Thursday, December 01, 2011

The PM's not so bold meeting announcement

From the PM's site: "PM announces meeting with First Nations early in new year." Looking like an executive in charge, scheduling a major meeting to respond to the unfolding crisis in Attawapiskat. Except the word Attawapiskat doesn't appear in the PM's press release. Strange. Why not?

As noted by the Globe, this meeting was scheduled last year, in any event. It will only be his first meeting with first-nations leaders:
The Prime Minister and the head of Canada’s largest aboriginal group have agreed to sit down together in late January to discuss ways to increase the social and economic participation of first-nations members in Canadian society and to improve living conditions on reserves.

It will be the first time that Stephen Harper has met officially with a gathering of first-nations leaders since his Conservative Party took office in 2006. The long-expected announcement comes as the eyes of the nation are turned on an impoverished Ontario Cree reserve that declared a state of emergency over the deplorable state of its housing.
Although the situation in Attawapiskat, and the other reserves that are in similar condition, will undoubtedly be raised, the meeting – which Mr. Harper agreed to a year ago – is expected to take a hard look at on-reserve education, one of the Conservative government’s top priorities.

“I look forward to meeting with first nations representatives early in the new year to determine how we can work together to further improve the quality of life and long-term economic prosperity of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples,” Mr. Harper said in a statement.
Come back in January everybody.

Looking at Harper's performance in the Commons today and his photo-op (pictured at Globe report), this is clearly not an issue that sparks much passion in the man. Not like this for example: "It’s an absolute disgrace. It’s the single biggest moral issue we face as a country,” he said." 

Harper's response is all too clinical, like the response of the managing partner of an accounting firm. Which is likely the strategy, when emotional issues present, bland and bore it all away.