01.07.2013 10:51 PM

Not in Tuesday’s Sun: They doth protest too much


You might call it the Hamlet Principle.

You know, from William Shakespeare’s play of that name.  Act 3, scene 2, wherein Hamlet’s mother famously observes that another character “doth protest too much, methinks.”

Not “protest” in the modern context, although that sort of protest is relevant here, too.  No, in the Shakespearean era, “protest” meant as an affirmation, or an avowal.

Thus, the Hamlet Principle can be seen at work in a decidedly modern psychodrama, between Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, on the one side, and all of Canadian conservatism, on the other.  Chief Spence is on a hunger strike, protesting the way in which the Conservative government treats First Nations.

And Conservatives, meanwhile, can lately be observed claiming – over and over and over – that Chief Spence is a liar and a fraud and a criminal, and even that she isn’t really on a hunger strike at all.  This is where the “they doth protest too much” part comes in.

Because, the more that Conservatives bray and screech that they don’t care about Chief Spence’s truly brilliant campaign, the more Canadians suspect that they do.  The more that these Cons insult her – calling her every name they can conjure up, including “c**t” on a Sun News web page – the more that they look, well, scared.

Yes, scared.  With every hateful, spit-flecked epithet they lob at her – with the cacophony of conservative columnists, and the cyber-sewer of commenters who follow them – Conservatives sound undeniably worried about what Chief Spence is achieving.

Because, make no mistake, she is achieving plenty.  She is attracting attention to her cause.  Famous people are trekking to her tiny tent, located on a miss-it-if-you-blink bit of rock between Ottawa and Hull. International media are writing about her, and the grassroots Idle No More movement. Canadians are paying attention.

She is not doing any of this with showy Greenpeace-style media stunts, or demonstrations that massively inconvenience average citizens.  She is not committing any acts of terror.  She is simply saying she will not eat until she gets to meet with the Prime Minister.  That’s it.

If you pay any attention to conservatives, however, you would think Chief Spence is worse than Hitler, and that her hunger strike is a declaration of war.  Against her, the full force of the Conservative government’s army of propagandists have been deployed.  She has been called some of the most disgusting things imaginable, but she has not responded in kind.  Instead, she has been almost Ghandi-like in her dignity.

If Chief Spence is truly a threat – and, with her weakened body, and her failing voice, it is hard to see how she could threaten anyone – then Conservatives have pursued a genuinely idiotic strategy against her.  Instead of making her infamous, they have made her famous.

Instead of ignoring her, they have revealed themselves to be obsessed by her.  Instead of simply meeting with her, and making it a one-day story, their pig-headed stubbornness has made Chief Spence a folk hero who will be remembered for years to come.

Like I say, it’s the Hamlet Principle.  When they doth protest too much, you can always be reasonably assured that they’re a bunch of goddamned liars.



  1. smelter rat says:

    Well done. That should get the whackos worked up again 🙂

    • Ed Frink says:


      Hopefully a true progressive government will be elected and boot out the racist conservatives.

      Finding to FN should be doubled immediately.

      • Audit No More says:

        Absolutely. Auditing and fiduciary accountability are such racist things, eh? And, apparently, so is reporting about it, as a Global news crew – threatened with jail time – would concur.

        But why stop at doubling the funding? Maybe triple it, so Chief Spend and her pals can feather their nests even more lavishly, while her people continue to live in conditions from which the SPA would rescue their pets.

        Wasn’t it chretien, the Patron Saint of Liberal Progressives, who said (as Indian Affairs Minister) we couldn’t solve the challenges faced by aboriginals just by shoveling money at them?

        Theresa Spence personifies that rationale. And everyone who promotes the soft racism of low expectations for aboriginals contributes to the problem.

        • Sheldon Hughes says:

          Um.. excuse me? The only monkeys talking about money are you two chumps. Our issues lie much deeper. The system itself has been created to allow for governments to be able to use the Department of Indian Affairs for so many things, none of which are to empower First Nations and move forward.

          Have you ever stopped to think that the system that is employed for all 633 First Nations WASN’T BUILT BY INDIANS! It was developed as a tool of assimilation and has been continually tweaked and fine tuned to be ridiculously top heavy and ineffective. That way, in order to effect mass hysteria among the governing elite, all they have to do is trot out some wayward numbers or sideshow stories that, unfortunately, are far too abundant in Indian Country.

          This movement, whether you agree or not, is about grassroots Indians and other Indigenous peoples standing up and saying, “enough.” Enough bullsh*tting. Enough of this “dancing with dependency”*. We are sick of our own sh*t, so keep your Eurocentric, full blown western capitalist mantra to yourself. “Get of the rez and get a job and pay your own way,” is getting a little tired.

          Have a look at what kind of revenues are brought into provincial and federal coffers off traditional territories… and compare that with your chump change tax base! Have a look at what kind of millions are being squandered by your so called “progressive” conservatives in other areas. Open your eyes pawn!

        • Don Thompson says:

          Audit No More – I assume you are a Conservative hack, because your name certainly implies the way Harper and company have approached their promised “accountability” and financial responsibility. How dare you try to paste the fiscal irresponsibility label on First Nations, when your own beloved government thwarts the legally required work of the Auditor General. How dare you suggest Chief Spence feathers her nest while your biddies blow borrowed dollars by the billions.

          IF you had any sense of honour, you might note that the dollars “spent” on First Nations are not charity or kindness. They are the result of treaties – contracts between Nations, no different than contracts involving other persons and corporations. Difference is, honouring the commitment is no longer convenient.

          You are correct in your final statement, but perhaps you might want to look at the operational methods of INAC. The non-native workaday world parallel would be if your employer decided AFTER you had done your part, to withhold your salary unless he approved of what you were planning to buy. And took two years to decide.

  2. AlsoAnonymous says:

    Gawd you’re uninformed. They are meeting with her. And no one’s afraid of her, it just seems that we “doth protest to much” because she’s made herself a lightning rod and focal point for the pent up rage of taxpayers tired of being fleeced.

    • Warren says:

      And God you’re a gutless jerk. Why don’t use your real name when you smear people, pal?

    • Kilgore Trout says:

      And you can’t read it seems, nor follow the news as well, the issue is that the Conservatives waited far too long in their response and have made her a martyr heroine while they dilly dallied on what to do… they basically waited until all the horses left the barn before closing the door… not sure why, but it seems they have problems with handling issues… their gut reaction is to run and stick their heads in the sand and hope it goes away… I hear rumours the Diefenbunker is being renovated for Harper to use in times of peril, aka a bad news day…

  3. Steve T says:

    Chief Spence has achieved exactly what she intended – distract attention from her alleged mis-management of her band’s finances. The fact that many aboriginals are in dire straits does not mean that every aboriginal is above criticism. If the audit results prove to be true, Chief Spence deserves scorn for depriving her constituents of better living conditions. The fact she is on a hunger strike, or the fact the Conservatives aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, doesn’t change that.

    • C2 says:

      I think you’ll find that more attention has been focused on her actions, or Attawapiskat’s actions, then ever before. Your point is moot.

      Importantly, you do not actually mention the REASON that she is protesting. Strangely, the actual reason is never discussed — only person criticisms meant to attack the messenger and distract from the message.

      In other words, the usual tactics.

      Yes, I am a coward and hide behind anonymity.

    • po'd says:

      The Battle of the Big Scorn is going to turn out the same as the one the twist of words conjures up in your mind.

      Indians 1

      Blue Coats 0

  4. kit says:

    YES! You nailed it. All CONS are liars. And frekin scared that Canadians will see them for what they really are….. buncha CRAP!

    • Toby Stewart says:

      We all need to call the CRAP what they really are: Conservative Reform Alliance Party…and yes

      They are also a “coalition” (the word Harper-crites successfully used to scare most ignorant electors and then to justify his first prorogation a couple of years ago).

      So if we all start using the acronym CRAP (or CRAP Coalition) in reference to their ‘false majority’ federal governing party, maybe more non-brain-dead less-idiot-logicial Canadians will recognize them for what they truly are: the CRAP.

      There’s nothing wrong with the CRAP acronym — if the New Democratic Party can be commonly referred to as the NDP, then why can’t the Conservative Reform Alliance Party be similarly called “the CRAP”?

      And their 3-D strategy for selling out Canada and Canadians for what it is: Dictatorship Disguised as Democracy!!!

      • Ruth McVeigh says:

        There’s a lot of ‘truthiness’ going on here! And it is about time Canadians got a little of it. The audit that outlines how little transparency (or honesty) there has been on the government side, in dealing with First Nations, might open a few eyes — if they bother to read it. In my experience, Cons go blind and deaf when facts they don’t like are presented.

  5. Canada Joe says:

    Good to know you liberals are so easily taken in by semi-professional hucksters. Glad you guys aren’t anywhere near power anymore.

    • po'd says:

      One of the more interesting things I’ve noticed in this all out effort is the Cons don’t take exception to this statement, “Conservative government’s army of propagandists”.

      Even their “cyber-sewer of commenters” don’t bother to try to defend that sort of accusation anymore.

