21 November 2009

Kremlinology 12: Dead caribou edition

Odd -  dontcha think  - that members of the Innu Nation chose the last part of last week to challenge the provincial government on caribou hunting in an area where previously they’d been generally supportive.

Every year, usually in the spring, some Innu from Quebec cross the border and take down a few of the very few remaining caribou in the Red Wine herd.  There’s always a flurry of news coverage and righteously indignant news releases from the provincial wildlife minister.

This year, the controversy arose in November, coincidental with the Churchill Falls/Lower Churchill meeting of Atlantic Premiers and involved some of the Innu from Sheshatshiu.

The spokesperson was Peter Penashue who – again just coincidentally -  has also been front and centre lately, discussing the latest round of never-ending discussions to finalise a land claims deal that was supposedly finalised last fall and which Penashue recently said actually wouldn’t be done for another three years or so.

On the caribou issue, Penashue was hammering away at the supposed lack of consultation between the Innu and the provincial government on wildlife management.

More interestingly though, here’s how the Globe contrasted Penashue from five years ago when the Quebec Innu were doing the spring hunt and Penashue today:

"No one knows for sure if Red Wine woodland caribou were killed, or, if they were, how many," he wrote then in The Globe and Mail.

"The hunt in the Red Wine caribou range was not just an illegal protest, it was completely inconsistent with Innu values. ... Putting a threatened caribou herd at further risk can never be justified on the basis of aboriginal rights."

He said last night that "I obviously wouldn't concur with" that statement now, saying that he had lost faith in the provincial government's ability to manage the caribou.

Interestingly, Premier Danny Williams described the Innu land claims agreement as being crucial to the Lower Churchill:

Williams recently told a Telegram editorial board that if the New Dawn Agreement with the Labrador Innu isn't ratified, the Lower Churchill deal would die.

That’s from a story in the Saturday edition which isn’t on line.

The timing is rather interesting, though. 

If the Innu were really close to settling the land claims issue with the provincial government that is so crucial to the Lower Churchill project, then it seems odd the point man on the New Dawn agreement would be out on such a particular day in such a conspicuous way tackling the provincial government for its lack of consultation.

We’ll all know something is up for certain – he said perhaps only somewhat facetiously  - if the Fan Klub starts linking Penashue to Hydro Quebec and Shawn Graham.

And the Pentavaret.



Steve said...

Kill 'em off Mr. Penashue then blame the Govt.

Peter said...

Shall I itemize the nonstop consiracy talk in that post, or do you want to just scrub it and save me the trouble?

Edward G. Hollett said...

Well, Peter, if it helps ease some demons pounding at your temples, fill yer boots.

Otherwise, you see, people who read these things regularly understand full well what the post series "Kremlinology" is all about.

They understand that they note curious coincidences of circumstances as a matter of observation (as with Trevor Taylor before he packed it in).

Or in this case it winds up ultimately poking fun at the whole conspiracy theory of the Lower Churchill which is being seriously suggested by all sorts of people without so much as the slightest shred of evidence. They even ignore the most blatantly obvious of points to try and scare up some nefarious plot.

Surely your knickers are not in so much of a bunch that you can't see the point of poking fun at a ridiculous notion, are they?

So if it soothes your jangled nerves, old man, go right ahead and count them up. Tally them or just give us the final number. Do whatever helps get you to a sound sleep.

But otherwise, spare yourself.

After all, if you were to blather on about conspiracies and the like in some sort of serious way, some people might wonder if you'd next be arguing against the rule of law just because the outcome of a court case didn't suit your political prejudices or something.

And we couldn't be having that now, could we?

Peter said...

Ouch! Did I strike a berve? Sorry if I was a little too snarky.
BTW, if legal verdicts are so intractable, why are their courts of appeal?

Edward G. Hollett said...

Well unless it was your own elbow, Peter, you haven't struck any nerves.

I just couldn't help but shake my head that at 1130 at night you'd still be playing silly bugger online.

Courts of appeal deal with legal issues. They don't reconsider cases because someone's political ideologically (or penchant for ignoring facts) is not served by a decision in a lower court.

Peter said...

No, Ed. Court decisions are snacrosanct. There can be no questioning a court decision. Judges are infallible. Only a Duplessista, a pure anarchist, would suggest otherwise.

