a conservative heretic commenting on hypocrisy and stupidity in a world with too much of both
If you found this post of interest, please share it with your friends.
We no longer accept advertising on this blog. Your donations help us to defray the costs of its operation and are much appreciated.
Stay informed

Follow the Bear - Subscribe today


The Misconceptions In Bill C45 That Sparked ‘Idle No More’ – Part One: Reserve Lands

Once again Canada is being subjected to protests that include blockades of roads, railways and entrances to various facilities; flash mobs and drum circles. Once again militant members of various First Nations are demonstrating, inspired by a movement started earlier this year by four women in Saskatchewan.

The movement is called Idle No More and whatever its original intent, it has quickly been overrun with those who have more militant agendas. It is also a movement that was started based on some serious misunderstandings and misinterpretations about recent government legislation that has been promulgated by the leaders of the First Nations, many politicians on the left and the mainstream media.

In a three-part series beginning today, Peggy Tupper, examines those misunderstandings and misconceptions  that sparked the Idle No More Movement, Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike and the protests, blockades and demonstrations occurring in various parts of the country.


The Misconceptions That Sparked Idle No More – Part One: Reserve Lands

By Peggy Tupper

“The less you know, the more you believe” – Bono

The twitterverse and the media are full of stories, columns and editorials about the native movement called IDLE NO MORE.  It was started by four women in Saskatchewan who were against the federal budget omnibus Bill C45 and its few amendments to the Indian Act.  The women were all members of a First Nations (FN) band.  (I use the term FN rather than, Indian, aboriginal or native since some but not all object to any other term.)

Bill C45 is a budget bill and the vast majority of it is financial stuff involving pooled pension funds, banks, trust companies, insurance companies and RCMP pensions; it is a long boring read.  The bill was sponsored by the Honourable James Flaherty, Minister of Finance.

Tacked into the bill were several other housekeeping items that were not financially related.  Personally, I consider this to be getting a little work done on the bathroom faucets while you have trades people in the house doing a reno on the kitchen.  It is just an efficient method of getting things done although to hear the opposition and some in the media tell it, it is the end of democracy and the free world as we know it.

Given, however, that the NDP opposition will do anything to oppose and delay any legislation, it makes sense to do things as efficiently as possible.  The conservatives have a majority so it does not matter whether things are done in one bill or with 5 separate pieces of legislation; they will pass even though the opposition would ……. I digress.

From its humble beginnings the IDLE NO MORE movement has grown and taken on a life of its own with protests all over Canada and now even some in the USA.  Typically this includes the usual blockades and demonstrations including one on the CN line between Montreal and Ottawa last Sunday evening that delayed passengers by more than four hours.

The media, of course, covers these events and like too many who form an opinion based on an emotional reaction rather than informing themselves of the facts, jump up in support of one side of the issue or the other.

It is one thing to excuse laypeople of not knowing facts but journalists must be held to a higher standard.  The misinformation being published is stunning; the rhetoric being repeated and encouraged by the media is shoddy journalism at best.

Much of the discontent that sparked Idle No More springs from two misconceptions about amendments to the Indian Act in Bill C45, primarily because they have been misreported and poorly understood. They can be summarized as:

 Reserves will be sold off; Government not honouring treaty rights, government must consult with us.

Rather than believe all the hype, I chose to go to the open parliament website and read the legislation for myself.  It seems that I might be one of the few people outside of legislators who have actually read Bill C45 and based on comments from some politicians, I’m not convinced all of them have read it either. 

All Government of Canada legislation is readily available to the public despite claims by the opposition parties and many in the media that Omnibus bills are attempt to hide things from Canadians. This is the link to Bill C45 for  those who are inclined to read the it for themselves.

Bill C45 contained a minor change to the Indian Act.  The changes were requested – not unilaterally imposed by government – but requested by native bands in British Columbia.   While some remote bands live in poverty for a variety of reasons, several bands in British Columbia have become quite entrepreneurial which has made them successful and self-sustainable.  These bands have leased some of the reserve lands to third parties for retail and other purposes.

What a novel concept; they are using their land to provide jobs for their band members.