      I would love to know who pays for all that?

  6. Kelly says:

    I know the actions of Chief Spence and Idle No More are working because they are flushing out every conservative First-nations-hating bigot in the country — especially in the government. It just confirms what everyone knows — that a significant portion of the conservative base doesn’t like like Aboriginals. At all. Just the resources on reserve land.

    It’s actually fascinating to watch. Idle no more is like a forced therapy session for conservatives. They are in serious denial about fundamental realities in this country — and what’s in our constitution. They hate it. So they rage and scream and threaten, but nobody is throwing back. Idle no more is well organized, non-violent, and has the law on its side. The conservative ragers are like the overfed, filthy-mouthed brat stamping his feet in the corner, and the more they do it, the taller the dunce cap grows.

  7. Sean says:

    Last spring I had the opportunity to listen to an OTR presentation by an OPP officer about reserve conditions in Northern Ontario. The stuff he was describing I don’t even want to type here. Basically life in a war zone right here in Canada. He was clearly nervous to even be talking about it. There is shit going on in this country that is so bad, I think the MSM is actually afraid to cover it. Maybe your next book Warren?

    Also, while I am 100% in support of Spence and what she is doing, that Deloitte report is a really bad smelling elephant in the room. They should have seen that coming a mile away and they appear extremely naive in their response that “this isn’t the issue.” Well, dammit, maybe missing millions *is a serious part* of the issue. Folks who genuinely want to find solutions won’t be inclined to ignore this, red herring or not.

    • Terje says:

      There are no “missing millions” in the Deloittte report. While it lays out a strong case that there was a lot of sloppy bookkeeping and inadequate documentation for expenses, the audit report doesn’t allege that any actual money is missing – only that the proper paperwork is not in place. Perhaps there will eventually be evidence of malfeasance associated with these records, but for now there is no finding that “millions” are missing.

      • Sean says:

        Yes, in fairness, you are correct. That was the wrong term to use. It is important to know that there are no fraud allegations and CBC was good in reporting that last night. However, I still think they should have seen it coming.

  8. mmn .. yer stirring the pot of fish broth again there Warren eh …
    and agitating the pent up rednecks n heathen pondscum brethren in their fleeced wanderland

    —– mmmn

    I’ll keep it simple … If you was offered a choice.. dinner for two..
    (tho you could bring a guest or one of your children or two …)

    would you want to go to your grave with that indelible memory being …

    – by a misty river, in a teepee.. you get to walk to or arrive by boat
    down there below the parliament buildings.. fish broth or less on the menu
    and some very watchful but clearly Canadian warriors
    and an exhausted, besieged woman named Theresa
    gracious n generous welcoming you

    or ..

    – Sussex Avenue.. a secure block you are reluctantly allowed into
    with an executive chef.. sumptuous cuisine.. and many courses of it ..
    watched by strange men in suits with earbuds and servants
    and a pudgy whiteman named Stephen
    not really tolerant of you .. at all

    I know your answer .. and you know mine
    that’s like the test question from Blade Runner …..
    separating humans from androids

    That’s how we define Canada.. and Canadians …
    and identify pretenders, pricks, overlords or poseurs or gutless fleeced jerks ..

  9. Jet says:

    How can you tell a persons party membership (as denoted by your use of the capital c conservative) in anonymous comments? Even the comments on that well known conservative site CBC.ca are heavily against Chief Spence.

    • po'd says:

      And you can find cut and paste versions of those same commenters words all over the news sites comment boards. Most of them are posted multiple times under multiple ID’s too. They come in waves too I’ve noticed, like they are running through a list.

      What’s up with that?

    • The Doctor says:

      I agree, it’s a lot more complex than just “Conservatives” versus “everyone else”.

    • Robert Jago says:

      I agree, if you look into some of these white supremacist commenters who post in the Sun’s or the Post’s Facebook pages (where you see their name and picture), you’ll find a lot of people who appear to be progressives in every other respect; except that they hate Aboriginals and in some cases advocate for genocide against them.

  10. Cecilia Point says:

    Why DON’T these anonymous jerks ever reveal themselves? I’ve read so much HATE in the comments sections with NO ONE placing their names after their vitriol. I applaud you Mr. Warren Kinsella. This is my favourite article so far on this subject. I will print it and hang it in my cubicle. You heard that right Right Wing Wingnuts – This Indian HAS A JOB – and I MAKE time to take to the frontlines for my people – signed Cecilia Point! 😀

  11. Vankleek Hill says:

    Warren, have you thought maybe you’re doth protesting too much? She admits that she eats, and there are a lot of questions about where all the money is going. What’s wrong with people questioning the narrative? Why the rage?… Yeah, the F-35 is a disaster, so that means we can’t talk about this?

    • smelter rat says:

      Please provide a valid reference for your claim that she admits that she eats anything more than fish broth and tea.

  12. anonymous says:

    Not only are the Conservatives frightened, but they are humiliated. The diminutive, soft spoken Chief Spence has out maneuvered the Conservative propaganda machine, with its millions of dollars and hundreds of employees. It looks good on them, though.

  13. Peter says:

    The left and Chief Spence’s supporters would be wise to reflect on an underlying reality of political life that surrounds this whole tragic issue. It doesn’t matter what the Constitution says, what the treaties say, what international law (in the case of foreign aid) says, what promises were and were not made or even what the various putative secret agendas are. Money will not continue to flow forever in the face of unaccountability, mis-appropriation, nepotism or even plain old rank incompetence when it is surrounded by heart-rending social dysfuntion and need. You can hide this reality for a time under cries of racism, assimilation agendas, Harper bogeyman stories or whatever, but eventually this reality is going to have to be faced. All financial legal and political agreements and obligations assume that money transferred for a purpose will be used for that purpose and will be spent in good faith with a modicum of competence. If it isn’t, it won’t matter whether is based on tablets handed down at Mt. Sinai, it will stop.

    Chief Spence may be in tough in many ways and there are so many sides to this tragedy that one can line up behind the aboriginal peoples on many fronts, but she is not a model or a hero or, as Martin said fatuously, an inspiration to all Canadians. She is hiding behind tired, simplistic rhetoric and questionable political tactics to avoid answering some questions everybody is entitled to have answered, starting with her constituents. It’s hatred for the Cons that is driving this blinkered hero-worship, not a better aboriginal future.

    This is beginning to remind me of last year’s Occupy movement, when the rage and contempt for something called heartless “neoliberalism” (Stevie, come on down!) so blinded progressives that they couldn’t see they were idealizing and championing a lot of very dim, feckless and unsavoury characters spouting absolute drivel. This is going to end up as another heroic failure by the aboriginal peoples and a quiet solidifying of respect for Harper. If progressives are dreaming this is a wedge issue that will help them, they’d better roll up their sleeves and be prepared to speak to what’s on the minds of many Canadians.

    • anonymous says:

      “Money will not continue to flow forever in the face of unaccountability, mis-appropriation, nepotism or even plain old rank incompetence when it is surrounded by heart-rending social dysfuntion and need.”

      You are referring to the Conservative government, right?

    • C2 says:

      I think you’ll find that the section of the reports shown to you are very one sided. We, as Canadians, can claim the same of our government as well — the mismanage of our own funds is rank.

      In any case, the FN management is generally no worse than our own. Sure, as in our own political circles there are individuals who are less than saintly. The big problem is judging everyone by the actions of a few. This is being done endlessly by the CPC and their supporters.

      It stinks.

      P.S. Yes, I’m still an anonymous coward — don’t let that distract you from the content of the message.

    • smelter rat says:

      “It doesn’t matter what the Constitution says, what the treaties say, what international law (in the case of foreign aid) says, what promises were and were not made or even what the various putative secret agendas are” – Um..yes it does.

    • po'd says:

      Did you see the recent poll from Environics that states 62% of Canadians supported the “very dim, feckless and unsavory characters” in the Occupy movement?

      62% is what’s known as a majority btw. Thought you might need some help with that concept.

    • bluegreenblogger says:

      Well here’s a thought then. Why not actually give the Territories, and Northern first nations back exclusive sovereignty over their l;ands, and their resources? ‘We’ southern Canadians will be securing $1.6 billion in royalties and direct taxes from De Beers from the one diamond mine located directly on Attawaskipat reserve lands. Let the first nations keep their own resources and money, and I am sure they would be more than happy to stop taking orders, and funds from Indian Affairs.

  14. E Madsen says:

    If what’s on the minds of Canadians is the despicable garbage being hurled at Chief Spence (including your ‘dim, feckless and unsavoury characters spouting absolute drivel’) then Stephen Harper has indeed changed Canada far too much. He is now a lightening rod for the disgust of anyone left in Canada with a soul. A better aboriginal future has never been his goal; he made that clear last year in Attiwapiscat.
    He didn’t even need to convince his already racist base supporters.

