Commentary

INDEX

  1.  Testimonials
  2. Article- Brian Giesbrecht- Canada needs one law for all
  3. Sudbury Star Article- November 17th, 2018 –Sudbury author wades into controversial territory
  4. Article- Brian Giesbrecht-On the Canadian connection to the establishment in South Africa of apartheid
  5. Article by the National Post’s Barbara Kay- The Villain in the Trans-Mountain Fiasco-and other Fiascos since 2004- is the  Supreme Court of Canada
  6. A very important essay- The Untold Story of Indigenous Child Neglect and Alcohol Abuse– by Brian Giesbrecht
  7. Unpublished March 16, 2020 letter to the Globe & Mail suggesting that it is inherently racist to suggest, as an Indigenous Globe columnist did, that only an Indigenous person could properly criticize and review a play written by an Indigenous person.
  8. Unpublished March 13th, 2020 letter to the National Post suggesting that the Coronavirus crisis illustrates the danger and absurdity of the Crown sovereignty-weakening Indigenous “nation to nation” and “self-government” claims. Only strong governments, governing for all our citizens of all races equally, can properly deal with existential crises such as the Coronavirus crisis.
  9. A definitive, highly readable defence of Sir John A. MacDonald, by Toronto lawyer Greg Piasetzki.
  10. The Unintentional Racism Underlying The Aboriginal Rights Movement– Peter Best, December 5th, 2020
  11. Thirteen Things That Can’t Be Said About Aboriginal Law and Policy in Canada, by Queen’s University Law Professor Bruce Hardy
  12. The excellent article by former Manitoba Attorney General James McRae, One Nation, One People 

——————————————————————————————————————–             1.                                                   TESTIMONIALS

“Your “There Is No Difference” continues to impress me no doubt because I agree with it.”

The Honourable Jack Major, C.C. Q.C. -Retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada

Jack Major, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, has expressly endorsed my book. Justice Major spent a large part of his youth in Espanola, Ontario, where I grew up 10 years or so after him. His father was the CPR Station Manager, (when CPR had a station there.) I contacted him regarding Basil Johnston, who, in his  book Indian School Days, about his time at the residential school in Spanish, describes a football game his residential school team played against Espanola High School, whose team was quarterbacked by Jack Major, who Mr. Johnston describes as “the guy we had to watch.” (Most of this is in Chapter 40 of my book.) My contacting him resulted in email exchanges and one fairly long telephone call, about his friend Basil, and about Indigenous matters, past and present, generally. It turned out that they indeed became friends, and even went off to University in Montreal together. Click immediately below to read Journalist Brian Giesbrecht’s Frontier Centre for Public Policy article about this important and authoritative endorsement of There Is No Difference.

Speaking Frankly – A Retired Supreme Court Justice

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“What Mr. Best has to say in There Is No Difference is important.”

Professor Tom Flanagan, University of Calgary, member of the Royal Society of Canada and author of First Nations? Second Thoughts (McGill-Queens University Press)


“Mr. Best shows a principled determination, with There Is No Difference, to ride this tiger of a topic into the colosseum of political correctness.”

“Best is one of my free speech  Canadian heroes…The book is a trenchantly-argued and comprehensively researched dissertation on this most important of national themes…Few and far between are disinterested scholars of Canada’s Aboriginal history who have the tough hide and principled will to publicly depart from the approved Indigenous “nation-to-nation” narrative that keeps the guilt and money flowing, but perpetuates a dysfunctional status quo on many reserves…National Post, September 3rd, 2019

Barbara Kay, National Post Weekly Columnist


“In his newly published book, There Is No Difference, lawyer Peter Best devotes a chapter to unpacking the consequences of the Haida Nation decision. It makes for fascinating reading. Haida Nation jurisprudence, Best says, decrees a devolution of Crown sovereignty to Indians- a handing back of previously-surrendered power, effectively turning Indian bands into a third order of government…And so what happened to Kinder Morgan- and has happened to other companies since Haida Nation- will eventually kill all private interest in major infrastructure and mining projects. Aboriginal correctness will slow down our economy…”

Barbara KayThe Villain in the Trans-Mountain Fiasco- and Other Fiascos Since 2004- is the Supreme Court of Canadawww.thepostmillenial.com, September 11th, 2018.


