(‘So a baby seal walks into a bar…‘)
Over a month ago in northern Ontario, Chief Shawn-A-in-chut Atleo from Attawapiskat First Nation declared a State of Emergency. Living conditions had consistently declined for two decades, placing the 2000-member community on the brink of a “humanitarian disaster.”
The response from the Government of Canada has been slow, leaving the ball to be picked up by a group that should be out helping the rest of the world – the Red Cross. Yet Ottawa’s sluggish response stems less from their lack of belief about the dire conditions, and more from the pressing fear of what might happen should other First Nations expose their own appalling conditions
What an embarrassment it would be for Canada! On top of being seal-clubbing, cancer-spreading, earth-rapists, we’ll also bear the international humiliation of a neglected indigenous population. Dreadful.
On a related note, in the third world, out of the countless millions living on the brink of starvation, tens of thousands of humans die every single day. So, not to trivialize the plight of Canada’s poorest people, but labeling what we see in Canada as ‘Third World Conditions’ does a disservice to the world’s truly poorest, who must endure the absolute worst that modern life has to offer.
And now that I’ve gone off on a tangent, I may as well end up on a soapbox.
Canada has been spending over $8 Billion a year for programs and policies for aboriginal peoples, which is clearly proving inadequate. Not that more money is the only solution. Surely the whole branch of government could use a shake-up and maybe trim off the life-sucking bloated bureaucracy.
But compare that spending to the nearly $20 Billion Canada invested to
bomb liberate the poor, hapless people of Afghanistan, or the $26 Million in Canadian taxpayer funds used for the humanitarian mission to execute Gaddafi, and one wonders where Canada’s priorities should lie.
Don’t get me wrong. I am all for making the world a better place, and the more diverse our strategy the better. But if the goal is to help humans live better lives, we might find our efforts better placed in areas where armies aren’t a necessary part of the plan.
Plus, until we Canadians get our shit together back home, we really have no business intervening militarily in the affairs of other nations.