Leadership Would be Protecting Women
THUNDER BAY – EDITORIAL – Back at the start of his political career, Stephen Harper was a Reform MP. His party was all about doing Ottawa differently, and listening to the people. The Prime Minister started his term as Prime Minister issuing an apology for the Residential Schools, and their impact on Canada’s Anishinabek people.
Prime Minister Started off Right
Speaking in the House of Commons on June 8 2008, the Prime Minister said, “I stand before you today to offer an apology to former students of Indian residential schools. The treatment of children in these schools is a sad chapter in our history.
“For more than a century, Indian residential schools separated over 150,000 aboriginal children from their families and communities.
“In the 1870s, the federal government, partly in order to meet its obligations to educate aboriginal children, began to play a role in the development and administration of these schools.
“Two primary objectives of the residential school system were to remove and isolate children from the influence of their homes, families, traditions and cultures, and to assimilate them into the dominant culture. These objectives were based on the assumption that aboriginal cultures and spiritual beliefs were inferior and unequal.
Indeed, some sought, as was infamously said, “to kill the Indian in the child”.
“Today, we recognize that this policy of assimilation was wrong, has caused great harm, and has no place in our country”.
The entire House of Commons stood in agreement with Prime Minister Harper. The Premiers across Canada stood with the Prime Minister. It was the kind of moment Canada needed. It was a Canadian moment.
The Prime Minister was on the right path.
Stephen Harper Now on Wrong Path
Today in Whitehorse, the Prime Minister has stated there is no need for a national inquiry into murdered and missing Aboriginal women. Stephen Harper is not showing the same kind of leadership he would have offered only a few years ago.
Stephen Harper appears to be putting his political partisan hat on tightly and is ignoring doing what is right, ignoring doing what is being sought by the Assembly of First Nations, Chiefs of Ontario, Provincial Governments across Canada, and a growing number of people across the country.
Prime Minister Harper is on the wrong path. The Conservatives appear to believe that somehow they can simply put young Anishinabek people into mining jobs, and decide their futures for them.
The decision by Prime Minister Harper is wrong.
Why would the Conservatives stay the path?
Perhaps it is that after being in power for so long, the Conservatives are starting to completely lose their connection to what is right? For members of the Conservative Caucus, just over a year out from the next federal election, the reality is most of the caucus has spent their political careers under the thumb of the PMO.
The truth is that governments defeat themselves. They do that when they are increasingly out of touch with the people who they rule over.
The Prime Minister in saying that it is not a sociological problem but a crime has it half right.
Getting all the way right would be getting the issue out and working to solve the entire situation.
In holding to his path, the Conservatives are likely doing one thing for certain. They are motivating yet another group to get out and vote against his government in the next election.If losing the next election is Stephen Harper’s goal, he is taking yet another step on the path to achieve that goal.James Murray