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A4 THE WILLIAMS LAKE TRIBUNE, Thursday May 4, 2006 Lorne Doerkson Publisher Bill Phillips Editor Etelka Gillespie Advertising Gaylene Desautels Composition Sheila Gilmer Circulation Advertising Representatives: Brenda Webster, Lisa Bowering, Kirby Fofonoff, Lori Macala, Spring Wiebe and Corrissa Jelley. Ad Design: Leigh Logan, Sherri Jaeger and Mary Langstrom. Staff Reporters: Sage Birchwater, Gaeil Farrar (Community Editor), Amandah Hillton (Sports Editor) and Karen Longwell (Photography). Tribune Correspondents: Lenora Phillips (Likely), Elaine Pawlik y), Veera Bonner (Big Creek), June Bliss (Alexis Creek), Linda-Lou Howarth (Riske Creek), Rosi Hartmann (Rose Rhonda Kolcun (McLeese Lake). Tribune Contributors: Diana French, Irene Stangoe and Allan Fotheringham.
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01990578. Annual Tribune Mail Subscription within Canada $79.00 GST. Viewpoints Lorne Doerkson Editor Bill Phillips Published by Black Press Group Ltd. 188 N. 1st Ave.
Williams Lake B.C. This past week, during the Caledonia road block, I was thinking about inven- tions. Do we invent things out of neces- sity, or do we simply invent things to drive the economy? In problem-solving, I have noticed that the things we invent out of necessity take longer to invent than the things we really need. One day, an MP3 pops up as new tech- nology to replace Discmans. And, sud- denly, there is a new pair of shoes that will allow basketball players to jump one inch higher.
I am sure the remote control was a big deal when it came out, but it something that society was going to riot over had it not been invented. One of the most fascinating things about the Six Nations road block in On- tario is how it demonstrates as being a function of lacking. Exhibit A from a First Nations perspective is Can- Specific Claims Branch. Specific from comprehensive concerns only bits of land that the First Nation claims to have owned through some prior agreement, which was pre-empted unlawfully. You would think these problems would be more solvable than your typical 14 year Delgamuukw court case or your 25 year treaty.
Think again. A specific claim can take just as long, if not longer. Even where there have been obvious abuses of power, such as the atrocious McKenna-McBride land reductions of 1916, you are not guaranteed a formal, reasonable or even a timely response within a decade. Specific claims can range from the simple to the complex and there are ex- ceptions to the rule. Ultimately, where the process fails First Nations is that simple items, where agreement can eas- ily be reached in a timely fashion, are usually drawn out and end up being more trouble than it is worth for all par- ties.
This is why specific claims usually find their way to court, like what just happened in Ontario. Now, returning to my original point (i.e. being a function of lack- ing), Canada is now possibly in the process of re-examining its approach to specific claims, even considering a cash to Bob Kennedy of the Turtle Island Native Network. Is it possible that now we this process more than ever to be re-examined? That seems to be the idea. On the other hand, I would go as far as stating that specific claims, as they stand today, are about as beaten-down as one of those old fridges that we see in a garbage dump.
You can fix that fridge all you want, but prob- ably advisable to buy a new one. We could conjure up other memorable First Nation conflicts such as Oka all we want, but the problem really comes to a lack of response and a lack of resolve on part. So, why is something happening in Ontario important to a city like Wil- liams Lake? It is important precisely for the reason for which Williams Lake exists today. Few would know that Wil- liams Lake was once set aside as North- ern Secwepemc lands during the James Douglas governorship. Few would know this goes beyond constitutional law, and that the Northern Secwepemc may have once held a recognized interest in the land where the city of Williams Lake is now located.
One day, this area will need to be resolved through some com- pensatory process. And I need not point out any further where this process has already failed others. For your information, I do not own an MP3 and pretty comfortable with not having shoes that give me a better chance at a slam dunk. I would hope that Canada does not feel the same way about their Specific Claims Branch. Inventing new ways to solve old problems Received my Census Canada form in the mail the other day.
forget to count yourself in. Uncle Sam er Uncle Steve wants you. good to know that, true to Canadian form, the census is distributed in both of- ficial languages. We want to of- fend anyone and very important that it comes in both official languages. I in- tend to fill out both versions because quite a different person when French.
When French indignant, arro- gant, petty, and receiving money from the rest of the country. The English me is, well, left to my own financial devices. a little disappointed that I received the short version of the census. The long version would be a lot more fun. You know, they ask all kinds of fun stuff such as language of preference.
