-obsessed Conservatives who’ve “dropped the ball” when it comes to First Nations still living without clean water and other basics, says Brant.
“I think if there is an escalation from last year, you know, the government has only itself to blame.
“In Canada, do we have to fundamentally go out and demonstrate when our babies get sores on their bodies because we washed them in the water? That’s not something you demonstrate (for), that’s something you expect.”
Brant served two months in jail after blocking the main CN rail line and a secondary highway running through Mohawk territory last June 29. Thousands of commuters, trucks and millions of dollars worth of goods were diverted when police shut down several kilometres of Highway 401 for 11 hours.
Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl said Tuesday he has no problem with protest and that it can help educate people.
“As long as it’s done in a legal way, there’s nothing wrong with that,” he told a news conference after outlining how $330 million will be spent over two years to train water-plant operators on reserves and assess the need for new systems.
With money committed under the previous Liberal government, 108 of 193 reserve water systems have been removed from the high-risk category since the Conservatives took power.
“Canadians need to know some of the specific problems facing First Nations,” Strahl says. “Most Canadians take it for granted: you turn on the tap, have a glass of water and away we go. On First Nations reserves that’s not necessarily the case and that’s why we need to fix it.”
Strahl says the federal government is making progress to improve water quality and speed up native land-claim settlements. The Conservatives scrapped the $5-billion Kelowna Accord reached by the Liberals shortly before their defeat in the 2006 election – a widely supported cash infusion meant to improve native housing, education and health standards.
Strahl says the Tories prefer a targeted approach that has so far meant comparatively scant new spending in two successive federal budgets. The minister put the brightest face possible Tuesday on any related native frustration.
“I know there’s a real desire for change out there and a real optimism that things are going to get better.”
Outspoken leader Stewart Phillip, head of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs, scoffed at the remark.
“Nothing could be further from the truth. Since the Harper government took power, there’s been a relentless attack on the rights and interests of the aboriginal people across this country.”
The Conservatives, Phillip says, have so far dragged their heels on an apology and truth-and-reconciliation commission for survivors of abuse at native residential schools; reversed Canada’s previous support of a United Nations declaration on the rights of Indigenous peoples; and gutted the Kelowna Accord as a worthless “press release” after Ottawa, the premiers and native leaders spent 18 months negotiating it.
“We have no choice,” Phillip said of the need for demonstrations that, as time goes on, “are going to have to be more disruptive.”
“Negotiations between the government and ourselves have produced absolutely no results whatsoever,” he added. “So the situation is desperate.”