Friday, May 05, 2006

Pissed In BC

The Provincial Government isn't too pleased with Tory plans to hack apart the Kelowna Accord. Premier Gordon Campbell is upset and he's letting people know it.

The Premier was planning a statement for the Legislature regarding his deep disappointment with the new Federal Government for not keeping with signed Kelowna Accord. His comments to the Legislature were attended by First Nations leaders Ed John, Stewart Phillip, Shawn Atleo, Mike Retasket and Doug Kelly.

The Premier described the Accord as "Canada's moment of truth". He also said that "it was a chance to do something that had eluded our grasp as a nation for 138 years - to end the disparities in health, education, housing and economic opportunity". The Accord "was the product of unprecedented governtment-to-government collaboration," Campbell went on to say.

Ten provinces, three territories and the federal government embraced a 10-year, $5 billion effort to close the gap between the country's Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities. Following Flaherty's budget earlier this week, it looks like the Accord will be abandonned.

More than dollars, "the honour of the Crown is at stake", Campbell declared. "The trust relationship that was at the core of the Kelowna meetings demands decisive action and unflagging affirmation... No more excuses".

He closed by invoking what might be called the spirit of Kelowna: "First ministers from all the provinces, all the territories and the federal government came together. They lit a torch, and that was a torch of hope. It was a beacon that we should hold high".

And with that, the Premier took his seat, triggering a remarkable display - standing ovation from the government and the NDP Opposition. Mike Farnworth, Opposition house leader, had this to say: "We need to speak with one voice in this province".

First Nations representatives also stood and applauded the Premier's statement, ignoring the protocol that guests on the floor of the house are seen but never heard. People in the public galleries applauded too, again defying House rules.


At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would the Cons keep the Kelowna Accord....their votes aren't there....the budget was for higher income people, where they get most of their votes. My goodness they shoved the money out the door like there was a fire.It did take a long time for the Accord..what a shame.
They are not the only ones losing out on this budget.If the Harper government thinks only the Indians will get mad, he had better think again. There are great many people do no think it was right to kill it. It makes me sick

At 12:03 PM, Blogger Pedro said...

Me too.

At 1:27 PM, Blogger Red Tory said...

I never thought I’d say this, but that makes me very proud of Gordon Campbell! Good grief, there might be hope for the man yet.

At 2:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Campbell's statement is only for the home audience: singing to the choir. He is tight with Harper so there is no harm in his domestic display of sorrow. Before the election Prentice and Harper publicly supported the nuts and bolts of the Kelowna agreement but disagreed with the implementation strategy. Budget funding for the deal was split into the departments of Indian Affairs, Health, and Housing. It is about a billion dollars light. The cash that the middlemen would have access to. Note that Phil Fontaine had nothing but the "highest regard and respect for Prentice" in a post budget interview. Prentice described his role as "putting the wheels on the agreement".

At 2:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Harper a treaty-breaker, like Bush?

A valid question, given his giveaway with respect to NAFTA (the softwood surrender), and now his brushing aside of the Kelowna Accord, which Premier Campbell rightly calls a "moment of truth". The Premier was right: The honour of the Crown is at stake. It was at stake with the NAFTA dispute over softwood.

Does Prime Minister Harper have the same view that President Bush has as regards the duty of the head of a state to honour treaties and accords?

Or are we seeing the beginning of Harper's agreement with Bush that he, as Prime Minister, is above the law?


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