It’s cold today. You’ll see in some of the images that sea smoke (or vapour) is increasing over the Bay which is a good indicator that the water is much warmer than the air. Weirdly the temperature is supposed to rise by 13 degrees Celsius by mid afternoon (by 25 F). Then we get lots of rain. I’ll just read a book. 🙂
In political news (I know you care) the Province has finally signed on to the $10 daycare program. The really big news (apart from the pandemic mess which is growing) involves something entirely different.
I’m telling you about it not because this is a political blog, although I do have a few opinions, but because you might see newscasts about the issue and I think it’s important to provide you with some translations for clarity.
Briefly, 6 communities of the Wolastoqey Nation have filed a lawsuit against the New Brunswick Government. It is no ordinary Land Claim suit – the territory under dispute is (and has been for a long time) used by forestry companies. The lawsuit names those companies (and NB Power) and – I’m over simplifying here- wants not only compensation but also for those corporations to have to deal with the Nation as the landlord. In other words, rather than paying the Government for use of the lands they would have to pay the Wolastoqey Nation.
Now, our Premier has had a lot to say about this. In his streamed news conference he talked at length about protecting the rights of citizens of this Province – not wanting them to lose their homes etc., – which sounds very noble. I have a tip if you’re ever forced to witness one of his comments on this topic. Every time he uses the word “citizen”, “homeowner”, “resident”, or anything along those lines, just substitute the name “Irving”. Then you’ll start to understand his true concerns.
I’ve spoken here about the Irvings before, but I’m not sure I mentioned that our Premier used to be a Vice-President of Irving Oil. The family is involved in anything resource based in this Province and, in the case of forestry on the Wolastoqey Nation lands, a full 18 of their subsidiaries are operating in that sector.
I don’t know how the case will be resolved but I do have some hope that if the Wolastoqey Nation get their rights recognized there could be some major changes to logging in this Province.
Specifically the practices of both clear-cutting and wide-spread chemical spraying could be curtailed. I truly believe that the First Nations have much more respect for the land and her protection than our Provincial Government. I have to believe they would operate not just as landlords but also custodians. Having their rights recognized would be good for all of us. In my humble opinion. 🙂
I will hope they win their suit against the NB Government and the logging companies. Indigenous peoples understand more about where they and their ancestors have lived for thousands of years compared to settlers who are relative newcomers. It also sounds to me like the Premier should recuse himself from making any more comments on the situation, maybe he should instead work towards acting UNDRIP as has been done in BC. Not perfectly implemented there as yet but progress is being made.
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