I wasn’t paranoid after all. It wasn’t all that medication I was on. Just kidding. Seriously, I wasn’t kidding. Every theory… okay, most of them… fear, offhand remark, accusation I made, seemingly in jest, on this humble page has come confirmed. Sort of.
What is it they say about bearers of bad news? Remember when the bearer of bad news was usually the gossip hanging around the Bay, the band office, the bar, the church or down by the river bank. These days it is usually us at The Nation who have that thankless job.
The Cree leadership have decided to suspend the $600-million forestry lawsuit without consulting the people they are supposed to be serving. We suspected they wouldn’t go ahead with the suit when it was first mentioned. Word came that someone had assured the forestry companies that the Crees would drop the suit.
Those consultation hearings you might have gone to were just to keep you quiet. It was all in their master plan. Keep the trappers whose lands would be affected quiet by launching a suit on their behalf and quietly drop it. Maybe they won’t notice. Better yet, name a talleyman with a questionable background as lead plaintiff so if we don’t actually drop the case we stand a better chance of losing. I believe that’s called sabotage.
A well-known Nemaska tallyman saw through the charade and refused to sign his name to the suit when he was asked. He warned me at the time but I didn’t listen. He knew something like this would take place.
I don’t know about you but I’d be awfully embarrassed if I had put on my best suit, gathered the press and announced
to the world that I was suing someone for $600 million, shed a tear or two for the land and then dropped the lawsuit less than two months later just so I could get my hands on a measly $15 million.
Let’s do the math. 600 million minus 15 million equals 585 million. That’s $585 million or $48,750 every Cree man, woman and child can kiss good-bye. As the kids like to say in Nemaska, embarrassing!
Don’t forget that’s not counting the amount already spent on our lawyers to do the paperwork. You know how much those guys make. You don’t? Well, one lawyer whose salary we looked at was making $400,000 a year. That’s six figures, so Will tells me. Not quite as much as Johnnie Cochrane’s yearly income, but still, you could buy a lot of Italian suits with that.
I don’t know if we would have had a chance to win the case. It would have set a precedent for sure. But that’s the way it usually goes, it’s the lawyers who win, whether they win the case or not.
What’s scary is that the same thing could happen with Great Whale and the NBR projects. Our so-called leaders could be given an offer they can’t refuse and will eagerly bend over to sign on the dotted line while Quebec gives it to them up the yin-yang. So to speak.
What should we call this scandal? Clinton has Monica-Gate, Chretien has Peppergate. Send in your suggestions for this “Gate.” It needs a hip, catchy name like Forestrygate, Lordgate or whatever. Its your call. Thanks.
So anyway, by the time you read this the suit will probably have been dropped and theforestry companies are happily cutting down trees all over our land.