    • Peter says:

      Ms/Mr. Madsen

      As sure as God made the little green apples, one can count on partisans of all stripes complaining about “despicable garbage” being thrown their way. I’m really not interested in any of them from either side. More puzzling to me is the strain of progressive activism that, in response to one electoral loss after another, responds with increasing shrillness by asserting only they have souls (or brains or empathy or compassion or whatever else seems to suit the moment) and the country, now overtaken by heartless racists and other nasties, has let them down. Fine, if you and your fellow progressives think there is a bright future for you in just proclaiming loudly how you all sing with the angels, good luck. We’ll do it your way. Ready? Listen up. We yahoos, misanthropes, racists, Canada-haters, anti-aboriginals, assimiliationists, homophobes, sexists and other defective cretins just want to know what happened to the money and why, when asked, Chief Spence just babbles about treaties.

      • po'd says:

        I am open to correction if wrong but it seems to me the co-manager who was approved by Duncan’s dept. is the one who should be answering questions related to accounting. He is the one with the credentials, as laid out in an affadavit I’ve seen online, and the one who is very well paid to oversee the record keeping.

      • GPAlta says:

        Ask the federal government who have been co-managers of the finances of this band for 10 years.

        This particular band’s transfer amounts to about 0.00007 percent of total federal government expenditures per year. Coincidentally, the total number of members of the Attiwapiskat First Nation amounts to about 0.00008 percent of Canada’s population (on reserve is smaller). If you are looking for unaccounted for spending, you’ll find many more material examples in every single Auditor General’s Report.

      • Jason says:

        “Chief Spence just babbles about treaties” because they aren’t being met. If you actually spent less time pontificating and more time studying, you would understand the Treaties and Canadas legal obligation to honor them. You would understand the Indian Act and how every single dollar IS accounted for, and in the case of Attawapiskat and around 100 others, by bean counters hired by the Federal Government!
        If you can’t see this tainted Audit (tainted because Deloitte is quite uncredible) for what it is, PMO spin to prevent you from actually taking the time to know the facts, then you are sheep. If you don’t believe the many ignorant comments on every article about Spence, Attawapiskat and Idle No More are actually paid for by the PMO, then you are sheep.
        Here are a few articles which document the other side of the side of the story. If you like being sheep, keep buying into the garbage you are reading. If you want to see the otherside of the story and question where the truth really lies, these links will open your eyes. If you REALLY want to know what yo are talking about, read up on the Treaties, read the Indian Act, research the Governments many failures in court against the First Nations, their legal obligations to First Nations. OH AND THE BEST PART! All this missing money? Its not even Tax payers money! YOU don’t pay one red cent to First Nations, so why should you care about their sloppy accounting?


        • patrick says:

          The rebuttal to the conservative claims and the crap being spun and spewed by the Sun, explaining Warren’s deletion, is easily found. Of course, without an unbiased media the argument is that neither side is true. Hopefully the CBC will again prove it’s worth and report the story clearly and as honestly as possible. It’s times like this that a “public new source” is vital.
          Oh, and I think we have to stop calling the Cons smart. They are clearly not. The Cons, the ideologues, are not smart, they may be clever, but they are as dumb as their religion. They can not handle opposing views, they can’t handle opposition, they can’t imagine a world beyond their limited world fantasy world, they are people afraid of the world and therefor driven to impose their will on people. Talk to ideologues, and I’ll say this about any on either side, is that while is may start out sounding reasonable it inevitably becomes a tirade and lesson in paranoia and self delusion.
          So, of course, a little woman on a hunger strike is completely out of their skill set.

      • Patrick Deberg says:


        You pose a good question, Let me pose an answer. It’s going to be anecdotal but it might help you understand. I would be under your heading a “progressive” so bear with me. I spent 10 years in Whitehorse and spent all my time in the trades. I did much spec work for first nations at a time when the native population were in the first stages of land claims so I had the chance to see it unfold. I had much contact with them that would make you shake your head but they were not lazy, undisciplined people. The one problem I tended to see over and over was they were too trusting.Troubled yes but that is a different kettle of fish for another time. I had to work with many contractors in town and I tell you now they were very racist. This is not me deciding this. The trades are very conservative and many of the people in them vote that way. I had many discussions from a political aspect and that is the way it is. Very few “progressives” among them. A few mind you but not many. The thing is I spent much time with them, drinking with them and once they knew you they would spout their opinions to you free of charge. The locals hated them. Didn’t matter on an individual basis it was race based. Fully entrenched. One story to illustrate told to me by a guy I knew for years and worked closely with was what they did for Friday entertainment when they were in high school. Four or five guys would drink. They would drive around until they found a kid hitch hiking and drive out of town. They would drive to a quarry and let him out and the kid knew he had to fight them all. They did this all the time. I won’t say anything about what they did to drunk native girls. It compares to an recent story in the news. I don’t want to go on forever although I could. Here’s the irony however. The same guys that were attacking the Indians were the ones vacuuming the money out. They built houses with them and fixed them and did shoddy work as cheaply as possible to maximize money and then charged “consultant fees of 1000 dollars a day. They soaked them and made sure the money could not be traced back to them. I used to sit and drink beer with these conservative fellows as they regaled us about how dumb the indians were. Audits are meaninless unless you dig to the bottom of the pile. But cons are all the same and the years go by and they don’t change. The indians got a raw deal in every way. Now they are smarter and they are fighting back and guys like you are enraged. Lets see how enraged you might be if you had to face 5 guys that want to beat you to near death for sport because of the colour of your skin.

        • Bill says:

          Is this novel fantasy or fiction? I just can’t seem to understand why libs want to make this a partisan issue, a wedge issue.

          We should all be working together to make this right, many a lib government did nothing to help FN. All of a sudden it’s the big bad conservatives that must be blamed.

          The old saying “pick your battles” is what libs should be thinking about. This is not a battle that will help libs in any sense, the majority of Canadians are with Harper. Libs wake up!!!

          Believe it or not I have voted lib in the past and would like nothing more than having a strong lib party, it’s healthy for Canadian and the NDP makes me very nervous:)

          • Sharon Greenlaw says:

            I too, saw the same things happening as Patrick. Time after time the native workers were cheated out of their money, by the very people the government put in control over them. Over and over out in the “non-native” community I’d hear out of the mouths of the very people ripping them off, that young native workers were lazy ( they put in 16 hour days) they were selling drugs ( they may have been buying them but it was the “community” bringing them in for sale. And things like the government gave them opportunities to work bu they couldn’t or wouldn’t stick to it . Well, you wouldn’t either if your employers weren’t giving you enough to eat, access to outside facilities, or transportation or were providing proper weather and safety equipment. The guy in charge was white. I don’t know how entrenched the bike gangs have gotten themselves into the councils but between them and the government the native grannies have taken on one hell of a fight. I’m still betting on the Grandmothers!

        • bluegreenblogger says:

          Hey, I own a construction sub-trade business. I have about 50 of those racist trades guys working for me, so I know very well the truth of what you recount here. We actually do some reserve work, as well as across the Northern Territories. One thing I agree 100% with is that in general, Natives On Reserve are far too honest and trusting. Some few people, like myself just provide honest advice, and make a fair buck, which is probably why I get called back again and again, but I have seen many a job where someone more cynical than myself has squeezed every last penny out of it. The real issue, as I see it, is a cuture clash, as I think has been the case forever. The very basis of the Indian Act is that natives are childlike in their naivete, and have to be coddled and wrapped up by lots and lots of rules by a ‘caring’ government. Somehow, that included making sure that the real money, and resources should be cared for by White folks, and a little pocket money can be doled out to those childlike Indians. In the day it was draughted, the resources at stake was primarily arable land, so naturally Natives were shunted to anyplace there was no arable land. Now it turns out that there was some value where they were shunted off to, but have no fear, those resources are still in the gift of Canada’s Government. The culture clash is real, and it shows in so many ways. Not least is that the Indian Act beaurocracy is just plain alien to most native cultures. It would be burdensome for any small village or town to meet the administrative burdens, and beaurocratic nightmare of interminably accounting for, and form filling to get the most basic things done. For a Native Reserve, where unlike in the rest of Canada, one half of the population does NOT have post secondary educations, it is simply impractical. And the very idea that Indian Affairs is somehow competent to manage public works contracts, to impart design-build expertise, to construct, and OPERATE primary and secondary schools, to fill every form in triplicate, three years in advance, and to do all of this a thousand miles or more away from the very remote locations they ‘serve’ is laughable. It would never ever work in Southern Ontario, which is why towns and villages have local elected officials, because the province is not competent to make these kinds of decisions for small towns hundreds of miles away from Queens Park. But there it is, we are saddled with the bias of our ancestors, and certainly those who profit by stripping away the natives resources are content to fan the flames of racism, so long as those ‘childish naive’ Indians have no means of protecting their own interests. Please note that I have yet to see a single knuckle dragging racist suggest that the Indians should simply have control of their resources handed back to them. The reason is obvious, it is so much cheaper to take everything that is theirs and hand over a little pocket money, until one day they can ‘grow up’

        • Peter says:


          Thank-you. I, too, have had some experience in the North and with aboriginal politics and I don’t doubt a thing you say, except your assertion that “cons are all the same”. Your problem, not mine.

