Saturday, November 2, 2013


“Furlong says probe cleared him, but RCMP says case open.”

So read the headline published in the GLOBE AND MAIL dated, Oct. 29th, 2013 and written by Sunny Dhillon and Tu Thanh Ha.

 It’s well known today, at least amongst Aboriginal communities, the legacy of physical and sexual abuse in the former native residential schools that were all funded by the federal government and operated by various churches. Along with that legacy did come some accountability with a number of former supervisors charged, convicted, and subsequently sentenced behind bars.

Enter former supervisor, Paul Leroux, who had worked at Grollier Hall, a former Catholic-run residence in Inuvik, NT.  After a complaint from one former student, a speedy and extensive RCMP investigation ensued.

The RCMP “probe” into that case included interviews with over 70 former Grollier Hall students (Survivors) under Leroux’s care at that time. That probe clearly showed the will of the RCMP to gain evidence against him to subsequently charge him with sexual abuse.

Now, should the same extensive probe into John Furlong, former CEO of the 2010 Olympics be expected? One would think the RCMP would have the same will…instead, after one complaint.

“The initial probe, which ended in the spring, looked at allegations Mr. Furlong sexually molested Beverly Abraham when he was a physical education teacher at Immaculata Roman Catholic Elementary School in Burns Lake, B.C. four decades ago.”

The result?

Apparently, “Mr. Furlong said the officer in charge of the investigation…concluded there was no wrongdoing.”

 “…he has been told an RCMP investigation into allegations he sexually abused a student when he was a teacher decades ago has proven his innocence.”

Apparently too, seems the RCMP is unwilling to extend their probe past one allegation even when Ms. Abraham asked the local constable to interview additional witnesses.

As one who did take part as a witness into the extensive RCMP probe against Paul Leroux, a pragmatic attitude would think the RCMP take the same approach towards Furlong.


John Furlong is a high-profile character who worked closely with the RCMP to ensure security measures were in place during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Could that relationship be the impetus behind the restrictive probe into the allegations of physical and sexual abuse?

Perhaps, the BC RCMP should seriously hold the NWT RCMP as a model into how to conduct a probe into allegations of physical and sexual abuse by John Furlong.

One has hope…after all, “RCMP says case open.”

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pipeline Revival, People Survival

“Mackenzie Valley pipeline facing possible revival.
Revival of 500 million dollar fund signals renewed interest in project – and possible new route.”

So read the headline published on the CBC website dated, Oct. 25th, 2013.

Even after more than 40 years of deliberation and finally a 2011 permit to build the Mackenzie Gas Pipeline (MGP) and subsequent stall due to economics…yet, another dust-off for the MGP?

A prominent NWT Aboriginal member once said, “I’m kinda glad the MGP has not gone ahead, 20 per cent of our people could be lost.”


The social impact of money. The people know it and certainly the federal government does too. After all, they have recently revived the 500 million dollar social impact fund in case the MGP is to be.

"We are looking at all options here and there is more than one option for this pipeline," says Pius Rolheiser, Imperial Oil’s spokesman. Imperial needs to act quickly on an option as they have only until the end of 2013 to give the nod to the National Energy Board…to be or not to be.

As you may know, N.E. BC has been wrought with natural gas activity lately with a number of pipelines proposed southwest to Kitimat on BC’s west coast with eventual shipment to the Far East. So…why not connect the MGP while they’re at it?

Imperial has made a considerable amount of investment to the MGP throughout the years but what does it value the most?

"We made a significant investment in terms of our relationship with the people of the North as represented by the Aboriginal pipeline group and that is a terribly important asset to us."
The revival of the MGP will be great for the NWT economy but how ‘bout the survival of its people?

Hopefully, 500 million dollars will be a good investment too.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Brazin' Brazeau

“New scandal hits Senate.
Brazeau ejected from caucus after arrest; Harper faces more headaches over upper house as reform stalls.”

So read the headline published in the GLOBE AND MAIL, dated Feb. 8th, 2013 and written Bill Curry, Daniel Leblanc, and Steven Chase.

As you may know, with the current Senate format, it is the Prime Minister who appoints members for their respective role on Canadian governance and, for all appointed, on a path to easy money and ultimate retirement. One would assume; appointments are based on recommendations and rhetoric. In the above noted case, one could surmise too, Harper needed an “Aboriginal” in his caucus to be seen as a Prime Minister sensitive to aboriginal issues but also a Prime Minister who likely needed an Aboriginal who advocated PC views…enter Patrick Brazeau.

For Harper, Brazeau is young and is a non-status Indian and therefore does not fall under the Indian Act and furthermore, in the past, Brazeau has been negative and critical on the on-going challenge of the relationship of status Indians under the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and the federal government. So, how has Brazeau performed and conformed so far?

“ I am deeply appalled…and feel let down,” said the Prime Minister today (February 9th, 2013).

Subsequent to a 911 call, the RCMP responded and went to Senator Brazeau’s house in Gatineau, QC and did apprehend him overnight pending investigation with possibly pressing criminal charges. Today, the RCMP has charged him with assault and sexual assault.

So, what is the Prime Minister to do now?

“I think it is known that in light of the serious events that have been reported today (February 9, 2013), I have removed Senator Brazeau from the Conservative caucus.”

Senator Brazeau now sits as an Independent and is on leave with full pay. Unless Harper reforms the Senate as he had promised as an election platform, Senator Brazeau could retire comfortably, thanks to future earnings of $7 million dollars to the end of his term…not bad for a likely criminal facing serious allegations.

In the big picture, it is the Prime Minister who should be held accountable but with a majority government…who cares?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

"...long to reign over us..."

Remember singing this in elementary school?

"God save our gracious Queen.
Long live our noble Queen.
Send her victorious,
long to reign over us..."

For those who think she is only a "symbolic/figurative" person, think again."