Posts tagged ‘election’

Scott McLeod represents real change. That’s why I’m For Scott.

ImForScott

Ahniin-Boozhoo Nbisiing Anishinaabeg, niin dwaymaaginidoog minwaa niikaanisidoog.  Mno Canada-giizhgad.

(Ed. Note:  This post turned out a little longer than I wanted in a Canada Day message because the message is so important.  Please make sure you read and respond to the “Call To Action” below.)

Canada Day is a good time to reflect on our own Nationhood as Anishinaabe people.  And not just because we may be taking the holiday off.

Whether you are a citizen of Nipissing First Nation, another First Nation community, the Anishinabek Nation or one of the many indigenous nations from sea to shining sea – all indigenous people should give serious thought to our own survival in the face of continued attempts at assimilation, racism and challenges to our sovereignty.

We also have to give careful thought to the selection of our leaders.  Our leaders, our Gimaag and Gimaakwewag, are the people that we entrust with defending our Aboriginal and Treaty Rights, facilitating change and determining a course of action for our communities as we move towards Anishinaabe self-government.

On July 10, Nipissing First Nation has an election.  For the first time in nine years we are electing a new Chief to lead us through one the most difficult times that our community has faced.  These include serious challenges to our inherent, Aboriginal and Treaty rights.  Outsiders are calling for an end to our legal rights.  We are facing blatant racism from our neighbours.  Those attitudes are being perpetuated by social media, the mainstream media and so-called stakeholder organizations.  There is a serious issue to deal with in restoring the health of Lake Nipissing, building our economy and finding alternative and well-paying jobs to the commercial fishery.  This is a serious time for us in Nipissing.  We have to get this right!

My fellow Nbisiing men and women:

  • We need a Chief that has the strength and competency to lead us through this important period of change.
  • We need someone that will listen and care for our people.
  • We need someone who has the energy, resilience and youthfulness to keep up with the grinding days, weeks, months and years ahead.
  • Most importantly, we need someone who hasn’t been beleaguered and gun-shy by the inaction of their counterparts.

Electing an incumbent Councillor as our Chief is NOT change.  It’s the same old, same old.  We need someone who can confidently facilitate real change. Period.  Full stop!!

For heaven’s sake, please don’t mark an ‘X’ next to a name just because you’ve been doing it for years or because you’ve been comfortable with them for years as a Councillor.  Don’t vote for anyone just because they are a nice guy.  They’re all nice guys.  And don’t just vote for someone because they are your cousin.  An election shouldn’t be a popularity contest.  This is a serious time for us in Nipissing.  We have to get this right!

To me, given what I’ve said in a previous post, Scott McLeod is the only choice for Chief of Nipissing First Nation.

A CALL TO ACTION

Please join me, as we launch the slogan: “I’m For Scott”.

  1. Please share this post, create your own Facebook status update, a Twitter tweet or social media post saying “I’m For Scott”.  Let people know that you support real change by electing Scott McLeod.
  2. In your Facebook and social media posts, please use the hashtag:  #ImforScott
  3. Please post or share the I’m For Scott image (above).  Use it as your Profile Pic until July 10 at 8 p.m.
  4. Go to Scott’s Facebook page and hit “Like”.
  5. Share this post via Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Show your support for Scott McLeod.  Be vocal and speak up, let your friends know that: “I’m For Scott”.

These little actions can go a long way in ensuring that the right decision is made at the ballot box.

Mi iw.  Gchi Miigwetch, Anishinaabeg.


 

IMPORTANT ELECTION INFORMATION

  • Advance Poll, Saturday, July 4 9-2 p.m. in Garden Village
  • Election Day Friday July 10 9-8 p.m. in Duchesnay and Garden Village
  • Living off-reserve? Please send in your mail-in ballots.
  • Need more information, contact the Electoral Officer (705) 303-6868

Goulais will not seek election as Chief

Bob_Deb_Veahavta2A STATEMENT

 

Recently, I’ve had a chance to really appreciate the gift of asaamaa (tobacco). The other day, I had the privilege of giving a teaching for my family and friends – speaking of the origin of tobacco, the Creation Story and the story of Misko-gaabwid and Waynaboozhoo. During this time, I had a chance to sit with my tobacco, speak personally to Creator and the Spirit World, and ponder my journey in life. It’s been a great way to find clarity, give thanks and talk in a good way with Deborah and my family around me.

It’s been abundantly clear to us that there are two things that are most important in life: health and family.

As a result of these deliberations, I’ve decided that I will not put my name forward to run for Chief of our community.