“This is a volume of deeply researched common sense. It stands as a beacon in the swamp of Indian (or “aboriginal”- your choice) law and a path to hope for the victims.”

“As I age, I rejoice in the fact that newer candles have been and are still being lit, and notwithstanding the adverse winds, shining gradually more brightly into the darkness of this tragic issue. The truth will out eventually. But every year, every government, every Industry apparatchik delays the necessary freedom of the Canadians branded by our Constitution as “Indians”. Bringing that day of truth closer is truly tackling the greatest moral question of this country.”

Gordon Gibson– author of A New Look at Canadian Indian Policy: Respect the Collective-Promote the Individual, 2009), national columnist, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau from 1968 to 1972, B.C. MLA, Senior Fellow at the Fraser Institute, and, in 2008, awarded the Order of British Columbia.


“The Trudeau government and First Nations’ leaders want to “close the gap” between indigenous and non-indigenous Canadians. Peter Best agrees, but his solution is not their tried and perenially failed one: to merely continue and tinker with the status quo. In There Is No Difference Mr. Best compellingly argues that to really “close the gap” approaches and laws must radically change, and the reserve system must be ended. There Is No Difference is an important contribution to the national conversation that must take place about Canada’s most serious and pressing social issue: the situation of our First Peoples in modern, 21st century Canada.”

Colin Alexander– Ottawa- former publisher of the Yellowknife News of the North


“Anyone who cares about the future of Indigenous Canadians must read Peter Best’s There Is No Difference.”

James McCrae– former member for Brandon of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba from 1986-1999. During that period served in Cabinet as Attorney General, Environment Minister, Minister of Health and Minister of Education.


2. November 30th, 2018 Winnipeg Sun review of There Is No Difference

GIESBRECHT: Canada needs one law for all

Nelson Mandela AP Photo/Peter Dejong, Files

In an important new book, Ontario lawyer Peter Best is undertaking to start a long repressed national conversation about Canada’s legal and social relations with its Indigenous founding people.

In There Is No Difference, (see Amazon.ca) Best asks the question: Why would Nelson Mandela’s goal and vision of “one set of laws for all” not be goal and vision of all Canadians with respect to our Indigenous population? Why do our elites want to keep and extend the demonstrably-failing, “separate but equal,” apartheid-like status quo? Why not have complete legal equality for all?

Best makes a strong case for Canada to not just “talk” of Nelson Mandela but emulate him.

There Is No Difference makes the compelling argument that the ill-conceived and harmfully-interpreted section 35 of the Constitution, which protects “existing Aboriginal rights,” needs to be legally curtailed. This would take back the Crown sovereignty that the Supreme Court, with its “consult and accommodate” rulings, has recklessly devolved onto Indian bands. (Witness the economic carnage of the failed pipelines resulting from these rulings.)

Best argues that, with this legal change in place, the reserves, the Indian Act, and other purely race-based special rights and entitlements of Canada’s Indigenous population, could be phased out as proposed in Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s 1969 White Paper on Indian Policy.

As Best writes, Nelson Mandela was not the only inspired and courageous leader who saw clearly and advocated strongly that all citizens of a nation must have exactly the same set of civic rights and responsibilities (if that country and its citizenry are to be successful). Think of Lincoln, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and of Western Canada’s pioneer moral hero in this area, Indigenous lawyer and AFN co-founder William Wuttunee. In his brave 1971 book, Ruffled Feathers, Wuttunee advocated for the White Paper/Nelson Mandela way forward.

