Published on August 17th, 2010 in the Toronto Star
Re: Hudak’s bad idea, Editorial Aug. 16
Your recent article on Bill 191 shows an understanding of the facts, but a very convoluted conclusion. While The Far North Act is criticized by everyone, you conclude this means the “right balance” is struck. Most people would conclude a bill that pleases nobody and harms everybody is the hallmark of an out-of-touch government.
The government’s lack of respect is evident, as promised consultations were never held with First Nations. The bill is opposed because it denies access to 225,000 square kilometres of land (the size of the UK) and ensures generational poverty. Only in a twisted Torstar/Liberal world could cruel treatment of Ontario’s poorest citizens “strike the right balance.”
Although we have no idea what resources or potential the land contains, we know these resources could be a driver of prosperity for Northerners. Instead the Liberals have chosen to park and abandon them.
British Columbia’s example has shown when Aboriginal communities are treated as partners, not pawns, they rise out of poverty. Dalton McGuinty’s northern policy is paternalistic, patronizing, and reminiscent of a 19th century Regent.
It’s time to give northern citizens a voice and stop Bill 191.