I want to gchi-miigwetch (thank you) for your kind words and pledges of support. I continue to be overwhelmed by the almost daily messages of encouragement by my fellow community members.

Despite your encouragement, right now, I’m not willing to sacrifice the wonderful life that I have with my family.

I enjoy the time I am having with my boys. Zoon Gaabow and Miigwans, with their football ambitions and our adventures together. I’m enjoying my time with my daughter, Waabgwaniis, who has made my dreams come true again by being my almost daily companion. Of course, I enjoy spending time with my beautiful wife, Deborah and Jasmine and Fiona. If I was to be elected Chief, I would most certainly have to divide my time between being Chief and balancing their companionship. I cherish my family above all and this is not a sacrifice I am willing to make.

I also want to be able to support Deborah, as she continues to serve as Deputy Minister. She does such amazing work and I want to be there to be her strength and be there in her times of need.

Our family’s health is important as well. I am committed to improving my own physical health by maintaining good control of my diabetes, losing a few more pounds and becoming physically fit. I also want to be there to support someone very close to us that is struggling with mental wellness. Finally, to be there for my Mom, as often as I can, in her waning years of her life.

Finally, I am really enjoying being a entrepreneur. My business, Nbisiing Consulting Inc., is starting to take off in a few great, new directions. I want to give it my full effort in helping First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities in improving social conditions and building their economies.

Maybe one day I will run for Chief. When the time comes, hopefully, I will still have your support. Until that time, I will continue to assemble that bundle of overwhelming gifts to help our community of Nipissing First Nation become a strong, thriving, self-governing Anishinaabek community.

Mi iw. Miigwetch.

Bob Goulais

Day 9: An Election Platform That First Nations Can Be Proud Of

I couldn’t believe my eyes.  I had to pull of the road to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating.  I had to make sure what I was reading was real.  The Liberal platform outperformed every expectation I had.

Ask yourself:  what are First Nation’s priorities this election?  Addressing poverty would be number one. Followed by housing.  Addressing the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women would be high on that list.  But most of all, investing in First Nations education and addressing education funding shortfalls are essential parts of building the First Nations economy and improving social conditions.

Well guess what?  Every single one of these priorities is in the Liberal platform!!

I attribute this directly to the creation of the Liberal Party’s Aboriginal Peoples Commission (APC).  Not many people know that we have First Nations, Métis and Inuit people represented within the party through a grass-roots commission. They make policy recommendations, address priorities within the party and have every opportunity to set election campaign policy.  Of course they may not have the final say in what goes in the platform document, but this time around, it seems that those recommendations are being heard.  Thanks to Tanya Kappo and the executive of the APC for their leadership and amazing work.

For First Nations people, the Liberal platform delivers.  I would go once step further and say that the Liberal platform is something that First Nations can be proud of.

Now, the only way we can see these things happen is to elect a Liberal government.  For all my friends in the Twitter universe, on Facebook and who are reading my Blog – this should be incredible motivation to get involved.  We have a party who cares for you.  We have an amazing family-oriented plan.  We need you to vote Liberal.  We also need you to find out who your Liberal candidate, put on your jacket, visit their office and volunteer.  Encourage all your friends to pass this message along.

Opportunities like this don’t happen every day.  Let’s make this happen.  Today, I’m so proud to be Liberal.

 


 

From the Liberal Platform

Here are a few excerpts that may be of interest to First Nations people.  This is in addition to the previous announcements of a Canada Learning Passport and the Liberal Family Care Plan.

ABORIGINAL LEARNING

na Accord broke new ground in building relationships among federal, provincial and Aboriginal leadership based on respect and shared commitment to fairness and results. Much has changed since 2005, but much can be gained by retaining the lessons and spirit of the Kelowna process.

Aboriginal people are taking action with hope and ambition for the future. The federal government must stand with them as partners to accelerate progress in several major areas. Education is the most fundamental, and should be the top priority. A Liberal government will commit to working with Aboriginal leaders toward the goal of ensuring Aboriginal people have the same quality of opportunities to learn as other Canadians.

With a population that’s growing at six times the national average, and a median age of only 27, the success of Canada’s Aboriginal people is critical to our country’s economic well being. For them, as for most Canadians, learning is the key to success.

Yet, the dropout rate among Aboriginal students is twice the national average. And those who do reach post-secondary education face long odds against finishing.

One of the drivers of these tragic statistics is the underfunding of aboriginal education in Canada. Most on-reserve schools, funded by the federal government, receive significantly less per pupil than schools in the provincial systems. And while federal funding for Aboriginal post-secondary education has been capped at 2 percent per year, tuition is rising at twice that rate.

