Stories keep seeping out of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) about its head, Patrick Brazeau, its senior administration, its board of directors. The stories are about sexual harrassment, pyschological harrassment, lack of political accountability, misuse or abuse of position or power, coverups, and so on.
Two women have taken their complaints public; both to Brazeau himself and the CAP board, one to the Canadian Human Rights Commission when that went nowhere. In both cases, there was supposed to be an internal review that cleared Brazeau. Not everyone believes it, knowing all too well how political organizations tend to shovel such things under heavy carpetting.
Two members of the board, one from Manitoba and another from Saskatchewan, have released letters of complaint about the “internal investigations” and their muzzling by Brazeau and other senior CAP officials. They say that when tried to lay their hands on the investigation’s report, they were refused. When they sought to raise questions about the report and the women’s allegations during CAP’s annual general assembly, that Brazeau kept them from attending. Brazeau was re-elected at that meeting.
By suspending the Manitoba delegation from that CAP assembly, and muzzling discussion about these allegations before the election, the western delegates say that Brazeau and others may have rigged the election by avoiding any accountability that might have been expressed by the voting delegates. Lack of accountability, as some may have noticed, is one of Brazeau’s constant criticisms about reserves, band council chiefs, the Assembly of First Nations and its leader, Phil Fontaine.
Brazeau has not cooperated with the Cdn Human Rights Commission, which passed the complaint of sexual harrassment along to an Ontario human rights tribunal. Considering Brazeau’s push to have the Canadian Human Rights Act imposed upon reserves and their band councils, again this seems more than a mite hypocritical.
Sadly, instead of releasing documents like the report of that internal investigation, Brazeau and the CAP executive have decided to shut ranks (predictable), condemn the victims (also predictable), and shut the blinds in hopes it will somehow fade away like the last episode of Dallas
Brazeau said the allegations were investigated and dismissed by an independent mediation firm last year.
“The conclusions of the investigation was that there was no wrongdoing, there was no sexual harassment and therefore, the allegations were false, and that’s now case closed,” Brazeau told CBC News on Wednesday.
“My integrity is not at stake here.”
Uh, huh. Oh, yes it is!
Beyond this almost daily sliming of Brazeau, however, reporters have not asked what I think are much more pertinent questions. Sure this Algonquin Indian from Maniwaki, QC, has some serious character flaws and needs to answer some questions. But so do the good folks who put him into the Senate?
Why aren’t reporters demanding answers from Chuck Strahl, the Min of Indian Affairs, to find out why he still says this about Brazeau:
“I’m sure he’ll do great work,” Strahl said. “He’s a good man. He will do the right things as he goes forward, and he’ll provide good leadership both on Quebec issues and aboriginal issues.”
Pardonez moi? Yeah, right.
What kind of vetting took place before the Prime Minister appointed Brazeau?
The Prime Minister said he wanted to get away from patronage appointments to the Senate and institute American-style hearings and an elected Senate. Bull-roar.
What criteria did he use when selecting fine people like Pamela Wallin, Mike Duffy, and the rest of this bunch of “Cash-For-Lifers.”
So why isn’t the news media asking these questions? Or are they waiting for Parliament to be recalled so they can avoid asking them and get to the real stuff about… uh, whatever.