          Why so many here think that financial accountability is the first step to a racist assimilationist policy is beyond me. Likewise is a refusal to bow down before Spence’s silly theatrics she is using to deflect some perfectly legitimate questions. I have no issue with constitutional distinctiveness, aboriginal self-government, etc. but I am disheartened to see so many non-aboriginals blind themselves to the tragedy and complexities of the horrific conditions in far too many communities by signing on to feel-good rhetoric about sovereignty, nationhood, etc., that is clearly designed in many cases (by no means all) to secure a future as cargo cults and forestall any criticism of their leadership.

          You may think cons are all beyond the pale, but have you considered how financial accountability and responsible governance is essential to ongoing support among the Canadian public for continuing support for aboriginal self-government. What I am hearing from the Chief Spences and many of their non-aboriginal supporters is: “Shut up, send the cheques and don’t ask any questions, because we are sovereign.” Do you see a promising future for that?

          • Patrick Deberg says:


            I used the cases in point to illustrate a common situation. I did not mean to paint cons with the same brush. I have met a great many cons that have their heart in the right place. But here today they are on the fringes. I too think accountability would go a long way in righting the ship. BUT there are vested interests that don’t want the doors prised open for good reason. And the cons are cons line is ment for the foul mouthed breed that live in their own Hypocrisy. That work to divide these people and play one tribe against the other. This federal government seems to operate no other way than to divide. It’s like being micromanaged by Karl Rove. I think a pile of money should be put forth to decide land claims once and for all with whatever help is needed. It’s one thing to say that the band has no accountability but think of the reason this might be. I have worked for a huge corporation and believe me these organizations are no better but the have a cheering section know as the business section of every paper in the world so you hear nothing of what really goes on.
            Case in point. The large banks in the states just settled a lawsuit for defrauding millions of homeowners of their homes. Think of the impact. Millions of families uprooted by fraud. Not one put on trial. Because the law is skewed in their favour. Pay a fine, shut up and keep taking tax money to bail them out. No admission of guilt. Yet this reserve is put under the microscope for years because they get public funds that I feel is owed to them. You may disagree but that is up to you to elect the government you want to represent you. My bottom line is that I have no illusions about how difficult the transition to balance needed on all front but there are forces on both sides that actively seek to keep the status quo in existence. Examine the motivation however. And I for one commend the head of the OPP that resisted a court order to inflame the situation and preserves the integrity of the police force. Here is a clear example of a man in a position with far reaching ramifications and the same self-serving cons that seek to cause death and destruction will pillory him because he made the right decision. These are the racist scum that hide behind the fre speech and rule of law memes just to promote anarchy. And I wouldn’t Pi$$ on them if they were on fire.

  15. Anne Peterson says:

    I am tired of being fleeced – by the conservative/reform government. And lied to and manipulated. And of having every single media outlet I tune into filled with the horrible foggy confusion of their nasty bloody smears and propaganda. Except TVO, which I am lucky enough to receive in my remote location, where Steve Paikiin held a reasonable enlightening discussion last night. Oh, oh, conservatives, better target Steve Paikin. Can’t have reasonable and enlightening floating around out there.

  16. Robert says:

    The column probably wasn’t held back because you pointed out the vileness of Sun News commenters, or because you called the Conservatives “goddamned liars.” It must be because the copy-editor was offended by your misspelling of Gandhi. 😉

  17. Peter says:

    Let’s put a few things in perspective here for the neo-con right wingers out to smear Spence. First, this accounting firm of D&T? Who hired this outfit. The Harper Government. With Canadian Taxpayer dollars. Who is the client? Not the people of Canada but the Harper Government. Conflict of interest right there. D&T are beholding to the Harper Government. And D&T have in past been know to skew numbers to satisfy their clients. This is a business for profit outfit. D&T is not the PBO Kevin Page or our own Auditor General. Which Canadians pay to provide full disclosure. Besides, Page has been right on in his evaluations of Harper GOvernment spending…even though Page has had to go to court to get information on how Canadian tax dollars are being spent. As where the Harper Government deal in doling out fantasy numbers, from the F-35 to our own unemployment numbers, which by the way have seasoned economists scratching their heads in wonder asking themselves, “Where does Harper get these numbers?”

    Now, Spence took over as Chief in 2010, that is not seven years. That is about two years. And if the D&T audit were to be honest. One would see Spence has actually cut spending and reined in on the documentation. And was abjectly frustrated by a “Harper” third party shutting it all down. But none of this is mentioned…

    Sports fans, this is the classic Harper M.O. , he has been doing it as long as he has been in politics and why nobody in their right mind would ever hire Harper for a regular job in some company. Harper creates a crisis, through passive aggressive means, be it Rights and Democracy, Linda Keen-Chalk River, the Afghanistan torture file or the F-35…going back to when he backstabbed Preston Manning with his cohort and partner in crime Tom Flanagan…

    Harper sends in his goons, and rather than fix what is wrong with little effort, his goons set about causing a crisis with a scorched earth policy.
    Then Harper throws up his arms in resignation…the victim…professing yet another hapless situation created by the former government.
    OR MAKE our civil servants the enemy.

    Just follow how the Conservative Party is fight the “robocalls scandal” ever inch of the way with millions of dollars and have yet to lift a finger to help Elections Canada get to the truth.

    Flaherty want’s to privatize CMHC…well it seems CMHC has been left to twist in the wind over the Spence supposed over spending…there is the next target the CMHC…a precursor to the deregulation of our banks…it’s part of the…

    This is the Harper “hidden agenda”…and it is criminal.

  18. Mark Stewart says:

    One other thing Warren…I find it scary that Tories are willing to stir up racism to protect their own sorry political asses

  19. Roger Foster from Airdrie AB says:

    Mr Kinsella,

    Did you ever advise any liberal PM to meet with any protestor who demanded to?

    It is a fool’s game to meet directly. She has been offered a meeting with the Minister, which is more than enough right now.

    The CPC has to address it because of lefty media types like you, not because she deserves the attention.

    I hope I gave enough detail here for you to reply…

    • Jon Adams says:

      Really? That’s all it takes?

      Hey, WK, could you get someone from Daisy to get me an estimate on how much it would cost me to get the Lefty Media Types to advocate that John Baird hand-deliver a capicola deli sandwich to me? I had no idea it was that easy or effective; everyone should have their own Lefty Media Type!

  20. Joe Archibald says:


    What a misleading article. I am shocked. There is no way that her tent is as you call it, “tiny”. It is at least average sized. Look at her in her big fancy Hilton”esque” tent, she lives better than most and I bet we paid for that Taj MaTent. I am so sick of you leftie/socialist journalists and your terrible reporting.

    Shame on you.

    ( Thanks for the great piece Warren, it has been shared and enjoyed. Any guesses how many will take me serious?)

  21. Victor says:


    I think you nailed it, but you didn’t go far enough.

    The Aboriginal movement is at an inflection point: They have an issue that has captured the imagination and understanding of Canadians, but they are doing an incredibly poor job of managing their message.

    The significance of the sweet spot they have hit in the public’s consciousness is illustrated in their opposition’s use of a hammer to kill a flea. Leaking the audit may have distracted many from the Idle No More message, but it has also revealed how much of a threat that their opponents saw in the Idle No More movement.

    If the Aboriginal community is to realise the full potential of this, they need to hire some heavy weight media management people. They are not ‘keeping beast fed’ with the proper diet. This can be illustrated by their removing access to Spence when things get inconvenient (http://tinyurl.com/bxev5f7).

    Until the Sun story last week about the audit the Idle No More story was dominating the news. Public was sympathetic, and they were gathering momentum.

    It is obvious that the audit story was released as a way to defuse the momentum and Idle No More needs to stop pouting about how unfair they think the media is being and recognise that this is the reality in the big leagues of national politics. Use some of that cash that has been donated to hire someone from outside their community to get a grip on this and manage things the way they need to be.

    I say ‘outside their community’ because if there was someone inside their community that was capable I would think they would have stepped up by now. They need new ideas. I think it was Einstein that said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.

  22. The Doctor says:

    I personally think that a lot of people who championed and idealized Chief Spence were a little bit naive. As the saying goes, you’ve got to take the water with the wine. Spence and INM have “shone a light” on FN issues. Good on them. I see that as a good thing. But a lot of their hard-core supporters seem to have this utterly unrealistic and naive belief that, with a light having been turned on these FN issues, all reportage and all commentary that ensues should be to their liking. That’s just nuts. If a big bright light is turned on FN issues as a result of Spence and INM, then we’re going to find out about, and discuss, a lot of things that didn’t previously receve attention in the MSM. Some will make the feds look bad, some will make certain FNs people look bad. Not every First Nations person out there is a noble, victimized saint. Some are venal. Some are corrupt. Just like non-FN people. If you can’t accept and admit that, then you’re in serious denial.