Under the Indian Act, every lease to a third party requires a referendum so that band members can vote on the proposal.  The rules of majority were a problem. If a band has 1000 members of voting age, the referendum would require that 501 members were in favour.  While that sounds logical in practice it’s a problem for most bands.  If only 600 people in the band voted in a particular referendum, and 400 of the ballots were in favour, the referendum failed because 501 “yes” votes were required.

A second referendum would be required plus some other bureaucracy before a lease agreement could be signed.  This delay meant that sometimes a deal would be lost.

The BC bands requested that the government, through the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, amend the Indian Act to allow a simple majority of votes cast on leasing referendums.   Those changes were included in Bill C45 and that is what started all this kerfuffle!

Note that no band is forced to lease any land.

Any leasing must be initiated by the band, a referendum must be held as in the past and all other previous bureaucratic and administrative processes remain unchanged.

Perhaps the original four women who started Idle No More were mislead by the term “surrender”.  The legislation does use the word.  It is a legal term.  A landlord renting an apartment surrenders its use to a tenant for the duration of a lease.  Likewise, a band would surrender land to a lease holder for the duration of a lease.

For those who still do not understand, no lands on any reserve can be sold.

The media have failed to investigate before publishing misinformation and adding to the propaganda that is believed by many of poorly informed protesters.  The Globe and Mail was one of the few that got it right in their article published December 29, 2012.

All the hyperbole and spin about reserve lands being sold off and the government trampling all over treaty rights is exactly that; a lot of uninformed sensationalist hyperbole that has done nothing but create more suspicion and mistrust.

No reserve lands will be sold off.  The Conservative government is honouring treaty rights and actually providing bands with more control over their own lands.  The accusation that the government should have consulted with First Nations before making any changes is simply absurd considering that the changes to the Indian Act were made at the request of a number of First Nations reserves and the government was merely responding to that request.

It has been said that no crises should be wasted.

The official opposition knows or should know about the changes since they voted on the bill.  The sections were debated in the House of Commons.  I know this because I read Hansard and there was ample discussion about the changes and the purpose of the legislation.  In spite of this, the NDP members are adding fuel to the fire and perpetuating untruths.  Undoubtedly they are looking for votes from the FN communities.

It seems that Shawn Atleo, the leader of the Association of First Nations is also using the IDLE NO MORE for his own political agenda.  Chief Atleo is an educated man.  He knows what the legislation means but he is not informing the FN communities of the truth.  It is unconscionable for Atleo to promote and encourage protests in shopping malls and blockades of rail lines and highways for his political aggrandizement. It appears he is more interested in trying to force the federal government to only negotiate with him and the Assembly of First Nations than having it respond to the requests of individual First Nations’ bands, even when those requests might actually improve conditions on reserves.

I think it safe to say that once again native protesters are being manipulated and deliberately misinformed by their leadership in order to deflect criticism from their failed leadership and princely salaries.

All it would take is one meeting with the main stream press and Atleo could stop the anger of the protestors and the harassment of business owners and the public.  One now must question everything Atleo says as it is obvious that his motives and ethics are self-serving and no more honourable than those of many progressive politicians and activists.

Tomorrow: The Misconceptions That Sparked Idle No More- Part 2: Navigable Waters Protection Act


Where Is The Money Going On First Nations Reserves?


Some First Nations’ Financial Statements Generate More Questions Than Answers


© 2012 Maggie’s Bear
all rights reserved
The content of this article is the sole property of Maggie’s Bear but a link to it may be shared by those who think it may be of interest to others

Follow The Bear on Twitter: @maggsbear or connect with a friend request on Facebook: Maggie’s Bear


  • Akash Ahmed

    Thank you very much for publishing this kind of article. I like your article very much. I want share my website details to you
    please give me some information to increase performance like your website.
    Website: http://www.immigrationesq.com/

  • Stephen

    You are incredibly misleading inn your comments. The BC band requested that DESIGNATED land be included in the bill C-45. Instead the language used was for surrendered land. Legally a big difference. Designed land in Municiple terms is land that has been set aside for a purpose. Read the Hansard description of 7 November 2012. You will find that the civil service person, Mr Johnson made a distinction between the two terms, but the government refers to absolutely and surrendered lands, not designated. The bill sets out a business favorable process that reduces band input to the absolute surrender of reserve lands. That is the outside sale. And the Minister gets to call the meeting the is a majority of those who vote.

