Mr. Speaker, on August 4 the Liberal government initialled the Nisga'a Land Claim Agreement with much fanfare and hype.
The provincial NDP government, also a signatory to the agreement, is now spending millions of taxpayers' dollars in a paid campaign reminiscent of the Charlottetown accord.
Once again all of the talking heads who told us why Charlottetown was the only hope for Canada are trotted out to tell us why we must have the Nisga'a agreement.
The parallels are striking. An agreement is crafted behind closed doors by an elite group of politicians and intellectuals. The public is told in no uncertain terms that the agreement cannot be changed and must be accepted to save the country. The intelligentsia lauds the agreement in glowing terms without hesitation or reservation and those who express concern or opposition are labelled the “enemies of Canada” in the case of the Charlottetown accord or the “forces of darkness” in the case of the Nisga'a agreement.
These are all clear indications of governments which are morally adrift, intellectually bankrupt and distrusting of their public.
When governments make major changes to the social contract they must never do so—