Thursday, September 13, 2007

Oh The Irony ... Conservatives Use The Constitution

Predictably, Stephen Harper has come out and said that Canada will not support the UN Declaration on Aboriginal Rights.

This comes as no surprise, really. There has been a long standing ethos within the Con$ervative Party and its predecessors that speaks against explicit rights declarations that recognize the validity of minorities in Canada.

The great irony is that coming from a party that has loudly screamed about how the Constitution protects the rights of various groups, we find the HarperCrit government now hiding behind the constitution to justify their position:

Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl and Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier say Canada opposes the declaration because it lacks clear guidance for implementation and goes against Canada's Constitution.

The complaint about a "lack of guidance" is utter crap - a UN declaration has only marginally more weight than a motion in the General Assembly, and carries only "moral weight" on the world stage. As for "conflicting with Canada's Constitution", I can't imagine what the perceived conflict would be. (I'm guessing, but it would probably invalidate much of what is in Canada's Indian Act...)

A brief perusal of the Indian Affairs and Foreign Affairs websites does not show a copy of the "statement" made by Ministers Strahl and Bernier, suggesting that the government wishes to cause this issue to vanish into the memory hole as quickly as possible.

The non-binding declaration is expected to be easily approved, with only Canada, New Zealand, the United States and Australia dissenting.

Human rights groups have slammed Canada's bid to derail the declaration, saying Ottawa is trying to keep control of the vast resources on land claimed by aboriginal communities.

Yet again, the Harper government makes Canada look bad on the world stage - mostly by being a bunch of arrogant twits who cannot see beyond the ends of their ideological noses. After his comments this past week in Australia, about all I can think is that the HarperCon$ are as damaging to Canada on the world stage as Bush II has been for the US reputation.

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