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Opinion: Government keeps making the same colonial mistakes

The NDP plan for housing is going to lead to more poverty and deplorable conditions for marginalized people to live in while they hemorrhage money at self-made problems.
Premier David Eby addresses the media in Prince George after announcing he's signed an agreement to address the city's homeless situation in this 2023 file photo.

The NDP have lost my vote.  The NDP is failing on housing, health care, education, climate change and much more by bringing back the colonialist doctrine to destroy a people and the only home all Canadians call home.

Governments are getting away with policy at home while citizens have been preoccupied with multiple wars, protests, rallies and vigils in our streets.  Russia invading the Ukraine.  Trade war with China.  War on democracy with election interference. War in the Middle East.  Every one of these wars have one common thread: they are all causing a humanitarian crisis and they don’t need bombs and guns to do it.

What is the NDP part in this?  While they claim to have the people’s interest at top of mind, they are dictating land use by resurrecting colonial policy used on Canada’s First People.  When you cram people together with the false sense of affordability and remove a culture many children in this country grew up with to make room for the prime minister’s new immigration policy, how is this different from what happened to our people? 

You don’t need a crystal ball to see First Nations are not going to be the only people who do not have fresh drinking water.  Fast forward 200 years of development. There is now a class action against government for drinking water on their owned reserves. The NDP plan for housing is going to lead to more poverty and deplorable conditions for marginalized people to live in while they hemorrhage money at self-made problems.

While the NDP claim to have a plan for climate change, they are flooding Site C for more fracking and justifying natural gas as a way to get off fossil fuels.  First Nations and four generations of people standing up to save our old-growth forests have faced charges and abuse by the RCMP with the support of government for industry and development. It’s not lost on First Nations when we compare these actions that are no different than John A. MacDonald’s plan to rid Canada of their Indian problem.

In recent weeks, David Eby made mandatory to teach about the Holocaust in BC’s high schools in 2025.  Instead of giving recognition to the damage against Natives in Canada when you whitewash (no pun intended) truthful history, he made this announcement to score political points, while claiming to work on reconciliation with Canada’s First Peoples. It has taken the United Nations and Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action to have First Nation history taught, but in less than a month of protests the premier is ensuring Jewish History be accurately taught in our schools? 

The irony is not lost on us.

All I can say as a First Nation who knows what happened to generations of my ancestors, we are all standing witness to the blindness of government as they repeat history on every front that destroyed our people and culture.

It was the First People who continue to live with the traumatic pain of a culture ripped from us, and now the very colonizers are repeating it to their own. It’s like a virus; it manifests itself to look different but the outcome will be the same.

Jo-Anne Berezanski

Lheidli T’enneh First Nation elder


PS:  Before ill-informed supremacy remarks are made about getting everything free, fact is 75 per cent of our people don’t live on improvised government-owned reserves.  Those of us who were lucky enough to get off the reserve and get an education, lucky enough to get hired in jobs, and eventually buy back a piece of land stolen, we pay the same taxes as every Canadian.  If you don’t pay your taxes, the government will take it and just maybe you will get a taste of our experience?