In apartheid South Africa citizens carried status cards denoting their race. Their rights, or lack thereof, flowed accordingly. Mandela campaigned for many decades, and from inside his jail cell, against these loathsome symbols of overt racism. The world responded, and recognized the moral truth of what he was saying. Status cards, and the entire rotten regime they represented, came tumbling down. Canada’s political leaders, including AFN leader Shawn Atleo, all seemingly honouring what he stood for, travelled to his funeral.

Yet these same leaders, back in Canada, continued to insist (even more so today) that Indian Act status cards, which serve the essentially same illiberal function as the South African ones did, remain! And our Supreme Court, in the recent Daniels case, piled on with more unintentionally racist “Indian blood” reasoning, adding 600,000 “Metis” as new candidates for purely race-based, dependency-assuring cards.

Best argues that instead of binding us together, our elites, with all this race-based conduct, are dividing us — creating resentment and preventing true reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians. With our current laws, the situation in Canada is getting worse, not better.

In There Is No Difference, Best provides the only true way forward for Canada to reconcile — a future of one set of laws for all.

— Brian Giesbrecht, a retired judge for the Province on Manitoba, is a senior fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, Winnipeg.


3. Sudbury Star article, November 7th, 2018

Sudbury author wades into controversial territory

Peter Best has released There is No Difference, the book which he recently published, and which is available via his website, www.thereisnodifference.ca.

He sees a different way forward for Canada and its First Nations peoples.
Rather than the “nation-to-nation fantasy” he believes is preferred by some elites in both the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, the Sudbury lawyer says legal equality, in terms of both rights and responsibilities, is the answer for improving the quality of lives of First Nations peoples.
His has detailed the arguments to support his position in There is No Difference, the book which he recently published, and which is available via his website, www.thereisnodifference.ca. His book has earned endorsements from the likes of columnist Barbara Kay and University of Calgary professor Tom Flanagan.
Best recently took a few moments to take part in our 10 Questions feature, discussing his background, his book and why believes it’s important.
1. Can you tell us about your background as a writer?
My background is that of a lawyer, not a writer. Practicing law involves, in order to make a legal argument, a lot of considered, fact and evidence-based writing. Thus, there is a distinct, lawyer-like style to my writing in There Is No Difference. That might make the book dull at times, but the truth of this important subject is complicated and nuanced and some extra length and “dullness” is required to conscientiously serve it.
2. Can you tell us a little about There is No Difference?
My book offers a solution to ending the tragically high degree of poverty and social dysfunction amongst Canada’s first peoples — legal equality. For decades our Indigenous and non-Indigenous elites have been doubling down on the apartheid-like, separate-but-equal status quo that has so harmed the vast majority of vulnerable, marginalized and powerless Indigenous Canadians — all to no benefit for them. I argue for the Nelson Mandela solution: Complete legal equality with the rest of Canadians — the necessary precursor to social and economic equality.
3. Why was it important for you to write it?
Honest and respectful public discussion of important social issues is a duty of citizenship in a democracy. I considered it my public duty to speak my mind on this crucial issue.
4. What do you hope people will take away from it?
I believe my views as set out in my book are those of the majority of caring, racially-decent Canadians, who are appalled by the status quo but are afraid to speak out for fear of being called a racist, or suffering in their career. I hope to inspire others, especially people of power and influence, to start to speak out, and thus start a much-needed conversation about where we, as Canadians, are headed here.
5. What has response been like so far?
The response to the message of my book has been generally positive. In addition, people wonder at my daring in writing and publishing it, which mainly shows the terrible state of free speech in Canada on this issue. Strangely, in Canada, making the Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Martin Luther King argument for racial integration — equal rights and responsibilities for Indigenous Canadians — is branded as racist. In fact, the opposite. In my opinion the status quo, which my book objects to, is unintentionally and benignly racist.
6. Your work has received some high-profile endorsements. How do you feel about that?
All writers, toiling away feverishly in front of their computer screens at five in the morning, need affirmation from others, if not just to know that they are not crazy in what they are thinking and writing. These brave endorsements were really appreciated
7. What sort of criticism have you received, if any?
I know that some of my ideological opponents are aware of the book. But they have, for their own reasons, kept silent about it. Probably, and wisely, so as not to draw attention to it. In writing it, like a lawyer writing a brief, I tried to anticipate and rebut every criticism I could expect to receive. (Thus the inordinate length.) Perhaps their silence means that I did a pretty good job of that.
8. Do you plan to write more on the subject?
I have a blog, thereisnodifference.ca, (where one can order the book from Amazon or Chapters), and I intend to post on that.
9. Do you have any other projects on the horizon?
No. To me, there’s no more important Canadian social issue than the tragic situation, past and present, of our first peoples.
10. Anything you’d like to add?
Former Serpent River Reserve Chief Isadore Day called the Indian Act “legislative racism.” Indigenous writer Calvin Helin wrote that, “if apartheid were measured by results rather than intent, we would have it on reserves today.” My book agrees with these distinguished gentlemen. We only differ on the solutions going forward. They want the nation-to-nation fantasy. I’m with Nelson Mandela.
sud.editorial@sunmedia.ca


