April 05, 2007

Another billboard battle

Squamish billboard debate threatens to get ugly

The Native position:Squamish Chief Bill Williams doesn't understand what all the stink is about.

He says there are thousands of signs and billboards throughout the City of Vancouver--why the fuss over a plan to erect a few more? Besides, Chief Williams argues, it's Squamish land the signs would be going up on. Shouldn't it be able to do what it wants on its own property?

Native groups can't win, he argues. Everyone wants them to become more economically self-sufficient and yet when they try, their plans are decried for being in poor taste.
The non-Native position:At one time in the 1970s there were 12,000 billboards in the City of Vancouver. Today there are 1,200 and that number will soon be cut back to 900. Most of the ones left are erected in parking lots.

The city would like to get rid of them all.

So, it's not about picking on a particular native group that's trying to make some dough, civic leaders say, it's about being consistent.

Billboards suck. Period.
Comment:  If you read through my website, I doubt you'll find many instances where I've said tribes should exercise their sovereign rights to the limit, without regard for their neighbors. In contrast, I've generally said gaming tribes should spend enough to ameliorate the negative effects of their casinos: traffic, crime, problem gambling, etc.

I've always said that no right is absolute. Not free speech, not property rights, and not sovereignty. For instance, if a China, Iraq, or Rwanda starts killing its citizens, I'd say it forfeits its sovereign authority over its land and people.

1 comment:

Rob said...

I believe Iraq's government (under Saddam Hussein) claimed the US violated its sovereignty. And I would've supported a foreign country that invaded the US or Canada to protect Native people from genocide.