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      The chiefs of those bands would not agree with you and they are on the record accordingly. And no land can be sold period.

  • Lesley Belleau

    Who wrote this article? Nonsense. The Harper Government is in the throes of outright termination, a simple extention of Trudeau’s White Paper, a further extention of The British North American Act of 1867, wheras section 91-24 writes 90 plus items without First Nation consent. In the BA Act, Native people came under the Crown and Government as feduciary rather than a trustee- we were moved to that position, which is based on a trust relationship. This relationship has been broken as there was no First nation consent to Bill C-45. The Harper government is breaking his own forefather’s tri-fold agreements. Shame on you Harper- you have lowered yourself to a new historical level, and so has the writers of this article!!!! Shame for believing the lies and not looking back to the treaties as a basis to your knowledge systems.

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      Bill C-45, which is primarily a budget bill enacted no other new legislation. All First Nations are represented in Parliament. It isn’t necessary to consult the First Nations on every amendment to every piece of legislation in Canada. That’s the role of MPs in Parliament. All First Nations’ bands have MPs that represent them just as they represent other Canadians.

      • Stephen

        And that’s the argument from idlenomore. We don’t consult, we just tell them what they are allowed to do.

        • http://abearsrant.com thebear

          And that is just one more, misrepresentation of the truth. I have never seen so many so eager to be offended over nothing.

        • http://abearsrant.com thebear

          that is simply not true. I have never seen so many people so intent on being offended over so little as often as I do in this country.

  • Daniel

    Hey, thanks for the informational post. Was looking for some cognitive dissonance and this page was a good source.

    While I understand the intent behind these protests and blockades (especially given the living conditions many Aboriginals endure today, and given the history of Aboriginals and First Nations with European settlers) I have to agree I don’t find them to be a very intuitive way to get people on one’s side. In my opinion, politicians fear losing votes, not businesses losing money. Angry people do not think clearly or logically, and it would seem to me that such blockades create anger in a way that would benefit those in power being protested against.

    That being said, on the issue of leasing reserve land, I do have to disagree with the motive behind changing the needed full majority vote. I understand that such a structure can create delays, but would posit that such delays are a small price to pay to ensure democracy is enacted. Even with federal elections, and especially provincial ones too, as citizens we rarely break the 60 percent mark in voter participation. The idea that reserve land could be leased without a true majority vote of First Nations living on the reserve suggests the likely possibility that decisions can and will be made on behalf of people who are unaware of when or why such decisions are being made. If delays are needed to create an informed public then, in my opinions anyways, they are justified delays.

    • Peggy

      Many band members no longer live on their home reservation. If there are 1000 members and 400 live off reserve and 100 don’t care and don’t vote, then only 500 votes cast but 501 votes still needed. It was impossible situation which is why many bands asked for changes.

      • Mlepatron

        Peggy, your admirable grammar here in your active responses truly provides your sourceless, highly opinionated “spin” a lot of credit and backbone…nice work!

  • Pingback: First Nations Treaty Rights – The Last And Best Defence « mightyturk()

  • Tony Rideout

    I think it’s very difficult for the average person to be able to keep up with, and understand, detailed legislation like C-45. I know that my understanding is incomplete and I consider myself fairly well-informed about politics compared to the average individual. My main concerns have to do with the environment and the catastrophic effects of climate change. I don’t think I’m alarmist when I say we are literally destroying the planet with fossil-fuel based economy we have. And while I understand that we can’t just turn off the taps, what troubles me is the colossal failure of politicians of all stripes (Green Party notwithstanding) to even acknowledge that the threat of climate change is real. The science and the consequences are fairly easy to understand and the evidence is all around us. I can only assume ignorance or willful blindness, but to what end? The destruction of the planet? We are playing Russian Roulette. What part of storms like Sandy, what part of melting glaciers, warming oceans, dead zones, great rivers no longer reaching the sea, polluted ground water, mysterious cancers decimating communities, ad infinitum, don’t many Conservatives get?

    • Dan Levitan

      We get all that. We just don’t believe men are the primary contributors. We more think that big light ball in the sky that half of canada doesn’t see for part of the year is the primary cause.

