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Issue 31 – Summer Fall 2012

Undoubtedly the most urgent issues of governance in Canada today concern Aboriginal people. Two linked articles examine some of these issues. John Graham casts a spotlight on 11 features of First Nation governance that, in combination, act as “a significant brake on achieving better results for First Nation communities.” Joseph Quesnel takes a close look at one particular First Nation, the Nisga’a of northwestern British Columbia, who in 1998 signed a treaty that granted them effective self-government. How has that worked out? Quesnel finds “very compelling evidence for improvements in various areas under self-government,” but warns against thinking of self-government as a “silver bullet.” Questions of First Nation governance are raised by David Adams Richards in his 2011 novel Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul in a very different way – through a murder mystery. We present two reviews of Richards’s novel – by Joseph Quesnel, who pays particular attention to governance questions, and by Nicole O’Byrne, who looks at more universal themes.




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Incidents in the Life 
of Markus Paul – 2: An accurate portrayal of Aboriginal complexities

Incidents in the Life of Markus Paul shows the good and the bad among both First Nation and white communities in the Miramichi Valley, a corner of northern New Brunswick. [From Inroads 31, 2012]
by Joseph Quesnel


School board democracy

In the Poitou-Charentes region in west-central France, a participatory budget process for high schools has existed since 2005, resulting in greater transparency and the dissemination of more information about school boards. [Fr...
by Laurence Bherer


Coalition Avenir Quebec co-founder Francois Legault speaks during a news conference at the Palais Montcalm in Quebec City

Coalition Avenir Québec

Perhaps the biggest obstacle to a CAQ breakthrough is that it seeks what amounts to a dose of fiscal realism to voters little willing to wean themselves from the magical thinking proffered by the mainstream parties. [From Inroa...
by Brian Tanguay


Haven for the rich,
hell for the rest of us

Tax havens have become sanctuaries for an array of multinational firms and their subsidiaries or corporate parents. [From Inroads 31, 2012]
by Brigitte Alepin


whitaker image

When victims are bullies and bullies are victims

Through relentless dramatization of the Iranian menace, the peace process has been swept off the negotiating table while Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank expand. [From Inroads 31, 2012]
by Reg Whitaker

Francois Hollande campaign meeting in Toulouse

Elections in France and Greece cannot resolve Europe’s underlying problems

Ultimately the Greek and French elections signify nothing: they cannot address the toxic economic bonds that make fiscal policy a burning cross-border issue within the eurozone. [From Inroads 31, 2012]
by Finn Poschmann



The Liberal Party and the Selfish Bees

Liberal policy strategies have, bee-like, historically pursued mutual benefits for Canadians as individuals and as a society, [From Inroads 31, 2012]
by Joyce Murray


Political chill and artistic courage

This government has created a chill, and, I would suggest, has done so intentionally. It calls opposition un-Canadian, extremist or sympathetic to child molesters. [From Inroads 31, 2012]
by Arthur Milner


mohawk girls

Dysfunctional governance: Eleven barriers to progress among Canada’s First Nations

The First Nation governance system produces a degree of dysfunction in governance that is unmatched in any other jurisdiction in Canada. [From Inroads 31, 2012]
by John Graham


A decade of Nisga’a
 self-government: A positive impact, but no silver bullet

Under the Nisga’a treaty a First Nation obtained some degree of self-government. I was lead researcher in a major study of the this experiment. [From Inroads 31, 2012]
by Joseph Quesnel



Quebec’s distinct welfare state

During the period in which its major and distinctive antipoverty programs were implemented, Quebec appears to have succeeded in virtually eradicating acute poverty for both single- and two-parent families. [From Inroads 31, 2012]
by Axel Van den berg


Scandinavia or France? Where does the Quebec student strike lead?

Quebec's student strike leads not to Scandinvian higher education but to that in France, Quebec’s students should ask their confrères and consœurs from France if that is the direction they should take. [From Inroads 31, 2012]
by Henry Milner



The Jacobson question

It’s all dark fun, but unvarnished darkness is falling fast. Unrelenting reports of vandalism ("swastikas painted on stars of David; an Orthodox man in his sixties beaten up at a bus stop”). This seems extraordinary. [From...
by Arthur Milner


The health care policy trap: Lessons for Canada from health care reform in the United States

An excellent analysis of the tortuous evolution of health reform in the United States.Until Canadians address deficiencies in our own system, we have no reason to be smug in looking at health care politics in the US. [From Inro...
by Greg Marchildon



Incidents in the Life 
of Markus Paul – 1: A modern-day Dickens or Tolstoy

This murder mystery serves as a lens through which David Adams Richards illuminates the lingering effects of colonization, band council governance, systemic racism and the invidious nature of prejudice. [From Inroads 31, 2012]
by Nicole O'byrne


Tom Mulcair, prime minister in waiting?

Mulcair’s job is to present a credible, viable alternative to the team on the opposing front benches. No previous NDP leaders faced this challenge. [From Inroads 31, 2012]
by Henry Milner