Links and Related Articles

Link to author and journalist Robert MacBain’s compelling April 12th, 2017 opinion piece, Trudeau vs. Trudeau on Racial Segregation at from which I quote: “If today’s Prime Minister Trudeau succeeds in establishing a “nation to nation” relationship with Aboriginals, that will be a slap in the face to his father, who advocated that they should be “Canadians of full status” rather than continuing to live as “a race apart in Canada”. (See Chapter 3, The Separate But Equal Doctrine, in There Is No Difference.)

Link to Robert MacBain’s April 16th, 2018 opinion piece, Letters to Senator Beyak, Uncensored, at , recounting positive things indigenous attendees of residential schools had to say about their experience there. (See Chapter 5, An Issue of Freedom of Speech, in There Is No Difference.)

Link to Professor Tom Flanagan’s September 23rd, 2018 opinion piece, How The Duty to Consult Became a Veto, at . (See the origins of this in Chapter 23, The Haida Nation Case. The disastrous consequences of this are dealt with most particularly in Chapter 34, The Imperative of Sole Crown Authority, both chapters from There Is No Difference.

Link to National Post journalist Barbara Kay’s related opinion piece, The Villain in the Trans Mountain Fiasco- and Other Fiascos Since 2004-is the Supreme Court of Canada, at . (Again see, amongst others, Chapters 23 and 34 of There Is No Difference.)

Link to Mark Milke’s June 15th, 2018 piece, Another Name for Cultural Appropriation: Sharing, at . (See in this regard Chapter 6, Pre-Contact Indian Culture and the Shock of the New, in There Is No Difference.

Link to book review of There Is No Difference by former Judge Brian Giesbrecht in the Winnipeg Sun on November 30th, 2018 at

Link (click here) to a critical analysis by Peter Best of the December 21st, 2018 Ontario Superior Court Restoule decision, based on a re-interpretation of treaties,  ordering Ontario and Canada to compensate 21 Northern Ontario Robinson Treaties Indian bands for up to 150 years of unintentionally deficient Treaty payments.


Letter September 10, 2018  from Peter Best to the Sudbury Star holding the consult and accommodate law responsible for the loss of 100,000 jobs in Canada (Globe and Mail source) in the last 5 years.

Letter: Duty to consult with First Nations hampering development

The Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association, as well as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, says the recent decision by the Federal Court of Appeal to halt the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion will chill global investor confidence in Canada’s energy sector. Postmedia file photo   

I agree with Douglas Cuthand that the way the Supreme Court has interpreted section 35 of the constitution places Indigenous bands, with their resulting de facto consult and accommodate veto, “on an even playing field” with the provinces and the federal government.

But I disagree that it’s a good thing. In fact, it’s a disaster for Canada as a whole, including the vast majority of Indigenous Canadians. If, as Mr. Cuthand asserts, bands, with this de facto veto, are legal equals with the provinces and Ottawa in resource development, then that means that our duly elected governments are no longer masters in their own respective houses — no longer sovereign.

Crown sovereignty is essential for the maintenance of the rule of law, the protection of the tax base and the regulation of the marketplace. More than 100,000 jobs have been lost over the past five years because of this de facto veto. (Northern Gateway, Energy East and Trans Mountain pipelines.) Investment capital is turning away from Canada. It is causing the opposite of “reconciliation” to happen.

For the sake of the country, the law requiring Ottawa and the provinces to consult and accommodate tiny Indigenous bands before any major project can go ahead should, one way or another, be gotten rid of.

Peter Best




There Is No Difference is a  plea for a society free of all laws based on race- a race free society. Read Brian Giesbrecht’s article below on Mexico, a country whose indigenous peoples were treated a thousand times worse than Canada’s, yet, because of the absence of treaties, reserves, “consult and accommodate”, an Indian Act, constitutional provisions  that favour one race over another, and  all the other special rights and entitlements Canada’s Indians have, that country lives in relative racial harmony. Why can’t Canada be like Mexico?

