Steelcitygrit [in exile]

Ruminating on all things Canadian and political.


Friday, August 04, 2006

Christina Blizzard Calls Out Anti-Canadian OPP

Does anyone remember Christina Blizzard's coverage of Ipperwash, particularly the recently concluded inquiry? How she abhorred such a frivolous political grand stand. Her message was clear throughout: the death of Dudley George was a personal tragedy (very generous of her) but one must not reach conclusions about the nature of the First Nations relationship with law in Canada. The OPP was put in a difficult position; mistakes were made. But the griping must stop!

Funny how things have changed. Disturbed, perhaps, by the lack of dead unarmed protestors at Caledonia, she has had to reevaluate her earlier appraisal of the OPP. Perhaps she had it all wrong! The OPP is not the great grey neutral justice dispenser of her original imagination. Nor is it in any way unfriendly to First Nations interest - she is still certain about that. Instead, she reaches a new and most plausible understanding: that the OPP deals in reverse racism. White people are intimidated when they seek help. Natives light babies on fire, overturn cars and generally have a good time. Sure, there are none of these incidents on record as happening at Caledonia. But with a police force so rabidly anti-Canadian, it's impossible to know what's been really going on.

Fascinating. We know that:
- Aboriginal people are overrepresnted in prison by 6 X

- While Aboriginal youth comprised approximately 5% of the Canadian population, 33% of youth in custody are Aboriginal

- Aboriginal accused are more likely to be denied bail

- more time is spent in pre-trial detention by Aboriginal people

- Aboriginal accused are more likely to be charged with multiple offences, and often for crimes against the system

- Aboriginal people are more likely not to have legal representation at court proceedings

- Aboriginal offenders are more than twice as likely to be incarcerated than non-Aboriginal offenders

-Aboriginal clients, especially in northern communities where the court party flies in the day of the hearing, spend less time with their lawyers; as court schedules in remote areas are poorly planned, judges may have limited time to spend in the community

-Aboriginal Elders, who are also spiritual leaders, are not given the same status as prison priests and chaplains, in all institutions

- Aboriginal people often plead guilty because they are intimidated by the court and simply want to get the proceedings over with

Would any of this lead Christina Blizzard to conclude that Aboriginal people have a very unhappy and unbalanced relationship with the law? That there is some deplorable inequity there? Not in a million years would she arrive at such a thing. That's fare for the guilt mongering Toronto Star tea drinkers.

But treat a legally iron-clad land claim for what it is, and she is willing to conclude - in the face of all the above - that that inequity belongs to the White residents of Caledonia.

Of course, Blizzard is not yet finished. She lurches drunkenly from one logical pratfall to the next. With breathtaking audacity, she writes months worth of columns decrying unequal application of the law and failure to protect property rights without ever once alluding to the fact that this is the Six Nations position entirely - and then characterizes the Six Nations position as "rabbit-hole logic".

The land claim itself doesn't even appear in a footnote. This in and of itself shouldn't surprise; she reserves her right to "rule of law" reductionism. This means nuance is not a friend.

She compares the Native protesters to Hezbollah, with barely a blush:

"Look, I'm, not suggesting anyone is blowing up anyone up in Caledonia. But the provocative and violent way in which the native protesters made their demands in Caledonia could, under other circumstances, have led to a far different outcome."

I suppose the message is that it is fortunate the Citizens of Caledonia didn't respond to the rocket barrages in the same way that Israel did. This comes as a mild surprise to anyone who has witnessed the occupation. I'll be frank here, I don't recall any rockets at all. No guns. No bats. No Molotov Cocktails. No suicide bombings. I remember the Clan Mothers, who continue to operate the occupation. I remember how they and non-Native women from Caledonia enforced a strict decorum code. And anyone who broke it - on either side of the protest - would face reprimand from their own.

There was a tire fire. I suppose that's an act of war on par with targeting civilians for violence.

It has become Blizzard's standard practice to embed a corroborating quote from John Tory in each of her columns - al la Party press releases. His steely blue eyes and broad shoulders have obviously won over her heart. That, and his willingness to stand up to the anti-Canadian OPP and their radical tribal allies, the Queen's Park Liberals. A quick review of his high in protein, light in reason grandstanding and one can see the immediate appeal. He recently called out the Liberal government for negotiating a peaceful conclusion to the occupation. Well - that wasn't quite it. Instead, he suggested that negotiations be haulted until Six Nations protester left the land (which now belongs to the Province). So we should negotiate the end of the occupation - but not until the occupation ends! Here is the rabbit hole logic of the Middle East alluded to before- "no ceasefire will be negotiated until [X] ceases to fire."

He has also called for an inquiry into the handling of Caledonia. I seem to recall that Blizzard had a thing or two to say about the last inquiry:

"When McGuinty became premier, the Ipperwash inquiry became yet another way to discredit the previous government. That's too bad, because this shouldn't be about politics. It's about a terrible tragedy, and how we can avoid anything like this from happening again."

"Then two years ago Dalton McGuinty's new Liberal government calls a judicial inquiry under Mr. Justice Sidney Linden to probe the death. So now we've had 18 months of testimony, scores of government-funded lawyers, 100 witnesses, a made-for-TV movie and a $13.5-million tax bill. And what was the crucial testimony yesterday? Whether or not a former premier used the "F" word.Give me a break.... "

The message is clear. One unarmed protester shot dead. This is a trifling matter and the world must move on. But Caledonia - it has a tire fire.


Anonymous neo said...

looking at your stats...

***Aboriginal people are overrepresnted in prison by 6 X

They commit more crime.

***While Aboriginal youth comprised approximately 5% of the Canadian population, 33% of youth in custody are Aboriginal

They commit more crime.

***Aboriginal accused are more likely to be denied bail

See points 1 & 2

Besides being over-represented in crime statistics, the aboriginal murder, suicide, child abuse and substance abuse figures are off the charts.

Is it all the fault of the wiley white man?

You can go on living and breathing your "victim mentality" or you can be a productive member of society.

It's your choice, but remember, you only get one life.

3:14 PM  

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