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How Campbell changed his view Add to ...

2007 - The Tsawwassen First Nation and the Huu-ah-aht First Nation vote to accept final agreements on treaties. The Tsawwassen agreement will be introduced for ratification in the B.C. Legislature on Monday. Four other members of the Maa-Nulth First Nations must vote before their joint treaty can be forwarded to the B.C. and federal governments for ratification.

Justine Hunter

CAMPBELL'S CHANGE

THEN

Opposition Leader at the time, Gordon Campbell led the attacks against the Nisga'a treaty, the first modern land claims settlement in B.C. history.

July, 1998: "There is no question we are creating a whole new third order of government, we are creating new rights, we are entrenching inequality based on race."

December, 1998: "The net result will be a feast for lawyers and new costs for businesses that will be caught in the web of this untried, impractical, bureaucratic nightmare."

December, 1998: "The myth is that the treaty will break down the barriers that exist under the reserve system; but in reality, it will reinforce those existing barriers and erect new walls that will cleave our province into 50 or 60 'gated communities.' "

November, 1998: On the need for a province-wide referendum on treaty-making: "The people of British Columbia have seen that the Nisga'a have had a vote, and they think that the 99 per cent of the rest of B.C. should have a say."

NOW

February, 2003: Gordon Campbell's government, in its Speech from the Throne: "Your government deeply regrets the mistakes that were made by governments of every political stripe over the course of our province's history."

May, 2006: On Prime Minister Stephen Harper's refusal to back the Kelowna accord: "I characterized that agreement as Canada's 'moment of truth.' It was our time to do something that has eluded our nation for 138 years. It was our chance to end the disparities in health, education, housing and economic opportunity. All first ministers rose to that moment of truth alongside Canada's aboriginal leaders to undertake that challenge. ... Any unilateral reversal will invite consequences that only make us poorer as a nation."

July, 2006: At the Assembly of First Nations annual general meeting: "We must turn our back on the denial of the past. ... For 139 years, we have not recognized the true contribution of first nations and aboriginal people across our country. In British Columbia, we are determined not just to recognize, but to reconcile with first nations, to build a new relationship that opens up worlds of opportunities and recognizes the strength of the first nations of British Columbia in making us the place we are as a province."

Justine Hunter

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