The tragedy of hundreds of First Nations’ children dying in the care of government residential schools run by the Catholic Church has captured the world’s attention — colonialism’s shameful and bitter legacy.

But, together with the nomination of Mahmud Jamal to the Supreme Court of Canada, the scrutiny has highlighted the difficulties of addressing systemic racism and achieving reconciliation.

This country, in many ways, just can’t get it right.

After 154 years, Ottawa has yet to appoint a First Nations person to the nation’s highest court — worse, the Liberals erected another hurdle in 2016 by making bilingualism a requirement.

They didn’t mean Cree and English.

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The B.C. Court of Appeal has an unenviable job parsing the 880-page decision involving the constitutionality of provisions in the Medicare Protection Act restricting private health care.

And both senior governments exacerbated it by continuing to muddy the waters during last week’s appeal as they did throughout the marathon 198-day trial conducted by B.C. Supreme Court Justice John Steeves.

Since 2009 when proceedings started — which tells you how much politicking and busy-work has occurred — this case has been treated as a time-bomb that the two governments want defused by any means necessary.

Some of issues were before the Supreme Court of Canada in a 2005 Quebec case, known as Chaoulli, when the high bench ruled that access to a waiting list was not access to timely health care.

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COVID-19 may have conferred a saintlike halo on some doctors, but as far as the B.C. government is concerned too many remain greedy, unethical and ready to ablate part of Canada’s soul.

Lawyers for the province told the B.C. Court of Appeal those physicians exaggerate waiting times, manipulate wait-lists and want to provide private necessary health services that would destroy the country’s celebrated egalitarian public system.

Both the B.C. and federal governments asserted the future of medicare depended on the high bench upholding a 2020 B.C. Supreme Court decision endorsing provisions in the Medical Protection Act restricting access to private care even though patients in lengthy surgical queues may be suffering.

They agreed the impugned provisions suppressed a parallel private market, made it uneconomical for doctors to leave the public sector and erected barriers to the provision of private necessary health services.

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Those who have battled for years against the Bountiful polygamous community in the Creston Valley are probably horrified — the B.C. Supreme Court has recognized a threesome as “parents.”

Justice Sandra Wilkinson approved adding a third adult to a toddler’s birth certificate saying the Family Law Act needs to recognize polyamorous families.

Some will consider it a win for free love, some a blow to the Christian institution of monogamous marriage. And lawyers will have another estate to sue in inheritance disputes.

The legislation came into force in 2013 after the widely publicized Nov. 23, 2011 reference decision by the chief justice of the court supporting the criminal law against polygamy as a result of concerns in Bountiful.

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Most observers thought B.C.’s inquiry into money laundering would reveal the source of the vast sums of cash that flooded the province’s casinos over the past decade or so, starting with the run-up to the 2010 Olympics.

As far as I can tell, it hasn’t.

Instead, it provided a theory about underground banking and a provincial, keyhole view into a warehouse-sized global Pandora’s Box, housing a dangerous nexus of volatile interests — national security, civilian law enforcement, global commerce, and crime.

The Canadian policing system and B.C.’s law-enforcement apparatus were described as ill-equipped to deal with it without significant change.

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