    • Peggy

      Gee Tony I think you need to get some more current facts. Temperatures have not changed in 16 years. The AGW people have been caught massaging the data to make it conform to their beliefs. Each one of us must look to multiple sources for information. I read stuff from the other side regularly just in case they actually do have some good info.

      I am an average person and I read C45. Skip the financial part of C45 and focus on the rest. The significant sections regarding Indian Act and Navigable Water are not that large.

      • http://thedestinywithin.blogspot.ca/ angelina

        Everyone is entitled to their opinion and it it refreshing to see that you are all playing nice…to some degree. If nothing else, the “Idle no More” has people talking about First Nation’s issues, politics, and the environment. More importunely, even doing some research to educate themselves. Bravo!

        BTW if anyone wants to help in some small way, check out this website: andrewsbooks.ca :)

        • http://abearsrant.com thebear

          I don’t fully disagree with you except that a lot of the talk is misinformation and too much of it has nothing to do with either focusing a real set of defined objectives that will bring about real opportunity and change on reserves overwhelmed by poverty, substance abuse, unemployment and other issues the rest of Canada takes for granted. If Idle No More wants to make a real and effective change, ti could start by being a catalyst for developing a set of achievable goals and objectives that would help all members of the First Nations rather than simply rehashing all the tired rhetoric from the past.

  • http://gogreygirl.wordpress.com/ Margie

    I own a cabin in the summer resort of Hidden Valley on land leased from the Siksika Nation. Our community has been trying for years to negotiate a new lease. A letter of intent was finally agreed upon by the Siksika Chief and Council in 2012. As per the requirements for lease renewal, the band held a referendum. Of 4000 possible voters, about 900 cast a ballot. About 600 voted ‘No’ to the lease. (A ‘Yes’ vote would have required just over 1000 votes, of course.)

    There were a number of reasons the voters defeated the referendum, and while I could argue about some of the inaccuracies of the information they based their decision on, I have to admire how well they employed social media to advance their cause. It is too bad the cabin owners didn’t see how powerful their Facebook Page was. I suppose we were also a victim of ‘Idle No More’ – the ‘No’ voters were clear about their mistrust of their elected council… and the federal government… and our cabin owner’s volunteer board…

    The cabin owners will take a big hit, both financially and emotionally. But the real losers are the Siksika Nation. Yes, they have their land back, but vacant land doesn’t provide employment and recreation opportunities nor does it give confidence to those who may have wanted to invest money in future Siksika projects.

    • http://googlemail Michele

      To Whom it may concern: This vote you are talking about had nothing to do with money, staff (Siksika) were treated unfairly and as to the once a week day we are allowed to go to the Hidden Valley Golf Resort,people were treated unfairly by cabin owner’s. So my comment is and what we wanted was not the money but we want our land back whether it be empty at least we got our land back. And go to that side of the river anytime we want. Also if there is another vote we will that one also facebook or no facebook) All we want is our land back not your so called money !!!!!

      • http://googlemail Michele

        (we will win that one also)

      • http://abearsrant.com thebear

        I would reply to this if I had any idea of what vote you are talking about.

        • http://gogreygirl.wordpress.com/ Margie

          Michele is referring to the Referendum on the renewal of the lease. She is right in saying that some of the members of the nation wanted nothing more than to get their land back and will be content to see it be reclaimed by the river and the forest.

          • http://abearsrant.com thebear

            Thanks for the clarification.

  • http://mightyturk@wordpress.com Bob Turcotte

    I suspect few to none of your readers who compliment you on this post have even gone so far as to look at Bill C-45. I, at least, have read a summary by the large legal firm Fasken Martineau (see below). I then went to the Canadian parliament link which they provided and looked and went through the summary of the bill. The summary alone, which lists a myriad of changes to a slew of other bills, is over 2500 words. It is described as a tidying follow-up to bill C-38, the previous monster omnibus bill that gutted, among other things, Canadian Environmental legislation and was, as this one is, extremely harmful. I scanned the 2500 words in Bill C-45’s introduction and learned that Part 4 changes the Fisheries Act, the Indian Act, the Hazardous Materials Information Review Act, the Navigable Waters Protection Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act.

