Re: Don't shoot the messenger

Not looking to provide the kindling for a flame war here, but found this story of interest to the Northwest on the internet tonight. They apparently could use spell checker at Reuters though…

Link to reuters … RT-COL.XML

or the story in full below…

Wed. April 25, 2007 5:53 EDT

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Native Indians said on Wednesday they will not allow a container port on Canada’s Pacific coast to begin operating until their land rights concerns over the project are addressed.

Two aboriginal bands said the federal government has failed to adequately consult them about the facility being built in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, the first phase of which is expected to start handling traffic late his year.

The Lax Kw’alaams and Matlakatla Indian bands said the government has ignored a 2006 Federal Court ruling that it had used a flawed process to address native claims that the project is in their historic territories.

“We thought we’d be back at the table. Nothing is really happening, so we’re getting frustrated,” said Garry Reece, chief councilor of the Lax Kw’alaams.

A port official was not immediately available for comment.

The government and Canadian National Railway (CNR.TO: Quote) announced in 2004 they wanted to use Prince Rupert to handle increasing trade with Asia. The port is a day’s sailing closer to Asia than are ports on the U.S. Pacific coast.

Canada’s courts have ruled that governments and private companies have a duty to consult with Indians over development on the natives’ historic territories, although the native groups do not have an automatic veto power.

First of all, if we are to discuss this issue without it being sent to the Wasteland, we need to agree that any racist comments or claims of racism are not welcomed in this thread. This always ends up in a mess.  The Podunkian is a member who likes to post things to make people think and I think that this present issue can be discussed in a civil manner.

Clear enough?  We’ll give it a try!

As far as I know, the First Nations groups involved have used the legal system to advance their claim in this matter.  If such is the case then it is legitimate for them to see the process through and have more consultation if what was done so far doesn’t meet the minimum requirements set out by the rulings.
If, on the other hand, the process set out is fair by today’s standards of equality, then the First Nations groups should recognize this fact and accept, albeit reluctantly, the court"s decision. 

This set of circumstances was inevitable. Nobody wants the responsibility of providing the prescident here, not the government, not industry or the courts. This is very unfortunate for the region, the First Nations involved will be left to their own devices, one of the very few options left is affirmative action. Our government has dropped the ball on several occasions in this issue and this region could be in for a very uncertain future.

If, on the other hand, the process set out is fair by today’s standards of equality[/quote]

I’m interested in knowing what exactly Today’s Standards of Equality are?

I’m not sure that many people know, but I am sure that very few are happy with them (from all sides of the I’m-being-discriminated-against Octagon Fence).

You like my phrase don’t you?  I knew it would require clarification.  Unfortunately, all I have to explain this is whatever the law says about discrimination and about treating First Nations.  You might not be happy about it, I might not be happy about it and I believe many people would not be happy about it either.  But we have to live in this democracy and if you’re not happy about something then you use your vote to change things. 
In recent years, it seems that the neo-conservative views have made some progress in Canada, which is why we have Harper.  But it also seems that not everyone shares their point of view which is why  we have a minority government.

So basically what I meant is that if the current demands of the FN groups are legitimate and they get what is found to be fair within today’s law, then they have no more grounds to legally contest even though they can complain if they want to.  And opponents to any deal can complaint too.  Complaining is not illegal in Canada.  If it is done well, it might even shift public opinion and that may impact the next election.

And now for the other side of the story.

Well, at least Reuters follows up on their stories, the news service has provided the Port of Prince Rupert’s interpretation of events regarding the controversy… … ES-COL.XML

or the full meal deal here…

Port says native critics ignored overture
Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:01 PM EDT

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - The Prince Rupert Port Authority said on Thursday that two small native Indian groups threatening to block expansion plans at the port on the Pacific coast have ignored offers to address their concerns.

Port officials said they made a C$7.65 million “offer of accommodation” to the Metlakatla and Lax Kw’alaams bands in February 2006, but they never responded and instead filed lawsuits alleging their concerns were being ignored.

The city of Prince Rupert, near the southern tip of Alaska’s panhandle, expects to complete work this fall on the first phase of a new container facility that will handle increasing trade between North America and Asia.