    If we truly have freedom of the press in this country, then it means that people who report and comment on your pet topic are not always going to say what you want or have the opinion that you want expressed. Yet some of Spence’s and INM’s supporters seem shocked and appalled that she and their movement would receive anything other than hoovering, hagiographic coverage.

    I don’t think we’ll ever move the FN issue forward in this country if we can’t discuss all issues openly, frankly and critically. Labelling everyone who doesn’t parrot your preferred view a racist or a bigot or a shill for the PMO does not make for healthy dialogue IMO.

    • billg says:

      Its not about dialogue, it never is. Its about political optics.
      Coyne has a great article in the NP today about this.
      And by the way WK, not sure what happened to your column but Im sending in a request for it to be printed, I expect much better from the Sun.

    • Victor says:

      You are exactly right, and until the FN community starts building their strategies around this reality they are doing themselves a great disservice.

      If their first reaction to unfriendly media coverage is to block them out they are going to meet with the same fate as Rob Ford did in Toronto: Perfectly normal differences of opinion become magnified into massive stories.

      The perception of open, transparent, governance begins with open and transparent dialogue. Since individuals in the Aboriginal community can’t sit down at a table with 30 million Canadians, they are going to have to figure out how to use the main-stream media as their megaphone.

      Retreating to a comfortable place when the going gets tough is not going to get them where they need to be, or give their cause the attention that it deserves. It will just make them look like they have something to hide.

  23. richfisher says:

    Any chance the commenter on Sun News you refer to calling Spence a **** is the gubment employee white supremecist goof Pogue Mahone trying to impugn conservatives again?
    It’s NOT like that hasn’t happened before, eh?

  24. Jacob Flint says:

    Don’t feel too bad that the article wasn’t run.

    There are others who have stifled intelligent and honest discourse, before.


    • Jon Adams says:

      Right, because you were going to contribute something intelligent and honest there, weren’t you, Gore Vidal?

  25. Patrick says:

    Jeez, esteemed host, you’re running out of right wing media consortiums to get fired from!

    Probably the highest possible praise of your work, though.

    I’ve always kind of wonderd about that, anyway: it must be tough working for news organizations which take their marching orders directly from PMO, no? What’s the deal with that anyway?

    Regardless, good luck with what’s no doubt a frustrating (but somewhat predictable) situation. Keep your head up.

  26. Sandra says:

    We cannot wait until the 2015 election to resolve all the ills that plague Canada. The aboriginal plight is only the tip of the iceberg. We need a general election after Liberals select their new leader in early 2013 so that Canadians can decide what course our troubled country will take.

    Only a snap general election will resolve the messes in Canada, and Harper would be wise to ask Canadians for a renewed mandate otherwise the country will go up in flames well before 2015!

    Great column, Warren.

  27. Houland Wolfe says:

    WK, do you think that your reference to cunts might have had something to do with the article’s failure to appear?

  28. JH says:

    I agree with those who say this is not all of Chief Spence’s doing. Nor would I say it’s one of Conservative governments alone. The issues and problems go back through the regimes of many Chiefs and many governments.
    BTW I notice Charlie Angus has suddenly disappeared from the headlines and Mulcair never did appear? Strange that.

  29. David says:

    Amazing Read! I couldn’t agree more! I haven’t seen anywhere an argument against the Con “cocophany” more elegantly stated. Hamlet Principle indeed!

  30. anonymous says:

    “This column did not run in the Sun papers. I am unclear why.”

    Oh me brother, you have strayed too far from the truth. You have written dirty, foul lies that contradict the message.

    As a result of this transgression, you must report to the truth clinic on Monday morning next for restorative treatments. Your month of treatments will include forced viewing of Ezra Levant reruns and Stephen Harper speeches. If your treatment proves to be a success, you will be welcomed back with open arms.

    The Management.

  31. Michael Behiels says:

    The Harper Gang has looking forward to this head on collision with Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples (status and non-status Indians, Metis, and Inuit) since Harer became Prime Minister in 2006. Many Rank and file Reformers were kept in line until the time was right to strike. Now that Harper has thrown down the gauntlet these Reformers are out to taste blood on the verbal and political battlefields.

    Harper delayed declaring war on them until he got his majority in 2011 and then his government went on the offensive with budget cuts and then environmental legislation in his Omnibus Budget Bills.

    This Harper government/Aboriginal Peoples economic and political war is now underway and we all know who is going to win. Harper will use every tool at his disposal (including the MSM and social media) to crush once and for all the Aboriginal organizations and the people they represent. It may take a decade but, you can be assured, Harper will use his robust National Security State to achieve his goal at any cost to the treasury and national unity.

    Harper’s approach to the Aboriginal question reminds me, in part, of PM Diefenbaker’s approach to the rise of separatism in Quebec in the early 1960’s. Diefenbakerfirst ignored French Canada, then he dismissed French Canadians demands, then he went to war against all French Canadians, not just the motley crew of right-wing and left-wing Quebec separatists.

    The difference between Harper and Diefenbaker is that Diefenbaker got outmanoevered by Trudeau on the Quebec secession issue. Harper has not made the same mistake. He will own the Aboriginal crisis and he will use it to consolidate his hold on power and use the power of the federal state to crush both the Liberals and the NDP. Mulcair knows this and had decided to go mute on the Aboriginal crisis and refuses to meet with Chief Spence for fear of being attacked by Harper’s henchmen.

    • Freddie says:

      Could you again tell us exactly why chief Spence has gone on her hunger strike and why she demands a pow wow with PM Harper, in light of the Deloitte audit of her reserve?

      If the FN chiefs put up chief Spence as their prime spokesperson don’t you think her demands may be somewhat tainted by the revelations in the Deloitte audit; after all she had the Deloitte audit report since last August and dismissed it out of hand as flawed? Just asking.

    • Michael Bussiere says:

      How ridiculous to compare Harper to Trudeau. Trudeau outmaneuvered Diefenbacker because Trudeau was born, raised, and lived with the spirit of francophones, federalist, separatist, and otherwise, in his very blood and culture. Harper sees Canada as an Anglo dominion to which everyone else must rise, where newcomers are required to swear an oath of allegiance to a ethnically/denominationally exclusive monarchy suited to his particular family heritage. You can be sure this guy grew up hearing about how ‘the french’, all these ethnics, and everybody else who was nominally different from his comfortable suburban WASP domain was ruining Canada. He reeks of it. He sure as hell heard during Reform Party caucus meetings, and surely didn’t attempt much in the way of conversion except as a means to an end of electoral power. He couldn’t own the aboriginal issue any more than he could own a personality.

  32. Reuben says:

    The Harper government have defined chief Spence with the damning Deloitte Attiwapiscat audit, and it doesn’t look good for the starving chief. The Canadian taxpayer obviously doesn’t sympathize with aboriginals asking for more money when millions have been poured into the reserves and the problems persist. I think Canadians are numbed to stories of aboriginal discontent and poverty when so much money has been poured into them.

    Even NDP and Liberal politicians are quietly ducking the issues because they suspect there is no political gain, only political sorrow.

    • Patrick Deberg says:

      No one is numbed to this fool. What part of the accounting are you looking at? Conservative trolls are so Fu@king lazy! Dig deeper into this mess and you will find conservative “consultants” have sucked up most of the money. Just like at Ornge! The pigs feed from the trough then head for the hills when the light shines on them.

      • Reuben says:

        Hello, Patrick, that’s news to me. Please enlarge on your accusation that conservative “consultants” have exploited the aboriginals and Ministry of Indian Affairs. You seem to have knowledge that I don’t have and I would like to know more from you about this abysmal situation. Thanks.

        • Jason says:

          get off the news sites and actually follow the money trail. you will be surprised to find Patrick is 80% correct and you are 100% wrong. Or you like our “lazy natives” and don’t care to bother backing up your PMO drivel?

  33. Musings says:

    Warren, I think your time at SunNews or anywhere else is fast approaching an end. You have become delusional in your non-acceptance of anything that doesn’t fit your opinion. If you think Chief Spence deserve our respect and admiration, maybe you should move to the reserve yourself and help her run whole thing. It may open your eyes.

    • bluegreenblogger says:

      Well, If Warren has in fact become delusional in his non-acceptance of anything that doesn’t fit his opinion, then he should be in very good company at the Sun. If his time at the Sun is in fact fast approaching an end, it is more likely that it will be due to the Sun’s delusional non-acceptance of a contrary position.
      Me? I think that anybody who draws a paycheque from the Sun had better be diversifying their sources of income. Delusional or not, they are going bust in a hurry, and getting rid of all their staff, plus putting up paywalls sure isn’t going to change that. Any assertions to the contrary are little short of, well delusional non-acceptance of cold hard financial reality, lol. Warrens paycheque aside, I will not miss them when they have gasped their last breath of air.

  34. RabidHamster says:

    What moonbeam is this author riding? I have read some far fetched articles but this one takes the cake. Spence is just another corrupt native leader who has used federal funding to pad her own nest. Apparantly the author would just like to ignore many of the facts. Forget about the scathing audit, the $800 plus a day consulting job she gave her boyfriend and the fact that 60% of expenditures went undocumented. Lets open the books and conduct a full fair and frank investigation. Then we can see how Ghandi like she is. On the other hand I guess it’s just easier to ride that moonbeam.

