AOH :: NISGA1.TXT|
A second document with regards to the treaty negotiations with the Nisga.
From SISIS@envirolink.org Mon Mar 9 23:57:53 1998
Date: Tue, 10 Mar 1998 01:31:25 -0800
From: "S.I.S.I.S." <SISIS@envirolink.org>
Subject: BC expects furor over Nisga'a "treaty"
[S.I.S.I.S. note: The following mainstream news articles may contain
biased or distorted information and may be missing pertinent facts
and/or context. They are provided for reference only.]
CLARK SEES A FIRESTORM OVER NISGA'A LAND TREATY
Victoria Times Colonist, March 8, 1998, page A2, by Ian Bailey (CP)
Vancouver - Premier Glen Clark is predicting a political firestorm in
British Columbia as his government rushes to meet a self-imposed deadline
of clinching a land-claims deal with the Nisga'a tribe within a year.
Clark told the NDP's annual convention Saturday he will have a deal with
the Nisga'a by the party's 1999 convention despite the likelihood of a
fight over the issue between the forces of the left and right in the
province. "This will be a fight, the likes of which I think we have never
seen before in this province," Clark told about 800 New Democrats from
"It's going to be a lot of challenge. It's going to be a lot of fun. But it
is going to be a tough debate." A deal to resolve the grievances of the
Nisga'a - most living in a remote valley near the Alaska panhandle - could
cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but also be the model for at least
48 other land claims being negotiated across the province. Clark has often
said uncertainty over land claims has been a drain on the BC economy
because it discourages investment, a view backed by BC business leaders.
The Nisga'a are in the spotlight on the issue because they became the
first in BC to agree with Ottawa and Victoria on a land-claims accord in
1996. However, talks to draft a final treaty are still under way.
As Clark spoke Saturday, 37 of the 38 other members of BC's embattled NDP
government stood behind him on a stage in a downtown hotel ballroom.
Clark's emphatic land claims pledges were an unexpected twist in a fiery
speech largely focused on defending the record of the NDP, re-elected in
1996 after a tough campaign. The third NDP premier in BC history has been
under fire over BC's lagging economy. Growth is down and unemployment up
relative to the rest of Canada. The government is behind in opinion polls.
Clark promised to protect health care and education in the coming NDP
budget, which will grapple with the deficit, and possibly offer tax breaks
to spur economic growth.
He also promised to continue NDP efforts to bring pay equity to the public
sector - an effort that has already cost about 1.4 billion since the NDP
returned to power in 1991. The timing is ironic. Public sector workers are
seeking wage hikes the government may not be able to afford. On Saturday,
however, Clark seemed especially passionate about staking out an NDP
position on the land claims issue. "It will be debated up and down British
Columbia. It will be controversial. At the end of the day, people will
have to make a judgment on our government, and on the issue of whether or
not to move forward," he said.
"We're not afraid of this issue. It's long overdue. We have to solve it."
Clark later said he would not hold an election or referendum on land
claims, but agree to a free vote for the 75 members of the provincial
legislature, where the NDP have a three seat majority. The initial deal
includes 2,000 square kilometres of land, $200 million, fishing rights and
broad self-government powers for the Nisga'a.
Letters to the Times Colonist: firstname.lastname@example.org
More information on the BC Treaty Process:
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is
distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior
interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and
educational purposes only.
S.I.S.I.S. Settlers In Support of Indigenous Sovereignty
P.O. Box 8673, Victoria, "B.C." "Canada" V8X 3S2
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