“We are with you in spirit” The words spoken by Rona Ambrose July 5th has proven once again that the Conservative Govt doesn’t care about the issues of native women or of first nations at all. Can’t say I was surprised when I heard the news, Ambrose has a proven record of voting along party lines and not with her conscience which what the minister for the status of women should have been doing all along. Her decision is a betrayal to every woman in Canada, by doing nothing she has essentially said that violence against native women doesn’t matter to this govt but more prisons and fighter jets does. Earlier this year Senator Patrick Brazzeau tweeted that the missing women issue was taken care of, a pretty ignorant statement coming from a sitting senator.
The Harper govt has talked about fiscal responsibility, jobs and various other issues so why are we getting more prisons when the crime rate has been slowly decreasing for years. The Canadian people are at the mercy of conservative ideology or should I say reform ideology which has been all about cuts……..to social programs. The Conservative government has cut $127 million from First Nations reserve housing since 2008. The Sisters in Spirits funding was not renewed even though the govt had promised 10 million to deal with the issue of missing and murdered. First Nations Child and Family Caring society had their funding cut when they and the AFN launched a human rights complaint against the govt for under funding first nations children.
And the cuts keep coming, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada FUNDING REDUCTION, First Nations and Inuit Tobacco Control Program ELIMINATED, Natural Resources and Environment Climate Change Programs, including the One Tonne Challenge, 40 public information offices across the country, and several scientific and research programs on climate change – 40% BUDGET CUT and there’s a lot more cuts.
When the govt said they endorsed the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples did they really mean it? Their cuts make me think not! The Governments position frankly is bullshit, here they are facing international pressure, being one of four countries at the time to refuse to endorse UNDRIP and facing criticism at home they decided to endorse UNDRIP hoping that it would be business as usual. But the cuts continue and in clear violation UNDRIP, but and there’s always a but. The cons said that they would endorse UNDRIP but it would not affect govt policy. So was their support of UNDRIP just a smokescreen? They’re behavior since the endorsement would seem to think so.
What I don’t understand how did Harper win a majority when 60% of Canadians didn’t vote for him and can Canadians sue the govt for not respecting the UNDRIP? Someone told me on election night that I should get ready to see the real Stephen Harper and that’s what Canadians should be worried about. As long as the economy is in good shape Harper will be untouchable because that’s what Canadians care about and they should but they should also care about the health and well being of all Canadians, no matter their social status, creed or culture. We currently have a govt who has a history wasteful spending. (You just have look at the G20 report and MP Tony Clements riding)
One note about these cuts the Harper government has made, throughout the election, Harper talked about jobs jobs jobs. Did he ever think about the jobs that have been lost because of his cuts? Looks to me like Harper’s economic action plan is more of an inaction plan!
Thousands of women have gone missing in the last couple of decades and the way I see it, this governments inaction on the issue means that for every native woman who goes missing or is murdered, their blood is now on the governments hands. Ambrose is right about one thing, they are with us in spirit because spirits can’t do anything but continue to watch as more of our sisters go missing.
Irkar Beljaars (Twitter) mohawk_voice
You can listen to Irkar on
Native Solidarity News www.ckut.ca
and Red Power Radio http://irkarbeljaars.podbean.com/