    • Marg Mayer says:

      Financial audit or no financial audit, the manner in which our native people have been subject to is undeniable.  The conservative “Harper” government knows it’s targeted audience quite well, knowing that many Conservatives attempt to hide their racial intolerance behind accusations of financial mismanagement. 

      I certainly expect transparency and accountability and if this financial audit reveals wrongdoing or incompetence, it certainly should be dealt with.  This though does not explain why our citizens living in non native communities are allocated less in budgetary funding than those living in non native communities.  This also doesn’t explain why elementary aged student have waited to date 29 years for a proper school which government consultants reported had significant toxic contamination in Attawapiskat’s only elementary school.  On a larger scale, how does one explain the complete disregard for a population that is slowly being poisoned by the carcinogenic by-products of Tars Sands Oil production. 

      So the government can certainly attempt to obfuscate the issue at hand, blur the lines.  It will always have an audience of people who swallow this rhetoric hook, line and sinker, that will refuse to do the math no matter how simple it is.  $90 million over six years to a population of 1,549 (population stats 2011) works out to less than $10,000 per annum/resident.  That $10,000 represents the total federal funding received for housing, infrastructure, social services, education, health care, etc.  A child in Ontario living in a non-native community is allocated $10,730 per annum (2010-2011 fiscal year) for education alone.  Financial mismanagement doesn’t explain this whatsoever.  So maybe you want to enlighten me how alleged mismanagement or incompetence has anything to do with inequity, inequality, discrimination and racism?

    • patrick Deberg says:

      Hmmmm… 800 dollars a day… Did she hire Tom Long and Leslie Noble to do some “consulting” for the reserve?

    • Jason says:

      I can’t believe the amount of sheep that believe everything they here in the media without actually doing some fact checking. Spence didn’t give her boyfriend that job, the conservative government gave him that job, he was appointed the position as the governments own third party manager. Guess something clicked between him and Spence and now they are an item.
      check your facts Rabid, or add a dunce cap to your avatar.

  35. TO says:

    The problem with Idle No More is that it speaks for itself and no one else. It is not a democratically elected representative of the F.N. The head of Idle no More is the person who lost the last AFN election, and she is arguably bitter. Spence is not even a leader of Idle No More, so she represents even less people. Why should Harper meet with someone who is just argubaly an average citizen with a chip on her sholder?

  36. Laura says:

    “you can always be reasonably assured that they’re a bunch of goddamned liars.” That’s not exactly Shakespeare. But Kinsella’s right,the hunger strike is a good campaign, and that’s high praise from a man who is sculpts and refocuses media attention. But I also find the optics of the thing a bit like Valerie Bertinelli’s stint as a Weight Watcher’s spokesperson. I can’t help hoping that Spence will continue her protest until she’s at least get down to a size eight dress.

  37. Jane Shaw says:

    well, I see alot of personal opinions here, but nothing of astounding importance, including my own commentaries on the subject, which follow:

    There is one point that I have not seen posted:


    Not only are the involved political parties afraid, but everyone else is too.
    Nobody knows which way is up in this case.
    Nobody has had the balls to really join her and stand their ground (specifically in a hunger strike, the people have made this into a big almost celebratory event, completely distracting from the root of the matter, which I think has eluded many)
    and nobody has the balls/oddacity/ignorance to really oppose her.
    So the people have been awoken somewhat, their emotions stirred into some form of action, but still no action at the heart of the matter.
    Might I remind everyone that all people are deserving of adequate living conditions, clothing, food, etc, and that all impoverished people need to have their needs met.
    Why don’t we take the Chief’s inspired action global, at least national for all the people who have been left to suffer in our country and abroad.
    The real question is are we all ready to come together and be the change we want to see?
    The Chief’s actions should shed light on a problem felt globally, not just in one community.
    If the political parties in question(and I do not see any taking any real action, so pick on all of ’em if you’re going to pick on any)really wanted to make a difference, they would not only give the Chief “Her Day”, and fix this big conundrum quite quickly; but they would address the rest of the country by making sure that ALL people have a say, and a way.
    Really, the BIGGIE is, who has the power?We’ve given our power as a people to the government, expecting that they have the rationality and the means to make changes; well, obviously, they do not choose to, so it is up to us to TAKE OUR POWER BACK!We are a people, a nation, a world, and we have alot more power together to be the changes and affect the changes we need as a whole, instead of handing that power over to a bunch of seemingly clueless political figureheads over and over again.
    Look at the power the Chief has reclaimed; nobody knows what to do ,say or how to act when the subject is raised; but she will accomplish something major in a calm, peaceful manner, and all by herself.
    Imagine what could happen if we all peacefully reclaimed our power.
    It can be done, and it will, even without having to starve.
    Thanks for your time.

  38. Warren Yuill says:

    Its not just about the 90 -100 million dollars that was funded by the federal government.
    There is about 11-12 million every year since 2006 in direct payments from De Beers that seems to be unaccounted for.
    And the 325 million dollars in contracts awarded to the band since contruction of the Victor mine began in 2006 that seems to have had zero positive impact on the community.
    That’s a lot of money spent in a community of 1900 people.
    And to have a housing crisis in a community that small and that rich should be making people question Chief Spence’s leadership.
    You’d have to be foolish or blinded by political ideology not see that.

    • smelter rat says:

      Please provide a link to back up your claim re the DeBeers money.

      • warren Yuill says:

        De Beers website for the Victor mine. plus a few other articles in the star and the globe and mail. Google it. Thats all I did. De beers is a publicly traded company so these statements have to be varifiable, right..
        They are very proud of the contributions they have made to the attawapiskat community. And today it seems as though chief Spence feels she has the right to deny her community access to a free press.
        Sound fair to you?

        • po'd says:

          Among other things there is very little information available in the media or in online financial statements about the term of those contracts with De Beers (# of years), how much money has flowed from them so far and who the Joint Partners are. Lot’s of misinformation and insinuations though.

  39. Inquisitive Mind says:

    I am a lying, gutless piece of crap.

  40. Bob B. says:

    It’s too bad the Sun apparently can’t take criticism on this subject from one of its own columnists, even when the criticism’s (arguably) justified .
    The Sun evidently refuses to print an opinion suggesting some of its conservative columnists may be “liars” re. the issue of Chief Spence’s hunger strike.
    And perhaps the Sun doesn’t want to risk any of its excessively redneck readers possibly being offended by a phrase like: “…the cyber-sewer of commenters who follow [conservative columnists]”
    -WK’s justified, imo, in adopting & expressing the opinions of his (would-be-Teusday) column. Too bad cowardly Sun editors evidently disagree, preferring to spike
    an column unpalatable to them.

  41. billg says:

    Don Wicox, Sr Editor from the Ottawa Sun told me he’s going to ask Toronto where the column went to and why it was not published in todays paper. It would be disappointing if it was blocked.

  42. Kelly Porter Franklin says:

    Thank you for this big chunk of truth, Mr. Kinsella.
    You said, “The more that these Cons insult her – calling her every name they can conjure up…”
    This makes Harper’s Party the CONJUREvatives!

  43. Judi says:

    Thanks for posting this, it is very clear and needed to be said. I’ve shared it a few places. The key question is, what will the government do next when Idle No More will not run and hide? Then, what will the rest of us do when the attacks on the indigenous people of Canada escalate?

  44. The Other Jim says:

    Warren – thank you for writing this.

  45. Ronald O'Dowd says:

    Canadian, What Say You?

    -As representative of our head of state, The Queen, should the Governor General be at next Friday’s meeting to represent the sovereign in her right as the crown who negotiated various treaties with our First Nations?

    -Should the Government of Canada publicly make an open-ended commitment to the principle of Aboriginal Self-Government and ought the Prime Minister of Canada confirm that fact to all the First Nations leaders attending the meeting?

    -Since the time of John A. Macdonald and Louis Riel, Métis and Non-Status Indians have waited for the confirmation of their birthright as Indians. In light of the Federal Court decision, what should be the appropriate response by the Government of Canada?

    • Michael Bussiere says:

      The Crown is the Government of Canada. not the Monarch. This has nothing to do with the Queen or the GG. This is a bit of a misunderstanding, but all powers once ascribed to the Monarch, including treaties, have long since been transferred to the Government of Canada, concluding with the Statute of Westminister in 1931. Aboriginal bands cannot make any case before the GG or the Queen as they will simply defer to the (sadly) Harper Government.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:


        Then I guess it amounts to pure symbolism. That seems to be the only reason why Johnston was present at last January’s meeting.

        I expect to see clogged courts going forward.

