Monday, February 4, 2008

Excellent Comment on Yesterday's Column

Couldn't disagree more. The 2006 Canadian Census indicates that here are 1,172,785 First Nations people (including Metis etc) in Canada out of a total population of 31,241,030. They represent .0375% of the population. Yet the 2005 budget (unfortunately the last one I could find any info on) indicates that $750 Million (over 5 years) in addition to an already allotted $700 Million has been budgeted for improvements to their health system, $345 Million (over 5 years) is for early learning and child care as well as special education and child and family services, plus $340 Million (over 5 years) budgeted for First Nations housing. That's a total of $2,135,000,000 and that is on top of the billions that has been thrown at First Nations communities over the last 100 years or so and continue to be thrown at them.

My question is when are they going to start doing something to help themselves? If it was up to me every First Nations person would have to decide which Canada do they want to live in. Do they want to have housing, clean water, schools, electricity and all the other things that most of us take for granted and pay for? If that's the life they want then they need to move into the 21st Century and put their past where it belongs. If that's not what they want then let them revert to their culture of 100 years ago. No subsidised housing, no electricity, no sewer, no vehicles to drive, no running water, no power boats, no guns, no nothing that was developed by the rest of the human race to improve living standards. They cannot have it both ways. If they want life to be the way it was for their forefathers good luck to them, but I do not want to pay another dollar of my income to support this lot of whiners. Canadian taxpayers have paid untold billions in tax dollars to try and placate these people and nothing ever seems to be good enough.

And what has happened to all those billions of dollars that have been paid to these people over the years? Rather than giving them everything, they need to work for it like the rest of the civilized world, and then, perhaps, they would have some respect for what has been given to them. Drive by most reserves and what do you see? A pig sty from one end to the other. And why is that? Because they know they don't have to do one damned thing or lift one finger and the Federal Government will throw money at them to solve whatever their problem is. We can't continue to throw tax dollars in the hope that they will sort out their own problems because history has proven that will not and does not happen. What we do need to do is to pull them, kicking and screaming into the 21st century. It's unfortunate indeed that they will "go back to their communities and struggle with alcohol and drugs, teen suicides and unemployment". The rest of Canadian society struggles with the same things every day.

Years ago, when I was much younger, I worked with a First Nations fellow. He had been raised with the understanding that education and hard work were the ways to improve their lot in life. He and his wife raised their family with those same beliefs. A good guy, lots of fun with a great sense of humour, a beautiful wife and family, but also a guy who knew what had to be done to break the cycle of alcohol, drugs, teens suicides and unemployment. If he can do it so can the rest of them.

Joe Schiller

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree Joe. The billions spent just proves that you don't create a healthy society from dependency on handouts. For some bands, things will never improve until the money stops.