    This bill is about making it harder for people to protect many aspects of their lives and transferring some powers currently subject to federal legislation to being subject to the discretion of the appropriate minister – or subject to nothing. This is a corporate power grab; it is more than just about efficiency or Peggy Tupper’s single issue of cottagers’ docks. As Fasken Martineau point out, it will be up to cash strapped provinces to enact legislation, if they so choose, to protect things – many things – that will no longer have to be reviewed – at all. Once again, monied interests will have huge power over the rest of us.

    Here, for those of you who care, is a link to the Fasken Martineau article:

    From their About Page: “Fasken Martineau is a leading international business law and litigation firm. Tracing our roots back to the mid-1800s, our firm was founded through the merger of three regional Canadian icons in 2000. Today we have nine offices with more than 770 lawyers across Canada and in the UK, France and South Africa.”

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      I suspect that very few who have read these articles whether, pro or con what has been written, had read the legislation. The simple truth is that while we live in the information era and are buried in it, that isn’t the same as having knowledge. I’ve left your links up because they are valid to the discussion and not merely more uninformed opinion or distortions to advance an agenda. We don’t have to agree to look for the truth, we only have to be civil.

      • http://mightyturk@wordpress.com Bob Turcotte

        Thank you for what you have said here. I admit that I have long ago taken a side. I make judgements based on what I hope is as consistent a world view as I can build. I looked into the bill today because of Peggy Tupper’s arguments. I owe that much to the discussion here. I do, however, still believe that to discredit the Idle No More movement’s origins or dismiss it because of its inaccuracies is to throw the baby out with the bath water. It, like the Occupy movement, comes from a genuine human spring – the amorphous, but accurately perceived, need for a better, more just, world. Perhaps we all want this. I suppose I wouldn’t be writing here if I didn’t believe that some attitudinal movement, on both sides, is possible.

        • http://abearsrant.com thebear

          There is no intent to discredit the origin of Idle No More only to clarify some, not all, of the misconception upon which it was founded. Clearly, in less than two months, the movement has already expanded to include activists who will show up for anything, been co-opted by the FN leadership, cynically opportunistic politicians and a media cabal that does sloppy research and that is typically more of a PR agent for one side or the other. Somewhere in all of that, the truth gets lost and both Peggy and I feel that the truth is necessary to finding resolution to the problems and issues we face today.

          It is like the issue of mass shootings in the United States. That has already degenerated into the usual argument about gun control rather than looking at what is happening in a society to cause so many to want to kill others before taking their lives. It was the same with Occupy which started out with good intentions and quickly was overrun with misinformation and outright lies that ultimately led to extreme violence, crime, vandalism and ultimately more than $50 million in damages across North America. In the beginning, many rushed to support Occupy, just as they do now to support Idle No More. Within five months, the movement had become so distorted, it’s support fell away and any good it might have done was lost.

          Idle No More has raised legitimate concerns but it will not help their cause of the quality of life on reserves if the movement gets lost in misinformation and misconceptions. All that achieves is more polarized division and too often violence. We’ve seen it all before and it is long past time we started learning from history.

          • http://mightyturk@wordpress.com Bob Turcotte

            So where does it go from here? More of the same colonization (now of all Canadians via punitive trade agreements)? “Whores of wood and drawers of water” to the highest international payer? We don’t put the value added into any of the stuff we dig up, frack with, draw or chop down. That is submitting what traditional First Nations consider our sacred geography to outside forces. That is being colonized. It has been pointed out that, given the sad state of Canadian eco-consciousness, Native treaty rights are the last, best defence against what is happening. Bills (C-38 and C45, especially) are Harper pushing his puppeteers’ weight around for them. Idle No More has given an old cynic like me a smidgeon of hope. It’s about where the movement goes, not who started it. Hope the momentum grows. If Idle No More fizzles like the White Man’s fireworks that momentarily drowned out the native drumming in Brampton last night, believe me there will be later, more formidable, challenges as more Canucks are roused from their slumber. I’ll give you and or Peggy the last word. Thanks for the civil dialogue.