  46. Pipes says:

    I agree with your writing. I wrote the PM 5 times about this-for what that’s worth. But, I can tell you from personal experience that I know one Reserve that needs an audit and oversite and some of the money the Feds provide is not getting to the School. I don’t know much about the treaties and politics but I do know about poverty and the kids of the Reserve deserve better. The way the school is structured and operated is beyond belief. In my view Schools on Reserves in the Province of Ontario should be funded and closlely monitored by the Province not the Feds . I realize the Band contols the school and the funding allocations. But there is something seriously wrong. The students on this Reserve are 2-3 years behind, many apparently flunk out of highschool and return to the Reserve and it is just a downward regressive repetitive spiral. Again I am speaking about one Reserve that I have experience with.My heart breaks seeing the neglect.

  47. Dan says:

    Can someone (anyone?) possibly justify Thief Spence paying $850 a day to her boyfriend to manage the reserve, especially given the deplorable conditions (for one example)? The woman is stealing from her own people and many are blindly defending her which is the only issue I see here and I frankly can’t believe. Anyone (regardless of race, creed, religion or colour) else submitting financials like that would be investigated by CRA post haste…..these are financials submitted by the band themselves. Someone with a basic knowledge of financials can see the questionable things but it seems everyone would rather come up with every conspiracy theory in the book rather than face the basic facts. This has nothing to do with Harper, the Indian Act, the conservative media, Idle No More, Deloitte & Touche or the man in the moon. The band’s management needs to be investigated plain and simple…..a 12 year old could see that. Keep trying to deflect the REAL ISSUE by throwing up all these smoke screens and in the process lose any and all credibility you may have. It’s a shame that FN people are being severely compromised in many ways by one of their own and can’t even see it…..

    • Patrick Deberg says:

      Why must it always be that these “paid media consultants ” like Dan always go for the jugular? Dan think of what you say. What makes her a thief? Because you say so? That is libelous sir be careful. Paying 800 a day to consult? this was learned at the breast of Conservatives like Tom Long and Leslie Noble. See what we paid them to “consult” for Mike Harris. The family complexities of a reserve is boiled down to stealing to your need to disparage? The truth is you know nothing about what has happened do you? You call her a thief yet you expound about audits. Let me hoist you on your own petard Dan, in one sentence you call her a thief for stealing and in another you say there are no financials there to prove she was stealing. In your own words you say and I quote ” Someone with a basic knowledge of financials can see the questionable things but it seems everyone would rather come up with every conspiracy theory in the book rather than face the basic facts” Dan you wunderkind of financials it would seem that the financials are very poorly recorded so how could any financial wizard read them? Excepting you of course. The REAL ISSUE is that after 400 years the natives have had enough and even in their disarray they are coalescing into a force to be reckoned with. And all the furious intention of division the media and government is hurling at the battlements is not slowing them down Dan. I have two questions Dan, are you 12 years old? And are you paid to troll here?

      • Dan says:

        Paid media consultant? I wish! And hardly a troll……just an average Canadian (with FN roots I might add) with kids and a mortgage who works from 8-5 and pays my taxes. The bottom line is this…..I take GREAT offense to anyone who takes taxpayer dollars and then REFUSES to be accountable for it. Does this happen in many other instances in this country? Unfortunately yes and it happens with ALL people regardless of political affiliation, creed, race, religion or color……there are far too many thieves in this country! I am just as vocal regardless who it is. All you conspiracy theorists who try and deflect the blame for this by playing the race card, tying it in with Harper’s government, blaming Deloitte’s business practices, lumping it in with Idle No More, or perhaps blaming it on the fact that Mercury is in retrograde are so delusional it is laughable. Get your heads out of your collective butts and see it ONLY for what it is……someone who is stelaing from their own people…..the same people who are lining up in droves to defend the thief, which I cannot comprehend whatsoever. Regardless who was perpetuating this crime I would be just as offended. Now, at the direction of Thief Spence, they will not even allow media on the reserve which pretty much says it all doesn’t it? FACT: People who refuse to be accountable and fight every attempt to enforce accountability have the MOST to hide. Keep trying to deflect the blame people but realize that defending this brutal example of a “leader” makes you all look like fools! Ladies and gentlemen…..start your attacks and insults…….

        • Dan says:

          One last thing…….if someone accused me of being a thief, I would be jumping through whatever hoop I could to PROVE I wasn’t. Hiding and deflecting blame does absolutely NOTHING but make people believe the accusations are true and continue their probes. I can give you a shining example of this…..Lance Armstrong. Hearing “the boyfriend” not only try to justify his $850 per day salary but insinuate that he was working for cheaper than he should be was disgusting. I haven’t heard one shred of proof that these accusations aren’t true……just a bunch of political grandstanding, blogging and denials. Prove your innocence and maybe then the taxpayers of this country, who have every right to know where their tax dollar goes, will back off. Either that or admit your “mistakes”, come clean and move on.

          • Patrick Deberg says:


            I am telling you that you can not convict the chief unless she has been tried. The only one hurling insults is you. The audit is bad no doubt but who is responsible for it? The band? The federal Government? The Indian affairs department? You don’t know. You do not have all the facts. But you have decided to convict the chief for a tern of which she was not present for most of. You seem to have no interest in getting to the bottom of the mess as I have stated here before above. You are just hurling the manufactured invective created to discredit her and also to deflect the conservatives deepening discomfort at this ever widening mess. She may have been jumping to clear her name but the pile on is rather excessive don’t you think. Every jouno in the country has weighed in and the CPC and it’s media consorts nationally have piled on. Do you think she’s any match for Ezra, Blatchford, Iverson and the national forum they represent? She seems a simple woman doing a tough job and she got tired of watching people die under her watch. And all you do is add to the insult by accusing her of being a theif which I will reiterate you have ABSOLUTELY no proof. And also why do you attack her partner because he gets 850 a day? If I could I would. Po’d below indicated that the “consultant hired by the government was getting 1300 a day. You think it’s only Tory fartcatchers deserve that sort of money? I’m a taxpayer too and pay a lot of taxes. I am thinking you voted CPC last election so if you did then you sure don’t seem outraged at all the money your friends have pi$$ed away. But you sure seem to have a hate on for a defenseless woman living on fish soup.

    • po'd says:

      Go to APTN website and find Kennedy’s explanation of his compensation there. It’s different than what you think. Also you do know the 3rd party manager that Duncan and Harper sent in was getting paid $1,300 per day right?

    • frmr disgruntled Con now Happy Lib says:

      I am sorry, I initially had a lot of sympathy for Chief Spence, and her cause….because on too many reserves, third world conditions do exist….including her own. If, however, it is apparent that there has been gross mismanagement of the Attawapiskat First Nations funds, then I really think Chief Spence should cut her losses, end her hunger strike, and maybe concentrate on ending waste(and possible outright theft) on her own reserve. If what is written in the audit is indeed true,(and I suspect it is) then there should have been money enough to provide adequate housing for all on the reserve. As, well, the independent third party manager should remain….until such time as the band gets its financial house in order. I am also curious what managers of other First Nations bands equivalent in size and population to Attawapiskat receive in remuneration.

      • Dan says:

        Not sure why there is no reply button below your comment……perhaps it is you who might be Kinsella’s “paid media consultant”? I digress……
        You are right, I cannot convict the “chief” until she has been tried……that said, she seems to be jumping through any hoop she can to AVOID being tried or investigated. Hmmmmm. Again, the people who don’t want to be investigated are usually the ones with the most to hide. By your own admission the audit is “bad”…..is it such a stretch to assume that a “bad” audit should be followed by an investigation? Maybe if CRA shows up at my house and wants to audit me, I should threaten them with arrest unless they get off my property….I wonder how far that would fly? Also you have no idea how I voted so your “friends” comment is completely irrelevant. Frankly I am (for the most part) sickened by the political process in this country and I think most (not all) politicians regardless of party are complete idiots……”Ottawa disease” is a plague in Canada and common sense has gone the way of the dodo bird. You also have no idea who I am or how much I “bitch” at wasteful government spending and accountability….and that goes for Harper, Spence, Redford here in Alberta or anyone else. I “bitch” just as vehemently regardless who it is, and yes I agree, Harper and his ilk are no angels…..but let’s keep things on track shall we? Debating government waste would take many, many hours and a much bigger forum than we have here…..I thought we were debating this one issue but you can’t seem to stay on topic. Why do you want to keep changing the subject and bringing other issues into it that really are completely separate problems? As far as the boyfriend goes, of course you would take $850 a day….who wouldn’t? But I would ask you to answer one simple hypothetical question. If you were making well over $200K per year to manage a charitable organization (NOT saying FN is a charitable organization) that was having trouble making budget and you knew your “charges” were suffering, could you look yourself in the mirror when you cash that cheque, knowing how much it was affecting your organization? Just the optics of him being her boyfriend makes this stink to high heaven and if I were him, I would resign, if nothing else just to try and put more money where it really belongs….with the residents of the reserve who (we all agree) live in deplorable conditions. Instead he is on national TV not only trying to justify his salary, but insinuating he should be paid more. Disgusting. So circle the wagons sheep…..change the subject any chance you get and try to deflect the argument any which way you can…..but avoid scrutinization at ALL costs, even if it undermines any credibility you may have. If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck….chances are…..