4. Article by retired Manitoba Judge Brian Giesbrecht- On the Canadian connection to the establishment in South Africa of their official, extreme policy of Apartheid- further emphasizing the fundamental shame of the continued existence of Indian reserves in Canada, and the fundamental shame of the official policy of non-Indigenous and Indigenous elites in Canada that Indian reserves, in one form or another, should continue to exist in Canada. If South Africa could learn from Canada how to set up apartheid, why can’t Canada learn from South Africa and its most esteemed son, Nelson Mandela, how to take down apartheid?

Nelson Mandela and Apartheid
Brian Giesbrecht
June 4,2018

Winnipeg’s Canadian Museum for Human Rights is commemorating Nelson Mandela’s long struggle against the white South African apartheid regime. Mr. Mandela, who died in 2013 at age 95, was imprisoned for 27 years because of his defiance of the regime, and his determination to end apartheid.
That apartheid regime divided people into racial categories, and issued citizens of each category with racial identity cards – in effect, they were status cards. One was either “white, black or coloured”. Each category were entitled to different legal rights, with people in the “white” category having the superior entitlements.
This system was similar to the United States’ “separate but equal” system, with which it co-existed for a number of years. In both systems, for example, blacks could not drink from the same water fountain as could whites. The South African apartheid system also bears many similarities to Canada’s Indigenous apartheid system. Both used status cards that classified people by race, and both granted people of one race entitlements not given to others.
The American “separate but equal” system was finally brought to an end, only after ugly racial confrontations. The South African apartheid system also ended in a similar way, and only after heavy pressure was brought to bear by the international community-which included Canada.
The Canadian Indigenous apartheid system is still here, and shows no sign of ending anytime soon.
Canadians were among the most vocal opponents of the South African apartheid system. What is not so well known is that the South African apartheid system was based, in large part, on the Canadian Indigenous apartheid system.
Let me explain:
In the 1940s, when white South African politicians were designing a system that would keep people of different races separate, they came to Canada to study our system, with its Indian Act, status cards, and its reserve system. They went back to South Africa and created a system that modelled its “homelands” largely on our reserves, and its status cards largely on the cards Canada hands out to “status Indians”.
The irony of Canadians passionately denouncing South Africa’s apartheid system, while not noticing that we had an apartheid system of our own, was not lost to either South African politicians, or Canadian Indigenous politicians. In fact, during the height of the demonstrations against the South African regime in 1987, Glenn Babb, the South African Foreign Minister, and Peguis Chief Louis Stevenson teamed up to stage a press conference pointing out this hypocrisy. But Canadians didn’t get it.
And by the way, the fact that Canada’s system was – and is – an apartheid system has been very apparent to Indigenous leaders for a long time. For example, former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien has stated that when he was Minister of Indian Affairs in the 1960s the chiefs demanded an end to what they themselves called an “apartheid” system.
Why did apartheid end in South Africa, while we still have it here?
In a word: money.
If the South African politicians could have used money to bribe people into keeping their status cards, I have no doubt that thy would have done it, and South African apartheid might still be here. However, blacks were the majority there, and the country simply could not afford it. In Canada, where on reserve status Indians make up less than 2% of the Canadian population, status cards carry significant financial benefits, which people do not want to part with. Those status cards – based on race alone – would have been run out of town long ago, were it not for the seductive power of the “free” money they promise.
So status cards and apartheid stay.
Nelson Mandela, along with other great people, such as Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Ghandi, stand for the fundamentally important point that we are all equal.
Let us remember that when we visit this important exhibit.

