Equality, No Way!
A Look At Idle No More's Distorted Message Of Equality
February 2nd, 2013 | D. Stone
The Idle No More movement has attempted to spread across Canada and beyond, promoting environmental protections and Aboriginal rights around the world. The only problem is that their message has gotten lost; similar to the Occupy Movement, which seemed like a random hipster BBQ in public parks, on corporate walkways, and various outdoor locations around the world. Their aims were unclear, mainly because they had so many and any sense of consistency vanished. Like Occupy, Idle No More has far too many messages, most of which contradict each other. Unfortunately, Idle No More has turned the idea of equality into something that most Canadians aren't grasping....because their version of it doesn't make much sense.
Since the Europeans arrived on Canadian soil, Canada's First Nations have struggled for a certain kind of equality. Autonomy was in order after warfare between the settlers and Aboriginals failed to produce anything but a stalemate. Since then, messages of equality have been muddled and lost in the name of social and ethnic identity. The modern message among supporters of Idle No More seems to be a deformed idea of equality, one that seems to contradict and defy the underlying and fundamental ideals that First Nations should be trying to promote.
Equality is supposed to mean that all men and women are treated equally under the law. This is something that the First Nations have been striving to achieve for hundreds of years in a "white man's world". The question has always been whether they could achieve such equality. Bills like the Conservative's C-45 have offered a type of equality that reigns in the contradictions of past generations and offers a sense of true, genuine independence.
The Canadian Indian Act has been contentious for many First Nations, particularly when it comes to the long and tedious processes involved in leasing reserve land for profit. For long, Chiefs and members of First Nations communities have argued that the Indian Act creates too much red tape and impedes on the prosperity of their people. Bill C-45 sets out to remove some of the barriers and processes that have been the focus of such contention. Instead of accepting the bill for what it is, Idle No More has chosen to distort the truth and misinform the public about C-45. Idle No More has decided to bond with Canadian labour unions and environmentalists in a stand against Stephen Harper. This unfortunate turn of events has transformed Idle No More into a typical, politically driven, left-wing movement.
Had Idle No More chosen to be honest about Bill C-45 and other Conservative bills that have promoted First Nation liberties, they could have garnered more support from all sides of the political spectrum. Instead, they have chosen the side of big government and rejected Conservative efforts to expand transparency, independence, and freedom across First Nations communities. Instead of liberty and self determination, Idle No More has chosen more government intervention.
Like other Conservative bills, C-45 doesn't force First Nations communities to give up their land to private interests, it just makes it easier for them to make their own choices without the interference of Canada's big, bold government. This move to grant First Nations communities more independence has been distorted into a deceptive and dirty attempt by Conservatives to sell off reserve land to special interests. This is so far from the truth that it almost becomes something of a punchline.
Bill C-27, yet another piece of legislation aimed at creating equal transparency and efficiency for Aboriginal communities, became the target of Idle No More. The bill addresses demands made by many Chiefs and First Nations leaders to have easier access to basic financial information about their bands. This bill, like C-45, gives communities a greater ability to make financial decisions without government impediments.
Even Bill S-8, which sets out to ensure that First Nations communities have access to clean water, has been rejected and criticized by the misguided, left-wing movement.
Harper's government won't be able to satisfy the Idle No More movement, because the movement has set out to discredit and destroy his government, no matter what. Idle No More has aligned with unions and Canada's left in an attempt to depose Stephen Harper. This anti-Harper agenda is nothing new, and Idle No More has done nothing more than join the NDP/Liberal war against the Conservative government. As far as Idle No More is concerned, Harper will always fail to do anything right. As a result, Idle No More will always be just another left-wing uprising against Stephen Harper.
It will never be good enough. Instead of accepting true equality and liberty, Idle No More has chosen the worn-out and misguided views of freedom that have become the ideology of Canada's left wing. This ideology dictates that freedom isn't about making your own choices, but about being given handouts and special privileges that few others could get. This backwards idea of freedom is destructive, but Idle No More has failed to see the ill-conceived nature of left-wing "equality".
Don't take my word for it. Bills C-45, C-27, and S-8 are all up for public scrutiny. Take the time to read them and decide for yourself whether true freedom is being given or taken by these controversial pieces of legislation. Depending on what idea of freedom you subscribe to, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised by what you find, no matter what your ethnicity or heritage may be. You might even find yourself astonished at how oppressive and regressive some age old treaties and acts -- like The Indian Act -- have been.
Unlike Idle No More's political motives to eliminate Harper, the organization's environmental stance is far more focused and worthy of further examination. Although their motives cater to the left's anti-oil philosophy, environmental protection is something that Canadians across the country can identify with and agree on. Conservatives are not anymore willing or driven to purposely destroy the environment than anyone on the left. Aligning with Stephen Harper's Conservative government on environmental issues, rather than rejecting anything and everything proposed by Harper, could become an asset for Idle No More.
The only bill that rightfully earns Idle No More's attention is Bill C-38, which attempts to reduce the bureaucracy involved in the approval of pipelines. The bill also removes Canada from the Kyoto Protocol. Other provisions within Bill C-38 can be viewed positively by most Canadians who place an importance on Canada's long-term economic prosperity.
In conclusion, the Idle No More movement must evolve into something less partisan in order to gain the respect of Canadians. Instead of focusing on the elimination and defeat of our Prime Minister, the movement should look to build in-roads with Conservatives. Blaming the Conservative government for refusing to communicate is childish and unproductive, especially when the said government has done more for First Nations liberty than any past government in Canadian history.