        • patrick Deberg says:


          Are you paying attention? Dan says you should pay me. Can I charge 850 bucks an hour? I’ll work for less you know.

          Thanks Dan for the complement but you seem to accuse me of all the wrong things. I’m trying to give you something to understand about the circumstances but no one else seems to be missing it here. Sorry if I offended you with the assumptions on your partisanship. Let me put it bluntly and clearly. Quit accusing Spense of being a thief. That’s all I ask. As for the partner I will borrow a quote from a column above in it’s entirety ”

          Jason says:
          January 9, 2013 at 6:02 pm
          I can’t believe the amount of sheep that believe everything they here in the media without actually doing some fact checking. Spence didn’t give her boyfriend that job, the conservative government gave him that job, he was appointed the position as the governments own third party manager. Guess something clicked between him and Spence and now they are an item. check your facts Rabid, or add a dunce cap to your avatar. ” end quote. I never said you needed a dunce cap Jason did. Thanks for the quote Jason.

          Dan do you think you should be the one telling Chjief Spense who she should mate with? Conflict of interest? Did anyone else on the reserve even want the job? The important thing is that the chief was doing her job day in day out and no one cared WTF was going on up there. She decided to call out the government and she has been bludgeoned for it. If you really stand for accountability why not stand up for this woman attacked almost hourly? Have you read the things said about her? If you scroll down below the stories it is just disgusting what people are saying about someone they have never spoken to or had the time of day for. Maybe Spense remembered the highway of tears and the overdoses and the suicides and the willy picton solution and she just snapped. And you in your full righteous indignation slander her to advance your stature? She doesn’t want to talk to the press? After what has been printed about her can you blame her? Here is the bottom line Dan. You have no idea what she has done or why she is doing it or if she is a thief or if she is in conflict with a government appointed auditor. And you have no idea what she is thinking OK? Enough has been said Dan, so climb of the indignant hobby horse. Why not give her a stunning upset and apologize for what you have said? Do some good in the world Dan.

          And Warren! Pay me!

          • The Doctor says:

            I agree that a lot of nasty, excessive stuff has been said about Chief Spence. But come on, everybody with a brain knows: if you don’t want your life opened up to scrutiny, don’t make yourself into a public figure. Chief Spence willingly and voluntarily made herself into a public figure. Once you do that, you have to expect that you’re going to take a lot of potshots and people will be poring over the details of your life. There’s no exemption to that rule that I’m aware of for noble First nations activists.

          • Patrick Deberg says:

            Doctor I respectively have to say you are wrong. I remember the great Mark Steyn on a holy crusade about american health care and he published the name of a kid online and this kid who had his life saved with some “entitlement” program became the focal point of some disgusting attacks from strangers because he spoke out in favor of said program. Steyn defended his action with he became a public figure, la la la. In the world I grew up in you defended the weak but that must be passe now. I guess in your world if you dare to challenge someone in any forum you should expect feces to be flung at you because you are fair game. I expect people to work with civil discourse and HATE to see fools wade in. The newspaper the Ottawa Citizen had every commentator attack the chief today. She does not have every national newspapers at her beck and call and I for one think it’s grossly unfair to call out your government and be subjected to such attacks from every paper in the country. With no proof of anything but a vauge report almost no one understands!. You may disagree but read what has been said about her and try to defend your position. It’s indefensible. And you doctor should be ashamed to justify such attacks. This government is bordering on full out McCarthyism and now it is time to say Sir have you no shame? I am at the point in this unfolding story where all I can say is ” What the hell is wrong with you people? Have you no shame?”

          • The Doctor says:

            Oh, quit being such a f*cking drama queen. First of all, I’m not defending what some of these obnoxious dickheads have said about Spence and FN people in general. I’m just saying that a public figure has to, unfortunately, expect that he or she is going to be the target of some vitriol, that just goes with the territory. And Chief Spence is not “some kid”. She’s a bloody full grown adult who voluntarily assumed a leadership position in a FN community which has been the subject of controversy and media scrutiny for some time now, long before Idle No More and the Hunger Strike and all that. What do you think her hunger strike is? It’s a publicity-getting thing, for Christ’s sake. She went out and deliberately sought publicity. So your comparison to the Steyn situation is hardly apt.

            The other thing about your post is it really isn’t clear whether you’re talking about editorial comment in MSM outlets (e.g., columns by Andrew Coyne, John Ivison, etc.), or anonymous comments posted on the comment boards in those outlets, or both. A lot of the latter has been toxic and over the line, I agree, but that’s anonymous nutters posting online. There’s stuff on this board that gets pretty toxic too. But the stuff I’ve read from columnists like Coyne, I wouldn’t characterize that as racist or McCarthyite or anything like that. And as for Harper, can you point to a statement made by him or a member of his government since the hunger strike and INM began that’s either racist or McCarthyite in nature?

  48. rick says:

    I find it rather strange the conservative can never admit when there leaders are wrong, the center and left can do it constantly. All the information is out there about what’s really going on, but it is easier to do what your told stand in line repeat the rhetoric and lie’s, that’s way Conservatives make great little Nazi’s; and before you get mad at me for calling you a Nazi maybe pick up a book read about how Hitler ran his party and laws he past and maybe learn about your leader and his past and his connection to white supremacy group or take the easy way out insult me and go with the propaganda.

  49. The Doctor says:

    Congratulations, Warren. Your faithful commenters just demonstrated Godwin’s Law in action. Again.

    • dave says:

      Strikes me that G’s law works differently when our governments are setting us up to accept and pay for attacks on assorted peoples in other countries. Government sources begin with Hitlerian allusions.

      Is invoking G’s law a way to shut down any talk about governments that are showing fascist drift?

    • Jon Adams says:

      Right, because you’ve never been a regular in the comments section of this website.

      You know who else made sweeping generalizations about online communities? HITLER.

  50. Graham says:

    Sorry Warren, but is Spence who is running scared. Let’s look at her actions since the leak:

    She has not been seen publicly since Monday.

    “Her people” have put up tarps along the inside of the fence surrounding her teepee so people can no longer see in.

    “Her people” now ask anyone at the gate “Friend or foe” before being let in or turned away.

    She called the reserve and told “her people” up there to have reserve police remove any media and threaten them with arrest should they return.

    She has instructed “her people” up on the reserve to warn every resident to not talk with any “out siders”

    Since the announcement of Harper’s attendance at the meeting, she said she’s going to attend. The audit story breaks. Now she says, only AFTER the Governor General refuses her demand to attend that he isn’t there, she won’t attend.

    These are not Conservatie talking points. These are facts.

    Why do I get the impression that even if the GG changes his mind, she’d come up with anothe excuse to bail?

  51. C. Garrett says:

    Thank you Kelly for a sane response to the craziness generated from the Conservative crowd regarding Chief Spence and Idle No More.

    The point you raise: “that a significant portion of the Conservative base doesn’t like Aboriginals. At all. Just the resources on reserve land,” is so accurate and misrepresented all over Canada by the media and by government. Witness the two Omnibus catastrophes for resources and environment as well as determination to have more nuclear power rather than less, as well as the need “for a willing host community” (read First Nation land), to dump toxic nuclear waste.

  52. dave says:

    The Conserv tactic of switching media, and public attention from Idle No More to the character of Chief Spence has been successful. Their networks just need a few finishing touches on this character destruction campaign. Got to admit, it works.

    As well, the Conservs and most media have done a good job as presenting this as a beef between government and Aboriginals looking for a hand out. Has nothing to do with treaties.

    Should be easy, then to transfer the character destruction of Spence to the meeting day after tomorrow, and toss in a bit of innuendo about shiftless parasites, and that will be it for now.

    Conservs and their oil/pipeline backers are in good shape.

  53. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    With each passing day the wind comes up and the sand shifts in different directions. On one day you win some, on another not quite so much…point being that Shawn Atleo, the National Chief and his brethren will have to show us what they are made of at Friday’s meeting. They have to demonstrate that First Nations’ government is not pie in the sky. The must show the time is fast approaching for their appointment with destiny.

    That doesn’t mean letting this Prime Minister have it. But it does require making sure Stephen Harper knows precisely where First Nations are coming from going forward.

  54. Vankleek Hill says:

    Warren, you picked a bad one here. People aren’t buying it anymore. Check out this Mop and Pail article and the normally left-leaning comments section:


  55. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    It may have escaped a few of the minds who should know but it’s actually called C-L-E-A-R-I-N-G the Prime Minister’s schedule. Seesh…

    One would think that as head of government this Prime Minister would want to participate fully and vigorously. These are historic and life changing events for our First Nations.

    Tomorrow, we’ll really find out where Harper’s political instincts are — not to mention whether they are up to the enormous challenge that lies ahead.

  56. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    As for the Governor General, his taking-a-decision-and-sticking-to-it-skills leave a lot to be desired. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad for the change of heart but is it really imperative that he be anything other than a witness to the change that is coming? I don’t get the impression that his involvement with these issues will bring positive result any faster than would otherwise be the case.

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