Brian Giesbrecht is a retired judge and senior fellow with Frontier Center for Public Policy, Winnipeg.


5. National Post journalist Barbara Kay’s September 11, 2018 article, The Villain in the Trans Mountain Fiasco-and Other Fiascos Since 2004-is the Supreme Court of Canada, which discusses and endorses my view in There Is No Difference that the diminution of sole Crown sovereignty caused by Supreme Court decisions is extremely harmful to the national welfare.

The Villain in the Trans Mountain Fiasco – and Other Fiascos since 2004 – is the Supreme Court of Canada

The Trudeau government was clearly taken by surprise at the Federal Court’s nullifying of their approval of the 1,150-km Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The Trudeau government was clearly taken by surprise at the Federal Court’s nullifying of their approval of the 1,150-km Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Otherwise they would not have signed a deal with Kinder Morgan that explicitly stated any adverse court decisions would not be deemed to constitute a “material adverse effect” that could change the deal’s terms.

No wonder Kinder Morgan shareholders voted virtually unanimously to wash their hands of the project at the speed of summer lightning following the court’s announcement. Now the government is stuck with a project that won’t be going anywhere for some time, if ever.

Central to the objections raised by the court was the failure adequately to consult six First Nations. There are many opinions on what to do next. Some argue for taking the Federal Court decision to the Supreme Court for a ruling. But it was the Supreme Court that got us into this mess in the first place, by introducing the concept of the “honour of the Crown” regarding First Nations in 2004.

In Haida Nation vs. British Columbia (Minister of Forests), the SCC ruled that the B.C. Minister of Forestry could not approve the transfer of a 40-year old Tree Farm License (which prior to this ruling had been done many times) without first consulting with the “Council of the Haida Nation” and, “if appropriate,” accommodating their concerns. “Accommodate” and “if appropriate” are imprecise words which the SCC did not clarify.

Further muddying the waters, the SCC said in their ruling that in consulting and accommodating Indian concerns, honourable Crown conduct “must be understood generously.” What does “generously” mean precisely? (Nobody knows. But Indian bands have tended to use it as a cudgel of economic coercion since then.) The SCC explains the Crown’s generosity is required “if we are to achieve the reconciliation of the pre-existence of aboriginal societies with the sovereignty of the Crown.” Whose meaning is also wide open to interpretation.

In his newly published book, There is no Difference: An Argument for the Abolition of the Indian Reserve System, lawyer Peter Best devotes a chapter to unpacking the consequences of Haida Nation. It makes for fascinating reading.

Before this decision, Best says, it was understood “that aboriginal claims and rights over the land were more than ‘reconciled.’ In fact, Canadians, Indians and non-Indians alike, thought they were, especially in treaty areas, extinguished, plain and simple,” apart from the right to hunt, fish and trap on unoccupied wilderness Crown land, and even then with Crown sovereignty. Haida Nation – and cases decided since then – reversed the meaning of the treaties.

The SCC read in an intent “merely to ‘reconcile’ Indians’ prior sovereign occupancy of the land with the new sovereignty of the Crown.” That is, they were “instruments of power and land-sharing, not instruments of rights extinguishment.”