Brian Giesbrecht, Commentary, Culture Wars January 2, 2019- (published by the Frontier Centre For Public Policy, Winnipeg, Manitoba- an excellent Think Tank dealing  intelligently and compassionately with this and other similar issues of crucial social and political importance. Please support them by subscribing and donating.) 
Oaxaca is one of the best preserved colonial cities in Mexico. It has a bustling center, rich with busy markets – street vendors and music wherever you go. Oaxaca state has the largest percentage of Indigenous people in Mexico. Zapotec, Mix-tec and other peoples jostle together in the city, most living in villages in the three surrounding valleys. Sixteen different culturally distinct groups are represented, each with its own language and dialects.
The Olmec came first, then Zapotec, Mixtec, Aztec, and, ultimately, the Spanish. Each group rose, fell, and ultimately mixed. Mexicans are basically Metis. Some with more Spanish blood and lighter complexioned, others darker and more Indigenous. Their culture is deep and rich.
The Indigenous groups govern themselves at the local level, according to their traditional ways. This includes dealing with less serious crimes and seeing to the usual administrative duties needed to keep villages and rural areas functioning. Despite such diversity, all Mexicans are equal in law, taking pride that the Mexican constitution makes everyone equal citizens.
In Mexico, there are no “status cards” providing one group superior rights. There are no special financial privileges, and everyone pays taxes. Mexicans take pride in the fact that they are self-reliant. While alcohol abuse is a problem – mainly the traditional pulque that Indians have made from agave since time immemorial, it is not nearly the massive problem that it is in Canada’s Indigenous communities.
So, the Mexican status quo is quite unlike that which prevails in Canada, where status Indians have status cards, special laws, special financial privileges, and special tax exemptions based purely on race. Mexico has no separate system, and Mexico’s Indigenous communities do not have the welfare dependency and alcohol-related child neglect problems that exist in many Canadian Indigenous communities.
Another striking difference between the Indigenous people of Mexico (basically everyone) and Canada’s Indigenous people is that in Mexico there is not the sense of grievance and victimhood that consumes Canada’s Indigenous people. Mexico lacks the endless series of victim inquiries and other demands on the federal government. Mexicans have no overriding belief that others are responsible for all their problems. Nor, do Mexicans have the sense of helplessness and dependency on the federal government and mainstream taxpayers. Mexicans are independent, self-reliant, proud of their independence.
And this seems odd, because as Mexican history unfolded there was no shortage of brutality and unfairness. Dominant tribes victimized the weaker ones. And, when the Spanish arrived, brutality went off the scale. The “Encomienda ” system the Spanish introduced held the Indians in virtual slavery for five hundred years. And, the Catholic Church acted both as exploiter and protector. If one wanted to identify themselves as victim, the Indigenous people of Mexico would have good reason to make that claim. But they haven’t.
The Spanish were among the most brutal conquerors of old. The British in North America were pussycats compared to the fierce conquistadors. Spanish conquerors brutalized and exploited the Indians mercilessly. Yet, one only has to walk down a street in Oaxaca to recognize the contribution made by the Spanish. Their language served to unite the country. Their religion, remedied by the Mexican state takeover of all church property, still bring great comfort to much of the population. Oaxaca has beautiful churches on virtually every street corner. While the Spanish brought great suffering, they also made a tremendous contribution to what Mexico is today.
Not to say that Mexico lacks problems. The poverty is evident. In Oaxaca, one of the poorest states, most people get by on the minimum wage of 80 pesos a day. (80 pesos can buy a sandwich and a Coke at a tourist restaurant.) There are the usual tensions between areas and among groups – Mexico has its politics. And, Mexico being next door to a northern neighbor with an insatiable appetite for illegal drug, suffers from the tragedy of cartel corruption and violence.
So, despite having no end of problems, there is a real sense of brotherhood and sisterhood between Mexicans of all descents. And, with that, a strong sense of pride that everyone is equal under the law. Mexico’s diversity is honoured, and, while every citizen can celebrate their culture in their own way, there is the strong recognition that every citizen is, first and foremost, a Mexican. Every Mexican is equal under the law.
Mexico offers a model that Canada should consider.

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