            • http://abearsrant.com thebear

              I have no easy answers to offer but I have enjoyed our discussion. It raised more questions than gave answers but sometimes questions are better than easy answers. They can point us in different directions than we might have been provided by simplistic answers. I too enjoyed the civility of our conversation. It is less important that we agree than it is that we can discuss things civilly and intelligently even when we disagree. I hope we will exchange thoughts again some time.

  • http://mightyturk@wordpress.com Bob Turcotte

    Peggy Tupper has not stated support for the Idle No More movement. I read part two of Peggy Tupper’s article first. While I am suspicious of her ultimate agenda, her piece appears calm, unbiased and reasonable. She minimizes the fact that Bill C-45 is a, deliberately large, bullying piece of legislation. This type of legislation often has the effect of changing much while limiting debate. It has become a Harper trademark. Then I went to Part One and read your introduction: “Once again Canada is being subjected to protests that include blockades of roads, railways and entrances to various facilities; flash mobs and drum circles.” It clearly reveals a bias against protest. Some of your blogroll’s titles also indicate that you are yourself a partisan supporter of the Conservative Party’s approach. There is so much misinformation on both sides of this issue. I have lived too long to be anything but a partisan cynic about politics in general. In the end it is about who you trust. I trust people like Naomi Klein and Noam Chomsky. Chomsky uses extensive notes to document his sources. I mistrust the constant complaints about a “left wing press,” when, in reality, two thirds of it is right wing, as an analysis of newspaper circulation data will quickly reveal. Nevertheless, I will read part three on Theresa Spence’s hunger strike. I suspect that it will confirm my own bias.

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      I have never made a secret that I am conservative by nature although not always how I vote. I have no issue with protest, I did a lot of it myself during the 60s and 70s. My issue is with the way protest is now done. Now it’s about causing as much inconvenience to others as possible rather than simply marching or demonstrating in support of a cause. There is no excuse for blockading a railway line on a Sunday night and preventing people from getting home or wherever they need to be simply because someone wants to vent their spleen.

      As for Peggy’s support or non-support of Idle No More, that isn’t the issue for her or for this blog. The issue is misinformation and how it is deliberately disseminated by those with an agenda. The intention of this series is to clarify that misinformation not to take sides in the issues related to First Nations or Idle No More.

      • http://mightyturk@wordpress.com Bob Turcotte

        I have been involved in two peaceful Idle No More allied protests. I have seen first-hand the intellectual shortcuts that organizers sometimes take in their enthusiasm to promote the cause. To highlight the issue of misinformation is a convenient and subtle way to discredit the movement altogether.

        Bills C-38 and C-45 are designed to streamline the path of resource extraction for corporations, often foreign, who have absolutely no connection to the land other than making a profit from its exploitation. The latest act makes it easier for Native lands to be “surrendered” for exploitation to business entities. Even though they are not sold, as Tupper pointed out, they are, nevertheless, too often ruined. Though the exploiters may be made to promise to “restore the land to its original condition,” it is disingenuous to believe that restoration will actually happen. Take the promise of GM pensions as one example of “bankruptcy” dishonouring a similar, corporate, promise. It is well known that, once ground water is contaminated, it can take millennia for them to become clean again. Pipeline rupture is a mathematical certainty, not simply a “risk.” One only has to glance at Nigeria’s Port Harcourt to see the devastation that oil exploitation, partnered with a complicit government, has caused.

        Powers close to absolute in nature (for 4 years, anyway) are systematically being transferred to the Federal Cabinet which is in the hands of a political party that is enthusiastic in its devout worship of GDP and its alliance with the oil patch. Jean Chretien was guilty of worshipping “Jobs, Jobs Jobs” but Harper takes the Prime Ministerial cake.

        The Idle No More movement is not immune to criticism, but the real issue here, for me and a growing number of Canadians, is the powerlessness of us all to prevent what is happening to our environment. By the time we get around to voting federally again so much damage will have been done that, barring a government that rejects the “rights” of a foreign corporation to sue for future losses under harsh trade agreements such as NAFTA, our path to degradation will be cast in stone.

        I hope the Idle No More, occupy-styled, movement, amorphous and flawed though it is, will help to grow a backbone and some awareness for Joe Canuck. We all (the 99.9%), not to mention other species, are losers in this power struggle. Not just the First nations. THAT is what we are gradually coming to realize.