Why are you dredging up that old Duplessis post anyway? It was, and is, a silly attack. Hext you'll be saying I'm worse than Hitler!


Edward G. Hollett said...

Indeed it was silly of you Peter since you evidently hadn't read the decision nor were you familiar with the offshore board.

But just so that we all recall, let me remind you that you didn't just dare to suggest the decision was wrong on the basis of fact. (You had no facts to rely on, including the facts of the decision).

Rather, you wrote:

"Sometimes, politics should trump the law."

In other words, in that instance Mr. Ruelokke deserved to be shagged about for months without an income, to be put through the wringer of inneundo and then left out of a job all because the Premier decided for his own reasons that he wanted someone else for the job other than the candidate selected by a panel he helped appoint using criteria he approved.

Peter said...

Y'know, there's a word for that. It's called bait and switch. You are determined to dredge up an old issue to challenge me with, even though it has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

I'm flattered you go to such lengths.

At any rate, yes, I do think politics should sometimes trump the law. It should trump it when the law is unjust. The feds own offshore oil. They could (and would have, under Trudeau) control it unilaterally if they wanted. But then came the Atlantic Accord. It was a political solution. Laws are made by politicians, Ed. And politicians are people.

The Ruelokke affair was perhaps a poor example, but I don't have that column at my fingertips. I think I admitted in it that taking he matter to the courts was a lost cause.

I also understand how the CNLOPB works, and I can't see how it's so important to have equal provincial and federal members, and a bilateral process for selecting a chair if, as you say, they have absolutely NO ability to make decisions favouring one or the other interest. That's plain ludicrous.

Again, I seem to recall an e-mail exchange with you about that column, but I can't access archives from here. So you have an obvious advantage if you wish to continue your attack on that otherwise irrelevant front.


Edward G. Hollett said...

Well, Peter, I can dig out the old e-mails as well, but frankly, I've read the column a couple of times simply because I was astonished that an editor at the province's major daily would make such an argument and make it based entirely on misinformation.

Misinformation seems to be your stock in trade these days, as witnessed by your creative reinvention of what transpired over the past five years in secret between the provincial government and Hydro Quebec (the Dunderdale comments).

In the process you make laughable your recent claim that "[m]ainstream journalists don't seek to twist every word and syllable to support an agenda, or ignore events that don't fit the message." Of course, in saying that I presume you consider yourself to be both "mainstream" and a journalist.

I can think of no finer example of someone twisting words, events and facts to suit an agenda (whatever yours is) than your torquing in the Duplessisme column and more recently online.

WJM said...

Yeah, twisting words is bad, mkay.

Goodness knows there's been enough examples of that lately: John Efford's "take it or leave it", Scott Reid's "Newfoundland will pay", and Stephen Harper's, "I promise you a loan guarantee for the Lower Churchill" come to mind.

All of those things came out of Danny's mouth, not theirs. Nice to see some folks, if belatedly and selectively, are getting concerned about the twisting of the words.

babe in boyland said...

snacrosanct? wow.

actually, rediculous typos like we see on blog comments give me some hope. it tells me that this is a conversation medium, not real, fully-thought-out, unchangable thinking.

then i can take the rediculous comments for what they are - partially formed thoughts.

Edward G. Hollett said...

You make a brilliant point, babe that often gets forgotten especialy by those who have as part of their agenda an attack on blogs and blogging.

If they work as they are intended, then very often the posts and the comments are part of a dialogue of emerging or developing thought.

Where we often have the sense that conventional media are one way pronouncements of fully-formed thoughts or emphatic statements, online communciation often reflects the interaction that leads to something.

Typos come with the the territory to some extent; if they are too numerous they get to be distracting.

This is a an idea that needs to get carried over to the Paul Staines video thread, if one evolves there.

WJM said...

snacrosanct = hamburgers made out of sacred cows.

babe in boyland said...

that is REALLY funny wjm :-)

Peter said...

If you must know, I'm vision impaired and my home magnification is not as good as the software at the office.

At any rate, the mockery and inbreddedness here has taken over. Time to move on before I throw up.

Inbreddedness (n) = the preferred mode of preparing snacrosancts.

Edward G. Hollett said...


Well done, Peter.

A volley returned with equal vigor and skill!

WJM said...

I'm getting hungry!