A Liberal Government will invest an additional $200 million in its first two years to lift the cap on post-secondary education funding. Consistent with the approach of the Learning Passport, we will explore with Aboriginal leaders ways to deliver resources more directly to students and their families. A key objective will be to increase the retention of Aboriginal students in Canada’s post secondary institutions.

Addressing the challenges in K-12 education is even more fundamental. A Liberal government will work with Aboriginal leadership to address inadequate funding over the medium term, starting with $300 million in new investment in its second year. We will support efforts to improve administration.

First Nations University in Saskatchewan, an important institution, will be re-financed under a Liberal government. We will create a Canada Métis Scholarship program, with a $5 million annual investment in Métis students.

A Liberal government will also create an Office of the First Nations Auditor General to monitor progress, identify best practices, and ensure accountability for public funds.

DEALING WITH MISSING AND MURDERED ABORIGINAL WOMEN

Violence against women persists in all Canadian communities. Aboriginal women are particularly affected. The Native Women’s Association of Canada estimates the number of missing or murdered Aboriginal women in Canada is more than 580. These cases amount to nearly ten per cent of female homicides in Canada, even though only three per cent of the female population is Aboriginal. There has been little action from the federal government to address this tragedy.

A Liberal government will mandate a national task force to examine the systemic causes of this problem, with an emphasis on preventing its continuation in the future. It will build on the work of provinces and Aboriginal women, and report to the Minister of Justice with an analysis and recommendations.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), one-quarter of households face affordability problems, meaning that more than 30 percent of their income is spent on housing. Thirteen percent of homes are in need of major repairs, or are unsuitable for the number of people living in them. The figures are even worse for seniors and new Canadians and, of course, they don’t even address the homeless. At the same time, the shortage of affordable housing in large cities presents a growing barrier to young families of modest incomes looking for their first home.

While modest public investments are resulting in new affordable housing coming on the market, other affordable units have been disappearing at double the rate, due to gentrification, low interest rates and growing demand. The federal government has been an unreliable presence in affordable housing in recent years. A long-term commitment to partnership with other levels of government is needed.A Liberal government will work with provincial, territorial and municipal partners to put in place a renewed Affordable Housing Framework (AHF). The previous Framework was established a decade ago, and several programs are temporarily extended, but under review by the Harper government. The main objectives of the new Framework will be to:

  • Reduce homelessness;
  • Maintain and renew existing affordable housing stock; and
  • Stimulate new construction of affordable housing.

The new Framework will feature a long-term commitment by the federal government, replacing the collection of temporary programs that currently exist. The magnitude of that long-term commitment will necessarily depend on consultations with municipalities and the government’s overall financial situation in the coming years. However, in its first two years, a Liberal government will increase federal investment in affordable housing by $550 million.

Housing challenges and opportunities vary from one region to another. Therefore, the new Affordable Housing Framework will emphasize flexibility and openness to innovative approaches such as tax incentives and loan guarantees. It will offer a platform for more effective collaboration among all levels of government, the private and non-profit sectors. The new Framework will promote progress on the particular needs of people with disabilities, as well as Northern and Aboriginal communities. It will also recognize that affordable housing is one major piece of the larger puzzle for reducing poverty.

FIGHTING POVERTY

More than 3.5 million Canadians live in poverty, including more than one in ten children. Canada ranks near the bottom of the list of major developed countries for poverty rates.

Leaders at all levels must come to grips with rising inequality. The persistence of poverty across the country remains an unmet challenge, robbing individuals of fair and equal opportunity, sapping productivity from the economy, and even undermining confidence in our democracy. Canada cannot afford not to fight poverty. It will require the engagement of all Canadians, including businesses, individuals, experts and civil society.

Most provincial governments have demonstrated leadership by launching poverty reduction strategies. Building on those efforts, a Liberal government will work with partners at all levels to develop a Poverty Reduction Plan for Canada. It will set goals, indentify practical measures for achieving them and set out who can do what among all the partners. The outlook will be long-term.

Several major commitments of this platform will be the foundation of a Poverty Reduction Plan for Canada: the Canadian Learning Strategy, particularly Early Childhood Learning and Care, the Learning Passport for post-secondary education access, and Aboriginal learning; Family Care; a renewed focus on volunteerism through the Canada Service Corps; the National Food Policy’s nutrition measures; and a new Affordable Housing Framework. These practical measures to support Canadian families, worth more than $5 billion over two years, will help reduce poverty and inequality, especially as part of a whole-of-Canada effort to strengthen our communities. They will also contribute to a stronger economy over the long-term.