So it seems we are now in a never-ending power-sharing arrangement, “requiring the constant, expensive, uncertain fine-tuning and adjustment from time to never-ending time of the granted Crown rights with the retained sovereign Indian rights.” This new jurisprudence, Best says, decrees a devolution of Crown sovereignty to Indians – a handing back of previously surrendered power, effectively turning Indian bands into a third order of government.

The key words, “to consult and where appropriate, accommodate the Aboriginal interests…” give Indian bands across the country power over all kinds of economic development – mines, forestry, wind power installations, roads, and of course pipelines.

Following Haida Nation, any band that asserts a proposed off-reserve project affects an Indian interest, actual or projected, the “consultation and accommodation if necessary” process is automatically launched. No evidence has to be produced, no threshold of importance to be met. (“Sacred ground” is always effective – and what ground is not sacred to aboriginals who live on it?).

In most negotiations with conflicting interests, each party has a motive to see the deal done. But “consultation” is not negotiation, and aboriginals often have no particular reason to settle. Best notes that during consultations, there’s a great deal of travel, expense account living, important meetings and pleasant busywork, with most politicians lacking the courage to utter the words “not appropriate” with regard to further “consultation.”

There is also no incentive for aboriginals to settle for anything less than exactly what they want. The Lax Kw’alaams of B.C. turned down a billion dollars in exchange for their support of an industrial project. There was no downside for them. They had the power and knew it. No matter how long they held out, their transfer payments flowed in as usual, and they took no economic risks if the project failed. If one side has nothing to lose and the other side has everything to lose, Best says, “you  don’t have negotiations – you have a shakedown.”

I asked Peter Best how he felt this untenable situation might be resolved. He wrote to me, “Simply put, either the Constitution has to be amended to repeal section 35 or to drastically limit its application, or else, as a more doable alternative, the Supreme Court has to in effect reverse itself on Haida Nation and all its country-damaging legal successors.

“Courts do sometimes reverse themselves when they realize they committed a massive boo boo, like here. But the Trudeau government, in its appeal of the Trans Mountain decision ( which they must do) has to in effect ask the Court to do so.”

I don’t think Best actually believes either of these scenarios will come to pass. Trudeau will always privilege his aboriginal-whispering mystique over the interest of all Canadians. And so, what happened to Kinder Morgan – and has happened to other companies since Haida Nation – will eventually kill all private interest in major infrastructure and mining projects. Aboriginal correctness will slow down our economy. But that won’t affect the salaries of the Supreme Court judges.


6. Essay- The Untold Story of Indigenous Child Neglect and Alcohol Abuse- The Firewater Complex- by Brian Giesbrecht


In chapter 40 of There Is No Difference for various reasons I  criticize the findings and recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. But manuscript length considerations, a need and desire on my part not to bury the reader in excessive specifics, and a simple lack of detailed knowledge of “(indigenous) parental neglect stemming from alcohol abuse”, caused me to greatly underplay this profound reality- a reality essential for any proper understanding and discussion of the entire residential schools issue- a tragic reality, as retired Manitoba Judge Brian Giesbrecht in empathic and scholarly manner writes below, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission either deliberately or grossly negligently omitted to discuss or consider. As set out in chapter 13, the End Times of Indian Cultures in Canada, alcohol was an aspect of the cultural “wreckage”- the “cultural catastrophe”- which mournfully, lamentably but almost inevitably (the same “worlds colliding” phenomenon was happening the world over at the time)  befell Canada’s indigenous peoples as the result of contact with “modern” European culture. Reader, please patiently work your way through Brian Giesbrecht’s eye-opening and heartbreaking narrative of alcohol-caused tragedy and woe, and then let it inform your judgment and imagination. Let it filter into, and then temper, all the simplistic notions you have been force-fed about such things as “the murdered and missing women”, and the so-called “60’s scoop”, and yes, about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s horror comics version of the residential schools issue.

