Tuesday, February 03, 2009

AFN candidate challenging CAP in wake of Brazeau's departure

Patrick Brazeau's departure from the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples has caused a candidate for the leadership of the Assembly of First Nations to seek to drive CAP out of business by making AFN the true representative of "natives on and off reserves": "AFN contender targets rival native group." I'll let others speak to the merits of that proposal. I just want to note one aspect of this report that fits with the larger Conservative modus operandi. Note this part of the report, Harper's favouring of CAP over the Assembly of First Nations and Brazeau returning the favour:
Hostilities between the AFN and the Congress have festered for years, but came to a boil when Mr. Brazeau became national chief of the Congress in 2006. He regularly criticized the AFN and its political structure of on-reserve chiefs as unaccountable to aboriginals and unaccountable in their use of taxpayer dollars.

Mr. Brazeau was also far more overtly political than his predecessors, publicly endorsing the Conservative Party and its leader, Stephen Harper. In turn, Mr. Harper attended a gathering of the Congress but did not attend any meetings of the AFN.

The Conservative government also funded a cross-country tour by Mr. Brazeau, where he concluded that off-reserve aboriginals are sometimes banned from taking part in elections on the reserves where they or their family are from.
More of the Harper government's short-sighted philosophy of picking winners and losers on any given issue. We've seen it as well with the ethnic groups the Conservatives target for votes. Some are more sought out than others. The federal government shouldn't be favouring one organization here over another and sowing division. Less political opportunism, more good governance. This the Conservatives have failed to learn.

Anything else coming down the pipeline? It can't be over...