I know I will get more than one comment on this editorial but it seems to me there is a lot of B.S. in and around the Cree territory.
Some of it is noticed and commented on while other forms seem to go unnoticed as the bullsh*t works its magic. So let’s start by looking at the meaning of this vulgar slang known as bullsh*t a.k.a. B.S.
B.S. according to the dictionary means:
1. Foolish, deceitful or boastful language.
2. Something worthless, deceptive or insincere.
3. Insolent talk or behavior.
4. Nonsense, lies or exaggeration.
The verb form of B.S. means to speak insincerely or without regard for facts or truths.
To help look at the meaning of B.S. within and outside of Eeyou Istchee I refer to two prime examples.
The first and most recent is the recent dyke that failed at the closed-down Opimiska mine. It concerned a settling pond containing mine tailings flooding into the Slam Creek which flows into the Obatigaumau River and in turn to the Waswanipi River. It was said that Environment Canada has done testing and there is no risk to human health. There are others who say they smell a strong whiff of B.S.
They could very well be right as in 1965 the Joe Mann Mine suffered a similar incident. Historical information from Cree tallymen reported that many fish were killed at this time in the Nemenjiche River. The levels of contamination when sampled by geologist Christopher Covel in March 2001, revealed levels of arsenic, chromium and lead in the sediment that exceeded the Canadian environmental guidelines. Water samples showed copper, chromium, cyanide, mercury and zinc exceeded Canadian environmental quality guidelines for the protection of aquatic life.
This was 36 years after the incident so there could be a problem with a little or a lot of B.S. coming down the pipe. Only time and science will tell whether or not this is the case.
Then let’s take a look at the Paix des braves deal. Yes, the guaranteed money is still flowing on a yearly basis but something is reeking of B.S.
Remember the promise of revenue sharing the Cree were promised? An initial sum of $1.4 million was received after a few years of waiting. Since then the Cree Nation has received nothing.
Revenue sharing was one of the new things and referred to everywhere as the goose that laid the golden egg for the Cree. Let’s face it the $70 million was just to fulfill the terms and obligations of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement.
Revenue sharing was one of the benefits of selling one more river. The reason why we have not received anything is that Quebec refuses to release any figures to the Cree on how much revenue is generated by such resource extractions as forestry or mining. The promised new relationship between the Cree and Quebec now looks like so much B.S.
Perhaps it is understandable as gold has reached a high of $929 an ounce on July 9. It was only a little over $300 an ounce at the time of the signing. Imagine having to share the revenue now?
I almost feel sorry for the Grand Council’s Quebec Negotiator Abel Bosum having to shovel through the vast amount of B.S. to get to the true figures. Electricity sales are at an all-time high and forestry product prices have risen some 40 to 60 percent in U.S. dollars since early 2006.
I can only hope that you all have learnt what the meaning of B.S. means these days. Let’s all grab a shovel and get it out of Eeyou Istchee.