The Untold Story of Indigenous Child Neglect and Alcohol Abuse – The Firewater Complex

Brian Giesbrecht, Brandon Manitoba, December 2018

7. In March of 2020 one of the Globe & Mail favorite “go to” urban  Indigenous cultural commentators, Drew Hayden Taylor, author of the recent play “Cottagers and Indians”, (his title), wrote an opinion piece in which he suggested that only an Indigenous person could properly review and criticize a play written by an Indigenous playwright. Below is my unpublished March 16th letter to the Globe taking issue with this.

Dear Editor,

Mr. Taylor unknowingly illustrates the essence of racist theory with his suggestion that only an Indigenous person has the “innate personality” given on the basis of so-called “Indigenous blood” at birth, and not acquired by merit, to properly review an Indigenous play. He also strikes a blow against artistic freedom and the basic reality of artistic humanism i.e. that we all have the power to imagine our way into others’ lives- to imaginatively and convincingly inhabit the mind and mindset of persons of different races and cultures, as Joseph Boyden did in The Orenda, as William Styron did in the Confessions of Nat Turner, as Annie Proulx (white and female) did in relation to male and female Mi’kmaws in Barkskins, as George Eliot did in all her books, successfully passing herself off as a man, as the gay Cole Porter did in composing his classic songs about heterosexual love, and as the Jewish Irving Berlin did in composing the ultimate Christian Christmas song, White Christmas. Mr. Hayden’s views are a prescription for artistic narrowness, dullness and mediocrity.

Sincerely,

Peter Best

Sudbury

8. See my unpublished letter to the National Post sent March 13th, 2020 stating that a totally sovereign government is necessary to properly deal with national emergencies like the Coronavirus. Canada’s current  existential crisis in this regard highlights the danger and absurdity of Indigenous “nation to nation” and “self-government” claims. We all need to be rowing in the same legal boat together, for the welfare of our country.

Dear Editor

 Re Chris Selley column-This is no way to run a country

Writer Elena Ferrante wrote that” in wealthy countries a mediocrity that hides the horrors of the rest of the world has prevailed.” This has manifested itself in “sunny days” Canada by our elites embracing the destructive notion that there can be 635 sovereign First Nations substates operating within the borders of Canada, who can, at their discretion, say that Canadian law doesn’t apply to them. Well now, one of the horrors of the world- pandemic-is upon us.

Will the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs ban or blockade the Coronavirus from their “traditional territory”? Can they legally ignore government health decrees? Given their past delusional claim that they are a separate “nation”, given weight by our Supreme Court and our governments, they just might, and maybe they legally can, thus further endangering us all. The present pandemic shows the grave harm caused to Canada when Crown sovereignty is weakened to the extent that our governments cannot, in an existential, survival emergency like this, legally act in a concerted, compulsory manner on behalf of all Canadians, regardless of race. We need to jettison abstract things- like legal divisions based on race- that impair our collective ability to take maximum survival-purposed action in national emergencies. To keep our threatened national ship buoyantly and safely moving forwards, we’ve always all got to row together as total equals-Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike. The Coronavirus crisis teaches us this.

Sincerely,

Peter Best

9. Click immediately below to read a wonderful, definitive, unanswerable defence of Canada’s first Prime Minister, on balance, given his times, a friend to the Indigenous peoples so tragically affected by European migration to Canada .By Toronto lawyer Greg Piasetzki. (Proving once again that a practising lawyer can make legitimate and valuable contributions to Canadian historical awareness and political debate!)

Sir John A. Macdonald Saved More Native Lives Than Any Other Prime Minister

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10.

The Unintentional Racism Underlying the Aboriginal Rights Movement– Peter Best- December 5th, 2020

11.

https://c2cjournal.ca/2020/09/thirteen-things-that-cant-be-said-about-aboriginal-law-and-policy-in-canada/

12. One Nation, One People, by former Manitoba Attorney General James McRae

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