Friday, November 18, 2011

Do YOU have a shadow?

          This one is a little too bizarre to be true but then, with the Harperites, you never know..

           Cindy Blackstock is a small, middle aged, non-radical, non-separatist aboriginal activist working for children's rights and services on reservation (a Federal jurisdiction). For some unknown reason she managed to get herself on someone's surveillance list. When she showed up for a meeting with the feds, she found herself barred from access and even had a security guard assigned to watch over her while her colleagues conferred with the feds. Why? What was her crime?

              The only thing anyone can come up with to date: a complaint with the human rights commission accusing the feds of willfully underfunding child welfare services on First Nations reserves.

              To get to the bottom of things, Ms Blackstock filed under the freedom of information act. She discovered that she had a thick dossier. As Professor Papillon, an expert on Aboriginal autonomy issues, argues, it is normal that government employees attend meetings relevant to their area of expertise and take notes. Check the audioclip from CBC radio program, The Current, 17 nov, 2011:

                 What is not normal, though, is that Ms Blackstock alone be singled out. Files released under the freedom of information act contained verbatim notes of Ms Blackstock's presentations at meetings but not those of other activists. Ms Blackstock seems to have grown a tail! Shades of the MacCarthy anti-communist "witch hunts" back in the 1950s and early 1960s in the USA..

                  Another expert, appearing on The Current, Tom Powers, himself a Conservative party strategist, and who worked with aboriginal affairs also found the behavior of the government puzzling. And this on the part of a government who ran on a platform of responsible democracy and transparency! What, oh what, is the world coming to?

                   Just wondering. Have you  done something to find youself with a tail, an extra shadow. Have I got one for posting these blogs..

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