The Metlakatla and Lax Kw’alaams say the port is in their historic territories, and warned on Wednesday they would stop the facility from going into operation until their concerns are addressed.

The port is “making every effort possible to engage First Nations bands” to reduce the impact of the expansion on their traditional uses of the land, said Don Krusel, the port authority’s president.

The courts have ruled that governments and private companies have a duty to consult with Indians over development on the natives’ historic territories, although the native groups do not have an automatic veto power.

The issue is especially complicated on the Pacific coast because of a lack of modern day land treaties in the area and disagreements between aboriginal bands over the historic boundaries of their territories.

Other Indian bands not involved in this dispute also make territorial claims to the Prince Rupert area.

The port authority said it is still awaiting a court ruling on the Metlakatla’s and Lax Kw’alaams’ claim that they were not adequately consulted in this case, although the bands say that legal issue has already been settled.
Labels: Fairview Container Port, First Nations Issues

I know I’ll probably be called a racist for this, 'cause that’s what happens whenever I take part in these discussions.

Here’s my whole take on the issue:

Man… only that guy could go water skiing in a leather jacket and make it look cool…lol

On topic though this whole subject is a pain in my rear end waiting to happen. If we even get near a blockade situation my job is going to get a lot more stressful than I like to see.  :angry:

Feb. 23, 1989.
The day I officially accepted a posting to the Fort.
The day my life ‘jumped the shark’… :neutral_face:

R u saying that the courthouse would be packed?

I wish the two bands to be “consulted” would let the general public know what they expect from the consultation process,  be it money,  jobs, or whatever.  It would be nice to know what exactly the two bands want.  It would be nice to know if the Port is even close offering what the bands want. 

I also believe the bands should have a public referendum with their members on this issue before any action is taken to block the port, etc.  I believe that the majority of the band members would not support blocking the port as it would hurt them as well in the long run.  Being a first nations person my self, i certainly do not support blocking the port in any way.

This is not intended to start another racism flame war either.

Well said.  A referendum within band members on this issue would give a mandate to the leaders.  And if you are right in your assumptions, the leaders would have to settle with the port. 

The leadership in general should be keeping everyone informed on this issue as it is so important to the region, everyone should know about the details of the accomodation package and then opinions can be formed on facts rather than asumptions. And to clear up one point, First Nations do not want to stop the Port from operating and expanding, the First Nations want to have the opportunity thrive and develope along with the rest of the region.

Frankly this port project is too important for either side to be playing games. Sure there are two sides to every story but I find it hard… no impossible to believe that the Government of Canada or the Native Government are squeaky clean on this issue.

Both sides need to get their act together and get talking. Stop the posturing and stop the grandstanding.

At the risk of having this thread moved to the wasteland.

After reading the Daily Snooze on Friday, I was quite disappointed with such rhetoric being made in a public fashion.  I am a first nations person, and many First Nations peoples do not support such threats.  I would hate to seek blockades or roads, trains, or ships.  Such talk hurts everyone, not many people would want to invest in such an unstable area.

Lax kwa’laams and Metlakatla have to remember that they are tied, whether they like it or not, to the community.  They have many economic enterprises that could also be blockaded.  Gas stations, ferries, timber operations.

Anyways that is my two cents, (tax included)

So far so good :wink:

I keep hearing people say that the port project has special ‘tax caps’ so it will not bring many tax dollars into the city. Does anyone know where to find out exactly how much tax money this project is supposed to produce?

There is a nice document that estimates the tax brought in would be over 1 million to federal and provincial coppers, and 200 full time employees.  The tax locally would probably be from the 200 fte’s Since the facility is under federal and provincial jurisdiction. … Rupert.pdf

I would really consider the impact of land claims one would think the money would be very lucrative if Tsimshian bands got access to a chunk of Rupert. (not sure if tshimshian has done theres?) I think the whole matter is focused more around money, who gets some and who does not than anything. Ideally the port is going to be very lucrative once it is fully operational.

if it gets that far; remember phase one only going to employ 100 or so people, and phase 2 does not start until dec 2008, so until then the only people who are going to prosper are those people selling there homes. and those poor bastards who bought a war time house for 145 to 200 thousands dollers will take a loss.