Senator says ‘Idle No More’ hunger strike not a good example for Aboriginal youth

·Politics Reporter
Thirteen Idle No More rallies took place across the country last week, including this one in Winnipeg. More rallies are set to be held Friday. (CBC)

It seems that the default defender of the Harper government with regard to the 'Idle No More' protests is none other than Conservative senator Patrick Brazeau.

Over the past week, the sometimes controversial Aboriginal senator from Quebec has taken to social media to defend the Tories' Bill C-45 and its measures which would impact aboriginal communities and the review process for land and resource development projects.

[ Related: Aboriginal leaders to launch national protest in Ottawa demanding change ]

On Thursday, he went on APTN News, and said that he was a little confused as to what the protests are about.

"Unfortunately we're seeing a lot of push-back [to Bill C-45] but I think a lot of [it] is because a lot of fear mongering and some misinformation...There has been a lot of consultation on this Bill.

There is a movement called 'Idle No More,' I am not quite sure what it’s about. It started with opposition to Bill C-45, now we are hearing things about sovereignty and access to resources and it’s the whole gamut of issues."

Brazeau was also asked to comment about Atawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence’s now 11-day-long hunger strike.

"People have the right to do what they feel they need to do to gain the attention of different levels of government that they believe in," he said.

"Having said that, I personally don't believe that, in Canada, in 2012 that is the way to go. And I don't really believe that it sets a good example for young Aboriginal youth because...there are many processes in place where people can have their voices heard."

[ Related: ‘Idle No More’ movement grows beyond a single hunger strike ]

In the past Brazeau has broken Conservative party ranks to speak out for Aboriginals. In November, he publicly called on the Harper government to convene a federal public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.

But in this case, he seems to be behind his party 100 per cent.

In one of his recent Tweets he even lashed-out at the governance of Attiwapiskat.

To that NDP MP Charlie Angus wrote this reply on his Facebook page on Friday morning:

"Patrick Brazeau is a fool. He attacks Attawapiskat for fundraising with bingos to buy a zamboni so the kids would have somewhere to play. Meanwhile taxpayers shell out for the house that Brazeau doesn't use and pays this nitwit until he's 75. Talk about sponging off the taxpayer. Why don't you fundraise for your senate perks Brazeau?"


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