MORE SUPPORT FOR CANADA’S ARTISTS

The Canada Council for the Arts is a major force in supporting working artists. A Liberal government will significantly increase support for Canadian artists and creators by doubling the annual budget of the Canada Council for the Arts, from $180 million to $360 million over the next four years.

COURT CHALLENGES

Canadians take pride in their Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and see it as both an expression of our values, and a tool for building a more equal society. Access to justice is essential for a meaningful commitment to equality in our democracy, but the high costs of litigation can sometimes silence those whose rights are already most vulnerable. The Court Challenges Program provided financial assistance for pursuing language and equality rights under Canada’s Constitution, but the Harper government cancelled the program. A Liberal government will reinstate the Court Challenges Program in order to maintain effective access to justice, and to prevent financial barriers from blocking the pursuit of equality for all Canadians.

Balls, Bags and more…

WHAT’S IN THE MEATBALLS? – We had a wonderful, early dinner at the Vietnamese Noodle Soup Restaurant at Times Square in Richmond Hill.  You’ve got to Love and appreciate a restaurant that has such a simple name.  You probably don’t even need a menu.  Just sit down and a fellow would bring you just that…  Vietnamese Noodle Soup.  I so thoroughly enjoyed the steak and meatballs, I had to ask the proprietor:  “exactly what is in the meatballs”.  Apparently, only asian spices, beef and beef tendon.  Mmm, mmm, good.  Deb has a spicier version for her chicken noodle bowl.  The red pepper broth reminded me of Thai tom-yum soup.  It’s nice to try different places.  In this particular neighbourhood of Richmond Hill and Markham, one could probably try a new Asian restaurant every single day of the year.  Soup, dim sum, buffets, bakeries, barbeques, steak houses, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Asian fusion…  I’m Lovin’ it all.

ALL HER BAGS ARE PACKED – My sweetheart, the Duchess of Thornhill is leaving Stately Way, the official residence tomorrow.  She’s heading to Kingston for two weeks.  It will be longest we’ve been apart since last spring.  How will I cope?  How will I make it through?  I’ll probably gorge myself on guilt-free junk food.  That always makes me feel better.  But when she comes back and I’ve gained 20 pounds, she’s probably won’t approve.  At least I’ll have the dog to keep me company.  Those of you who know me, know how thrilled I am about that.  Some of the things I’ll miss the most: singing to her every morning, opening the car door for her, and telling her how beautiful she is everyday.  Although, I suppose I can do that by telephone.  Lots can be accomplished on the phone.

NO TIME TO UNPACK – When she returns Deborah and I will be travelling to Montego Bay for a little romance and ‘R and R’.  Looking forward to our long weekend adventure to Jamaica.  We’ll be staying in a gorgeous private beach villa, complete with our own kitchen staff, car and driver, private pool and private beach.  We’re looking forward to travelling with our gracious hosts, Joe, Fiona and little Matteo.  Such generous and beautiful people.  Snorkeling, reading on the beach, tennis and some fun in the sun.  Oh yeah, Baby!!

FACEBOOK – I tried to get Facebook “Places” going today, but my device doesn’t seem to want to load it.  I’m Loving all the new functionality of the service.  Today, Facebook launched the new service that can share to other users where you are, and where you’ve been.  Just in case you want other people to know you are at Winners or Cassis.  During our walk today, I was just telling Deb that I haven’t been on Facebook all that long.  For the longest time I resisted joining, instead trying to develop, program and code my own server and database.  It’s a great, geeky hobby to have, but it takes a lot of time and patience.  When I seen everybody and their grandmother had a Facebook profile and sharing notes better than I can, I was a bit miffed.  So I decided to join the Facebook revolution.  For my website and blog, I resorted to a open source app and a mainstream server.  I hope to do a redesign this winter and write a little more often.

MUNICIPAL ELECTION – Who exactly are we going to vote for in the municipal election?  Suburban elections seem pretty dull.  There is a lot going on in the Toronto election, but it seems there is very few issues herein Thornhill-Markham.  Nobody seems to be courting our vote here.  We’ve had a couple of people come door-to-door to leave junkmail but not enough to get any information from.

THE TOWN – okay, more than half-way through the year and I don’t have a clear favorite for the Academy Awards.  However, I may have a personal favorite.  Yesterday, Deb and I seen The Town, starring and directed by Ben Affleck.  We really enjoyed the film and a couple of time I caught myself holding my sweetheart’s hand a little too tight.  A couple of twists and turns and some pretty good characters.  It’s a pretty quiet time for movies, but I was glad we went and seen this one.  Critics seem to enjoy the film as well.  You never know what Oscar time will bring.

And how was your week?