The Idle No More movement is an indictment and rejection of the conservative government's policies and neoliberal ideology. The failed First Nations meeting with Prime Minister Harper is indicative of the clash in ideologies and perspectives between the sides.
Based on an in-depth interview of Sheelah McLean, one of the founders of the Idle No More movement, she states clearly that the Idle No More represents a grassroots action against:
1. First Nations inequality and rights issues including exclusion in federal policy decision-making.
2. Reduction in environmental protections and marginalization of environmental issues, in which the conservative government removes Canada from the Kyoto Protocol, fast tracks industrial development and resource extraction at the expense of the environment and First Nations, and reduces significantly protections on Canada's lakes, streams, rivers, and air.
3. Omnibus budget bill C-45, which amounts to a rejection of the conservative government's policies.
4. Canadian political structural which marginalizes the political voice of First Nations, allows minority political parties to control the Canadian parliament as is the case with the conservative government, and the prime minister to have excessive powers.
Interestingly, instead of waiting for the next federal election in 2015 to voice its opposition to the conservative government, the Idle No More movement is acting now, which suggests the seriousness of its grievances and likely lack of confidence in the Canadian political system.
At the start of the Canadian media coverage of the Idle No More movement in December 2012, the movement was being portrayed as a Chief Theresa Spence protest via her hunger strike, and has now shifted to a First Nations issue. The reality is that the movement was started as mentioned by one white Canadian and three First Nations Canadians (Sheelah McLean, Nina Wilson, Sylvia McAdam, and Jess Gordon), and the movement deals with national and international issues which involve all of humanity. To sideline the movement as solely a First Nations movement is simply false and corrupts Canadian political discourse and the ability of Canadians to form an objective opinion of the movement.
Sheelah McLean Interview
Understanding the Canadian Prime Minister Powers
FDA Reports, Articles, Podcasts on Canada
Mr. Stephen Garvey, Foundation for Democratic Advancement, Executive Director
Question for Readers:
Is neoliberalism, which basically gambles on the marketplace to direct humanity in the better direction, the better ideology to deal with global environmental and human and political rights issues?
Or in the alternative, is neoliberalism a cause of global environmental and human and political rights issues?