1. – Sudbury Accent: Decision further erodes Crown sovereignty– being a brief summary of the 2019 Ontario Superior Court of Justice revolutionary Restoule decision. As I wrote in 2019: “This decision will perpetuate and strengthen the reserve system, the fundamental cause of Indigenous social dysfunction, and so will cause further serious, long-term harm to Indigenous Canadians. The Government of Canada’s failure to appeal this decision, for which former Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould was materially responsible, shows that she was one of the most over-rated and underqualified Ministers of Justice Canada has ever had. She was totally partisan in favour of Assembly of First Nations interests, who (the AFN) are celebrating Restoule and planning to build on it in Western Canada. In that office she was a threat to Crown sovereignty, Canadian unity and the public purse. Our federal government should be trying to lessen the country -weakening effects of tribalism. Her policies were increasing tribalism and fragmenting the country. Canadians are fortunate she is out of that office and unable to inflict further damage to the long term interests of Indigenous Canadians and to the public interest generally. (For some of my reasons for saying this, including, as I write in There Is No Difference, that she was an Assembly of First Nations fox in the henhouse of Canadian Crown sovereignty.”
3. Link, Click immediately below, to read former Supreme Court Justice Stephen O’Neill’s Sudbury Star rebuttal to my 2019 Star Restoule article. Notice how he basically just repeats the wording of the Restoule judgment, as if it were self-evidently infallible and in need of no further argument or persuasion. Note how he neglects to deal with virtually all of my arguments, or merely sidesteps them, especially my “double recovery” argument. Very disappointingly, also note also how he insults me as a person who, merely because I disagree with Restoule on fundamental human rights grounds, (I believe that the reserve system is a mild, benignly racist form of apartheid, which Restoule will perpetuate and strengthen), that I want to “condemn First Nations peoples to a lifetime of poverty.” (No! I want to liberate them from systemic poverty and from the tyranny of Canadian apartheid!) I refer in chapter 5 of There Is No Difference, An Issue of Freedom of Speech, to this kind of misrepresenting, personal-attack, intimidating method of pseudo-argument used by the Indian Industry and Indigenous elites generally to suppress freedom of speech and free and open debate on this profound Canadian social issue which all Canadians have a stake in and should be encouraged to speak freely on. For the sake of the bests interests of the vast majority of fundamentally disadvantaged, marginalized, dispossessed, powerless Indigenous Canadians, especially the young ones, all of whom are being so harmed by the status quo, and I believe, will be further harmed by Restoule and all it represents, we must not allow ourselves to be intimidated and silenced like this. (Although Chapters bookstore in Sudbury was intimidated by it. As a result of the publication of Mr. O’Neill’s article, (Mr. O’Neill, a passionately-committed good man who now works part-time for a native-rights law firm, was identified in the article as a “former Superior Court Justice”, which, in borrowing on his status as a former Judge, lends the credence of the Supreme Court to his partisan position, giving rise to the serious public policy issue of the appropriateness of former Judges engaging in partisan advocacy on behalf of private clients after they retire), they cancelled a previously-approved There Is No Difference book-signing event scheduled at their Sudbury store for Saturday, February 23rd, saying that it would “compromise” the “joyful and positive experience” Chapters wants their staff and customers to have in their stores. Chapters needs to read An Issue of Freedom of Speech as well.)
4. Restoule v. Ontario and Canada – Court of Appeal Decision
In November, 2021 the Ontario Court of Appeal weakly upheld the trial decision in Restoule by a 3-2 majority. (Link to decision immediately above.) The minority dissent was powerful. For the reasons stated in the below article Ontario must appeal this harmful and destabilizing Court of Appeal decision.
Below is my Restoule article as it appeared in two Parts on the Frontier Centre for Public Policy website.
I’m very pleased to see that on January 5th, 2022 Ontario DID seek leave from the Supreme Court of Canada to appeal the Court of Appeal’s Restoule decision.
Peter Best November, 2021 letter to the editor of the Manitoulin Expositor, one of the best small town newspapers in Canada, giving a short summary of one very significant aspect of the Court of Appeal decision; the Court’s unanimous decision that the costs incurred by the Crown over the past 150 years to build “infrastructure and institutions” must be factored into the calculation of whether there are monies owing to the First Nations bands.
6. A response to my letter by Marie McGregor Pitawanakwat, of Daawganing (South Bay), in the next week’s edition. She writes that if it is found in the calculation process that no monies are owing to the First Nations bands, then the solution to that is that “the “Indians” which entered into the treaties with the Crown can take the lands back.” (A sincere thanks to Ms. Pitawanakwat as well for introducing me to the word “allodial”, a word I had never seen before and had to look up. It means “of or pertaining to the holding of land in absolute ownership.”)
August, 9, 2023.
1600 word, edited version of Restoule Commentary article, (No. 7, above) published (posted) by Frontier Centre for Public Policy, September 22, 2023
10. Letter to the Sudbury Star dated November 23rd, 2023 in response to an extremely misleading November 20 article detailing some aspects of and issues relating to the $10 billion settlement the Huron bands made with Ontario and Ottawa, giving the impression that the only money or benefits that the Restoule bands ever received from the Crown (aka the Canadian taxpayer) since 1875 is $4 per year per band member.
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