Editorial: When is a high-five just a high-five and when is it just a boneheaded move?

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As we reported yesterday, Sturgeon River-Parkland MP Dane Lloyd is coming under some controversy for high-fiving Battlefords-Lloydminster MP Rosemarie Falk after the conclusion of an hour-long vote on Romeo Saganash’s Indigenous rights bill.

Some background things you need to know:

1/ NDP Romeo Saganash’s private member’s bill, which passed third reading May 30 and is now in front of the Senate, seeks to make sure Canada’s laws are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

2/ Saganash was one of the people who helped craft UNDRIP, which was approved by the UN in 2007.

3/ MP Saganash spent 10 years in a residential school.

4/ Both UNDRIP and Bill C-262 are seen as essential aspects of reconciliation.

5/ The Bill – C-262 – passed Third Reading with a vote of 206-79, and every Conservative MP in the House of Commons voted against the bill.

6/ Rosemarie Falk’s riding includes the area where Colten Boushie was shot.

7/ MP Dane Lloyd has previously been called out for some harsh past opinions during the by-election last year.

8/ MP Dane Lloyd’s riding includes Alexander First Nation.

9/ Both Falks and Lloyd are backbenchers.

10/ Both backbenchers exchanged a high-five after voting in opposition to the bill.

11/ Both backbenchers handlers indicate the high-five was to celebrate the ending of an hour of debate and is not on the Bill itself.

So what do all of these things mean in total?

Not much.

On the one hand, you have an NDP MP who spent a decade in a residential school who has taken that experience as horrible as it undoubtedly was and helped craft UN policy and Canadian Law to address reconciliation, a Bill that passed a strong majority and is now before the Senate.

On the other hand, you have two Conservative backbenchers voting on party lines and exchanging – if we take them at their handler’s word – a high-five to celebrate having worked an entire hour of debate and voting, seemingly oblivious to what that five-second high-five exchange may look like to the nation.

Edmonton Lawyer and Alexander First Nation member Brooks Arcand-Paul, perhaps put it best in a public letter to Mr. Lloyd, the entirety of which can be read on Google Drive.

“Please consider your actions and how they affect your constituents now and in the future. Kindly govern yourself accordingly.”

– SD

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