        • Kevin

          More easily “surrendered” by whom? The band themselves, that’s who. The Canadian gov won’t be surrendering any native lands. Any shady land lease deals would be as a direct result of band leaders allowing it to happen – greed perhaps. But, just like the reset of the Canadian populace, FN members need to be more involved in their own politics to keep their leaders in check.
          The INM movement was started under false assumptions. No one has bothered to correct those assumptions, or no one is willing to admit they made a mistake. To do so would destroy any so-called credibility to their cause.
          I’m much more worried about are the changes to the Navigable Waters act which now un-protects 99% of all waterways in Canada and opens them up to development without the need for an enviornmental assessment. Scary stuff!
          The last part of the bill I’d like to coment on the de-watering aspect. The bill states that “No person shall dewater any navigable water”. Does that mean that no new dams can ever be built now? Just wondering.

          • http://abearsrant.com thebear

            The Navigable Waters Protection Act has nothing to do with protecting the water. It is about protecting the ability to navigate on the water.

    • Peggy

      Well Bob, I can assure you that I have no agenda hidden or otherwise. I very much such protests but I do not support blockades. There is a major difference in the two.
      Yes C45 is a huge bill. The vast majority of it however is financial stuff; it is primarily a budget bill. I wadded through papers and pages and pages of pooled pension funds and other stuff until I finally got to the sections that the Idlenomore people were opposed to.

      I do feel very much that native people in some reserves are living in substandard housing. The reserves in the far north most definitely are a concern. Canadians, myself included do not want people living in deplorable conditions but Bill C45 has nothing to do with that.

      My point is that Idlenomore, its beginnings with C45 are totally unfounded. The Idlenomore website is loaded with mistruths and propagands. READ the legislation. It is the only reliable source of information which is why I included links to it in my posts. I would welcome your personal comments on anything you think I have mistated. Do not rely on media or lawyer to do it for you. Media is totally uninformed.

      • http://mightyturk@wordpress.com Bob Turcotte


        I have replied to the Bear on this. You write skillfully, but this is a huge issue that transcends how it started or the inaccuracies that may have helped to fuel it. To focus on inaccuracy is to ignore the Harper agenda. Let’s not forget that Harper was president of the National Citizens’ Coalition before he ran for federal office. He has an agenda. He has the power to implement it. He plays dirty pool. He has made a joke out of Parliament by not answering questions. The Idle No More movement has a fundamental value that, for all its imperfections, strikes a genuine chord with those of us who realize that to sacrifice the sustainability of our biosphere for short term jobs or political gain is at best shortsighted and, at worst, a deliberate crime against the future of our childrens’ children. That’s the big issue here. Your arguments, persuasive and accurate within the limits you have defined, are minor compared to the real stakes.

        • Peggy

          I once started an environmental club in my neighborhood and we successfully cleaned up a huge ravine and stream that was loaded with garbage (just us volunteers).

          My garbage output for a family of 3 was a grocery store bag a week.

          You might be very surprised to find out that conservatives are environmental. Think of the word conserve.

          The 3 blogs focused on the beginnings of IDLENOMORE and nothing else. There is a limit to what can be addressed in 1 or 2 blogs.

          Like I said, I have no problem with protests provided they are peaceful. I do have a problem with blockades.

          I support the individual people who are living in substandard conditions but I do not see how blocking a railway will change that.

          People claim that Harper has an agenda but we are halfway through the mandate and no one has seen any signs of this hidden agenda as yet.

          Obviously you do not like Harper. I quite like him. I did not like Mulroney; thought he was sneaky. I say that so that you cannot accuse me of drinking koolaid.

          I looked into bill C45 to find the truth. Then I wrote some blog submissions.

          That is all there is to it.

  • Fay

    Good post! I live in Manitoba and we have been subjected to blockades at the transCanada and intersection of #16 yellowhead on December 15. Then the morning of December 21 idle no more protestors delayed travellers at Richardson International airport. It is scary to watch CBC manipulate the message and encourage this blackmail.
    I guess the point i am trying to make is that there is a lot more disruptions going on than what is being reported. The majority of Manitobans have no patience with this.

