Thanks to the hard work of our employees and the collaboration of our many partners, we have successfully implemented many different programs, ranging from the training of Crees for skilled jobs with Hydro-Quebec (over 50 Crees now occupy permanent positions), the rejuvenation of Cree community and family fisheries, the support of numerous cultural activities including summer gatherings and the enhancement of goose hunting facilities. This is not to mention the hundreds of kilometres of snowmobile and ATV trails already built throughout Eeyou Istchee.
On its 20th anniversary, Niskamoon Corporation salutes The Nation magazine and wishes it many more years of success and positive change.
The eternity of Canadian politics
All that happened in the space of one week, proving that the democratic strengths this country took for granted are mighty frail, indeed.
Canada had been looked upon internationally as dull but solid. Unlike the United States, our banking system was in good shape, and we had a government that was sometimes fractious but was cooperating for the good of the economy.
But Harper threw all that away. And now Canada is an international laughingstock. Instead of proposing an economic stimulus, as he had himself promised, he signaled his intention to make $6 billion in budget cuts, attack women by reneging on pay equity in the federal public service, attack federal trade unions by outlawing their right to strike, and attack democracy by cutting the small sums that parties receive so that they can properly function without corporate or union donations.
First Nations people in Canada are not surprised by the mile-wide mean streak of this prime minister, whose very first act on taking office in 2006 was to cancel the Kelowna Accord and its package of reforms to improve health and education in Native communities across the country.
But the resulting uproar and proposals for a political coalition last week caught the country by surprise. And if there is anything Canadians don’t want it’s thinking about a political crisis in the weeks before Christmas. That, and the disastrously weak leadership of Liberal Stéphane Dion, helps explain why many Canadians wanted the whole story to just go away. To which Governor General Michaëlle Jean happily obliged, suspending our democracy until Harper can get his act together in late January.
By then, it should be more evident to all why the Harper government has lost the confidence of the people. In the middle of an economic crisis, he chose to play political games rather than fulfill the mandate he ran his election campaign on: providing steady economic leadership.
Last week, in the wake of the announcement that Canada had lost 71,000 jobs in a single month – the biggest drop in 34 years – the scale of Harper’s failure had become painfully apparent. As if that weren’t enough, emissaries of the Harper government at the international climate talks in Poznan, Poland, were busy sabotaging a global effort to reach an agreement to cut the emission of greenhouse gases.
As Stephen Hazell, the executive director of the Ottawa-based Sierra Club of Canada, said, Canada was “obstructing the negotiations that are essential to save the planet from climate change. Canada is really an embarrassment internationally, because we have been consistently opposing progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Furthermore, the disgusting way that Harper chose to woo public opinion during the height of the crisis should forever disqualify him from power. By choosing to demonize the democratic choices of Quebecers who voted for the Bloc Québécois, he encouraged anti-Quebec prejudice to once again rear its ugly head. He may have temporarily preserved his hold on power, but at the expense of his dignity and of national unity. The revived fortunes of the Parti Québécois in the provincial election December 8 are testament to that.
So here is our wish for the New Year. For the economy, the environment and democracy, Canada desperately needs a new government.