Tuesday, October 27, 2009

You Can't Have It Both Ways

I could have predicted that this was going to happen after the Tsuu T'ina band rejected the last agreement with the City of Calgary to build a ring road across Tsuu T'ina lands.

In an Oct. 2 letter obtained by the Herald, Big Plume says the tribe has the right to be consulted on "any and all actions or decisions that impact on the Treaty and Aboriginal Rights of Tsuu T'ina Nation. . . . Any interference by the City of Calgary of Tsuu T'ina Nation's rights to enter and leave its lands at any point along Tsuu T'ina Nation boundaries constitutes a breach of our rights under Treaty No. 7."

I have a newsflash for the Tsuu T'ina band - Calgary has a problem, and they're right smack in the middle of it. Negotiations have been ongoing with the Tsuu T'ina for decades over the alignment of a ring road. Every attempt the city has made to negotiate an arrangement has been nixed at one stage or another.

Now they're whining because the city's doing something "on their doorstep" without their consent? Too bad. The Tsuu T'ina band's commercialization efforts - whether it's the casino, the monster eyesore billboards along Glenmore or the Ashphalt plant (which does a lovely job of polluting the air in areas of Calgary that lie just west of the Band's land) have all been slammed in on the premise that the Tsuu T'ina don't have to play ball with Calgary (or Alberta, for that matter).

Calgary needs to take steps to correct the traffic flow at 37 St. This is not optional, nor is it something we can afford to sit around and "discuss" for another ten years.

The city will continue to provide the tribe legal access through the Anderson Road and 37th Street intersection, he added.

"We are moving forward with the detailed design for an interchange at 37th Street and Glenmore Trail," Bronconnier said.

This should come as no surprise to anybody on the Band council - or within the band overall. Calgary has to deal with its issues - and if the Tsuu T'ina aren't prepared to be a constructive participant in the conversation, then they have nothing to complain about when the city moves forward without them.

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