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      To be honest, I’ve never quite understood how any group be it First Nations, unions or environmentalists that have an issue with government, think that disrupting the lives of every day citizens somehow helps their cause. All I’ve ever seen result from it is more confrontation and division. You’d think that after awhile, somebody, somewhere would think that maybe it was time to take their heads out of their butts and try something new. This kind of stuff has gone on for decades and has resulted in no significant change. It’s Einstein’s theory on stupidity in action.

  • Ann

    Who is Peggy Tupper?

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      She is a Canadian who saw our standing offer to submit a guest post and who took the time to submit her three part series. I have known her for some time and she has a considerable integrity and did a significant amount of research before she composed her posts.

      After independently confirming the information she put forward regarding the legislation on which she was wrote, I agreed to publish her posts.

      Should I receive other posts of equal merit and fact but which present a different perspective, I’ll consider posting them as well.

      • Ann

        Thank you. I wasn’t sure if she was someone I was supposed to recognize, such as a local writer or otherwise tied to the FN industry.

        She did a great job and I am looking forward to reading Part Two soon.

        • http://abearsrant.com thebear

          Thank you for taking the time to read the article. Ms Tupper is not criticizing Idle No More; she is trying to clarify some of the misunderstanding about some of the issues that sparked its birth.

    • Peggy

      I am just someone who reads legislation when I feel I am being mislead. I am retired just like MaggsBear. I do not hold a public office nor am I employed by the media. I am not even a member of the federal CPC party. I do however have a small amount of aboriginal heritage and like to think that I can see both sides.

  • Billy

    Europeans may have been the first people to settle in America, possibly more than ten thousand years before anyone else set foot there.

    ­A series of European-style tools dating from twenty-six-thousand to nineteen-thousand years ago have been discovered in six separate locations along the east coast of the United States.

    Archaeologists previously thought that America was populated by migrants making their way from Siberia to Alaska, and then spreading through the rest of the continent.

    But the first of these Asian tribes started moving there about 15,500 years ago – and there is no evidence of human activity in Siberia or Alaska from before that time.

    Professors Dennis Stanford and Bruce Bradford, the two archaeologists who made the discovery, suggest Europeans moved across the Atlantic during the peak of Ice Age.

    At the time, a vast tranche of ice covered the Atlantic. The Stone Age migrants would have been able to survive the journey by killing seals, hunting the now-extinct great auks (a sort of giant penguin) and fishing. The archaeologists suggest they may have even used boats for large parts of their travel.

    Further evidence of their thesis is a knife discovered in Virginia in 1971. Recent tests showed that it was made from French flint.

    The new hypothesis is unlikely to change what we know about the Indians who greeted the Europeans upon their arrival.

    The Siberian migrants came to America for longer and in greater numbers, and were either wiped out or absorbed by the European tribes.

    But it does explain the long-standing mystery of the genetic code and language of some Native American tribes that appear European, not Asian in origin.

    Further digs are planned deeper inland up to Texas this year, and will help historians and archaeologists understand just how far the original European colonization went.

  • dmorris

    Good post,thank you. The biggest problem the FN people have is their own politicians,so this case is nothing unusual.

    Perhaps one of our noble journalists ought to question Atleo on this line,and challenge him when he lies. The so-called “fourth estate” should,for once, do their job,not act as propagandists for the cause of the day.

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      Unfortunately, the fourth estate is part of a greater problem in this country. It is too fat, lazy and biased to do its job. I read an article in the Vancouver Sun that was based solely on press sheets put out by the AFN. No independent research was done, the reporter never read any of the legislation he then commented on, he just went ahead and wrote his piece as if he knew what he was talking about. He didn’t even come close.

      But you are also right about he leadership of the First Nations and, although Ms Tupper’s post hasn’t touched on it; the fact is that the Idol No More movement is as much directed at aboriginal leaders as anyone else. Of course, neither the media nor self-serving politicians on both sides will never acknowledge that.

      and the tragedy is….it is the people who pay for it over and over and over again on reserves across the country.

  • David Stewart

    Good luck with that new pipeline… anywhere.

    • http://abearsrant.com thebear

      You might want to check with some of the First Nation bands that are investing in pipelines including Attawapiskat before you get carried away. It seems that there are some who like to talk out of both sides of their mouths.