Monday, December 31, 2012

Clark says he is concerned Canada and its First Nations are headed in a dangerous direction.



Canadian Politics

Canada, First Nations headed in ‘dangerous direction’ as Idle No More hunger strike continues: Former PM Joe Clark

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/12/30/canada-first-nations-headed-in-dangerous-direction-as-idle-no-more-hunger-strike-continues-former-pm-joe-clark/

Clark says says he’s concerned Canada and its First Nations are “headed in a dangerous direction.”

“My experience has been that direct and honest dialogue is always useful and sometimes essential, particularly in dealing with issues as complex and multi-faceted as the relations between First Nations and Canada,” his statement read.

“Chief Spence expressed a humble and achievable vision — one which I believe all Canadians can embrace.”

Other current politicians, both opposition NDP and Liberals, issued similar cautions, but also expressed concern for Spence’s health.

Fred Chartrand / The Canadian PressAttawapiskat First Nations Chief Theresa Spence, centre, prepares to meet reporters prior to meeting members of parliament in Ottawa on Sunday.

“She’s a very determined woman and she’s heard the message from others that she’s done what people think she needed to do, but she noted that the prime minister has not talked to anyone, or put out a message that he is willing to meet with leaders, and that’s all she’s asking for,” said New Democrat MP Paul Dewar, who was among 16 of the party’s politicians to be invited inside.

Both Dewar and fellow New Democrat Craig Scott said they were worried about her condition.

“She’s very peaceful in her demeanour, but that goes along with being quite weak now,” said Scott. “She talks about sleeping more than she had earlier, in the first two weeks. I think it’s very clear it’s starting to take a physical toll.”

Concern is strong enough that some have urged to give up and let Opposition politicians take up the fight — something Craig said tried to convey to to her.

“I spoke directly to her and said: ‘You know, you’ve done more anybody could expect one person to do, and there’s no reason you and you alone should have to carry this burden.’ And she said: ‘It’s my burden to carry.’ “

Spence stopped eating solid food on Dec. 11.


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