Attawapiskat Nightmare 3
Continued from here
This piece showed up in the Guardian yesterday, co-authored by a colleague of mine:
Canada's First Nations: a scandal where the victims are blamed
The federal government's response to the crisis has been a combination of arrogance and bullying. The prime minister, Stephen Harper, stood up in parliament to argue that widespread corruption on the part of band leaders was to blame, stating: "This government has spent some $90m since coming to office just on Attawapiskat. That's over $50,000 for every man, woman and child in the community. Obviously we're not very happy that the results do not seem to have been achieved for that."
As the author of the apihtawikosisan blog points out, this figure not only conflates the amounts allocated for education, maintenance, healthcare and social services but ignores the cost difficulties brought about by Attawapiskat's remote location and the fact it is over a number of years. Full government-sponsored audits since 2005 are available on theofficial Attawapiskat website.
Then Harper placed Attawapiskat in third-party management. Last Monday, when the controller arrived, he was promptly asked to leave by the community – and did. Now, the aboriginal affairs minister, John Duncan, has given Attawapiskat two choices: either hand over control of their affairs directly to the federal government (at a cost of $180,000 to the community), or evacuate the needy families. As chief Theresa Spence states in a press release: "It is incredible that the Harper government's decision is that instead of offering aid and assistance to Canada's First Peoples, their solution is to blame the victim, and that the community is guilty, and deserving of their fate."
Between Durban COP17 and this, what a disgraced nation Canada is nowadays on the world stage.