Chiefs disrupt Ottawa’s natural order

Tease the day: Uncertainty surrounding meetings with PM and GG is effective protest all its own

by Nick Taylor-Vaisey

Sean Kilpatrick/CP

A friend mentioned to me yesterday that Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s lack of polish, her propensity for inconsistent messaging, and even her choice to ride in a flashy SUV was all kind of refreshing. That reporters don’t know how to deal with it, aside from getting frustrated and annoyed, was a welcome change from Ottawa’s conventional order. Fair enough. And Spence isn’t the only one keeping reporters off balance. Last night, late into the evening, chiefs from across Canada challenged Shawn Atleo, the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, to demand more from meetings today with Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Governor General David Johnston. Some boycotted the meetings, as currently proposed. As of this morning, no one’s sure if the meetings will actually occur. Whether Aboriginal leaders leave Ottawa satisfied or not, they’ve already disrupted the natural way of things in Canada’s capital, which is an effective protest all its own.


What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with a tumultuous week for Aboriginals in Canada that’s culminating in a controversial meeting between the Assembly of First Nations and the Government of Canada. The National Post fronts medication errors that are killing children in hospital paediatric wards (not online). The Toronto Star goes above the fold with “secret cautions” that hide medical professionals’ improper behaviour from Ontario patients. The Ottawa Citizen leads with today’s tenuous meeting between Aboriginals and the government. iPolitics fronts an Ontario labour board ruling that teachers’ planned one-day protest is illegal. CBC.ca leads with discord among Aboriginal chiefs in advance of today’s meeting. National Newswatch showcases a Postmedia story about the firing of a B.C. radio DJ who asked premier Christy Clark about being a “MILF.”


Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. DND costs. The Department of National Defence doesn’t know how much it’ll charge cities and provinces for the deployment of Canadian Forces during natural disasters. 2. Fisheries fraud. A former federal fisheries employee has been charged with 34 fraud-related charges by the RCMP, who allege the man defrauded the feds of $200,000 over eight years.
3. Online drugs. A Canadian man who The Canadian Press reports was a pioneer in Canada’s online pharmaceutical industry was sentenced to four years in an American prison for fraud. 4. Airplane parts. DND denies that counterfeit parts on its Hercules military aircraft pose any danger to its pilots, citing a manufacturer’s guarantee, and say the parts will eventually be replaced.




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Chiefs disrupt Ottawa’s natural order

  1. Msm is meant to afflict the comfortable, and comfort the afflicted, but Canadian journos are mostly dopey twats who are incredibly obseqious. Which means we get many liberal lickspittles who are afraid to ask proper questions of pols and senior mandarins while they go out their way to embarrass and discredit people who actually need help.

    I agree with your friend, Taylor-Vaisey, that Natives are refreshing. I am anglo, so in theory my peeps are the white people in Ottawa, but I find pols to be peculiar bunch of people who don’t act like normal humans. Natives don’t wear thousand $$$ suits and talk in platitudes, they look normal and bellow when they are angry. Natives are normal bunch of people while PM Harper and his minions are odd.

    • You and i are probably nowhere near being on the same political wavelength, but i can sign on to that. Well said.

  2. Good! Ottawa is badly in need of shaking up.

  3. Hey, a public servant has actually gone to prison for embezzling money! Now that is a rare story. Not because public servants are less likely to commit fraud, but because someone actually got punished. Amazing!

  4. Spot on, Hester. MSM journalists in Canada are a sad lot of bootlickers trapped in an even sadder echo chamber.

  5. The media is all over the fact that chiefs across the country have differing views/ approaches on the big meeting with Harper. Well folks, that’s democracy at work. Unlike Harper and his Conservative MPs, National Chief Atleo doesn’t control every single chief’s move; unlike Harper who even makes sure at the riding level he has to approve the candidates no matter what the members in that riding think, Atleo doesn’t interfere with local First Nation member choices. Yes, there is some lack of consensus here, but Atleo is doing his best to consider all of our voices; unlike Harper who only listens to himself.

  6. The starngest part of this whole gong show is that is having exactly the opposite effect of it’s intent! If anyone would have told me that the clear majority of people support harper for anything I would not have belived you – however as it stands now in every web forum I have gone to that the only person cominfg out of this so far looking anything like being reasonable, open, flexible and willing to negotiate is Harper – my god what is happening to the world have we eneterd some sort of parrallel universe :) – being a Tory and Harper supporter I am unaccustomed to so much support for the PM ? – I think when all is said and doen it will be his detractors that end up with more frustration and less influence so alll in all I am hopeful not only for the future BUT for the First Nations peoples becuase thew ‘ transparency ‘ legislation is coming right at those chiefs who have been abusing their people and that is the real reason some of the chiefs are so unhappy becuase their nepotism and corruption is about to be revealed for one and all to see!

  7. Good point about keeping them off balance. If the media refuse to cut her any slack because she isn’t a polished professional [ someone told me she has a grade 7or 8 education] i say more power to her. Wind em up. Have people coming out of that teepee 3 times a day with garbage bags full of kraft dinner and hand around day old cinnamon buns to the press..

  8. Why is it that when the natives are in the press they are always in the right against some “bad Government” or “bad Corporation” or “bad _______ (not native something or other)”

    An international communications network accessible by more people from a broader range of income than ever and still not a peep about just how much in payments and of what kind natives get from others for doing little more than saying “it’s their land” and ommiting completely that “it’s not their labour”.

    Anyone in the media care to ellaborate? Expose? Inform?

  9. Why
    is it that when the natives are in the press they are always in the
    right against some “bad Government” or “bad Corporation” or “bad _______
    (not native something or other)”

    An international communications network accessible by more people
    from a broader range of income than ever and still not a peep about just
    how much in payments and of what kind natives get from others for doing
    little more than saying “it’s our land”while ommiting completely that it’s not their labour, something they have absolutely no right to at all.

    Anyone in the media care to ellaborate? Expose? Inform?

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