Letter: Two government wrongs don’t make a right

Re: Nisga’a proving critics wrong (B.C. Views, Dec. 5).

Editor:

Re: Nisga’a proving critics wrong (B.C. Views, Dec. 5).

Tom Fletcher seems to have had an epiphany that’s led to his urging acceptance of Supreme Court of Canada rulings which enabled the creation by the Nisga’a Nation of (Fletcher’s words) “a parallel state” in B.C.

Fletcher may never have learned “that two wrongs don’t make a right.”

The first long-standing wrong at issue is the sorry treatment of aboriginals in both B.C. and across Canada. Despite significant improvements over recent years, more remains to be done. The second wrong is that the Supreme Court of Canada now enables a new layer of government in B.C.

The old adage that “there’s only one taxpayer” could, with Nisga’a concurrence remain a truism.

It’s based on the realization that whether for services provided by local, provincial or federal governments, most voters and elected leaders have long recognized that it’s the voting taxpayer who, over time, determines both government funding levels and program priorities.

Historical antipathy between First Nation, local, provincial and federal agencies indicates a need for strong but flexible leadership at all four governmental levels.

In seeking a comprehensive governmental rebalancing, we’ll hopefully avoid historically based emotional rhetoric supporting retributive rationale if we’re to minimize costly, confrontational negotiations. In B.C., our often-envied Canadian cultural mosaic is at risk of becoming a dysfunctional and tattered societal quilt.

Ron Johnson

Saanich, B.C.