I certainly hope Prime Minister Stephen Harper received the long version of the census so would have to fill in American as his language of preference. (Of course the joke about former PM Jean Chretien would be that neither English or French was his language of preference.) My dad always likes to tell the story about the filling out a census sometime in the 1970s, when metrification was all the rage. Thanks to a PM, whose lan- guage of preference was Skrudawest, Canadians had to fill out their census us- ing metric figures. Not a big deal, unless a farmer. In the name of almighty metrification the farmers had to let the census people know how many hectares they were farming.
I think anyone, 30 years later, yet knows how to convert acres into hectares. And this is where filling out the French version is way more fun. The census form demanded that farmers use hectares. But there was an out, they could use arpents, if they so chose. Arpents? Yup.
Look it up. An arpent is an old French measurement roughly equivalent to one acre. See, filling out the French version has its advantages you can stick it to those English dogs. The census folks are also ensuring that the information you give them is strictly confidential. In fact, the information will be kept quiet for 92 years.
Yes, 92 years. Why not 90 years, or 95, or 100? Why 92 years? Could it be that they feel any- one who fills out a survey in 2006 will be dead 92 years from now or is it because it took 92 Census Canada bureaucrats 92 days at a cost of $9.2 million to Canadian taxpayers to come up the the figure of 92 years? I suspect the latter. Which brings us to the national anthem. It has nothing to do with the census, but it fits with the national pride, languages, and all that stuff. There is a flap in the U.S.
these days about Wyclef Jean releasing a Spanish version of their national anthem. President George Bush has weighed into the debate, saying the national anthem should be sung in English. Exactly. Why would the Americans want to hear, for example, Pavarotti doing an Italian ver- sion when they can listen to Roseanne Barr doing an English one? one where the Yanks can learn from us folks here north of the 49th par- allel. We have English and French in our national anthem.
Growing up in the 70s it really bother me because I swear the French part mentions Guy LaFleur and Bobby Orr who should both be in our national anthem. But the Americans can learn some toler- ance from our Two Solitudes. We devised an anthem that, no matter who you are, French or English, only understand half of the national an- them. You can count on it ocal politicians should be rather excited over federal budget. They have been spending the $1 billion the Conservatives have been promising to fight the pine beetle for quite some time.
With budget the $1 billion will actually start to flow. The Conservatives have promised $100 million a year over the next 10 years to deal with the mountain pine beetle devastation. budget contains $400 million for the forest sector over the next two years, the moun- tain pine beetle money will come out of that. Cariboo-Prince George MP Dick Harris says the rest of the money will be forthcoming. good news for northern British Columbia, which, under the Liberals, were sub- jected to endless mountain pine beetle studies rather than real action.
And, as has been stated many times, the mountain pine beetle war has been fought. We lost. The effort now is to focus on what happens next and that takes money. The Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition has been working towards a proposal that would see a $428 million mountain pine beetle trust established in the Cariboo. It would be modelled after the Columbia Basin Heritage Trust established in the Koote- nays decades ago.
That trust is still going strong and helping all kinds of organizations in the Kootenays. Such a trust is a great idea to help this area through the economic challenges that lie ahead. Combine that with the Northern Development Initiative Trust and we will have no shortage of funds to help reshape the economy of the Cariboo Chilcotin for after the mountain pine beetle. There is always lots of talk about diversifying the economy. Two things are needed for that to happen.
The political and commercial will for that to happen, and the finan- cial resources to ensure that it happens. At least half of that seems to be in place now. In beetles we trust he Conservative government is bragging about the softwood lum- ber agreement, but the only positive appears to be the fact that the battle is finally over. What details have been provided demonstrate a clear vic- tory for the Canadian lumber industry. There may be no quotas on lumber crossing the border into the U.S.
but an export tax could be levied if a decrease in the price of lumber. That certainly could impact producers, including those in the North Okanagan. One also has to wonder why the U.S. gets to keep $1 billion of the $5 billion Cana- dian mills paid in duties although our country won virtually every trade ruling in the dispute? also suggestions that provinces have to seek permission from the U.S. on policy changes such as timber prices.
If the case, Canadian sovereignty will have suffered a major blow. But despite the deficiencies, the seven-year deal will return some cer- tainty and stability to an industry that has been hit hard. This is especially true in B.C. where the forest sector is an economic linchpin. Mills will now know the groundrules and exactly what facing when they ship product across the 49th parallel.
And that hopefully will mean security for those work- ers and families who depend on the sector. In the end, the Conservatives found a way to end hostilities and certainly a positive. But time will tell if Canada won the war, but lost the battle. Vernon Morning Star boast unsigned letters end up here.
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