A very well written and heart-wrenching article written by Charlie Angus over at Huffingtonpost.ca describes conditions in a Northern Canadian First Nations reserve “like stepping into a fourth world”. He is talking about Attawapiskat, a community on the James Bay coast, that has recently declared a state of emergency. They are also, according to this Toronto Star article, asking to be evacuated, and I gotta say, after watching Charlie Angus’ video revealing absolutely atrocious living conditions in our own Country, that I am struggling; I think Moe Syzlak expresses it best, “Arrrgh-eeengh-gah! Choking on my own rage here!”
But in the end, what good does “choking on my own rage” do? I am in contact with a friend of mine and we are currently brainstorming as to how we can help out. If you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments…we would love to hear them!
The province of Ontario has the responsibility to ensure equitable standards for education, as well as water, fire safety and building codes citizens in Ontario. And yet, when the families of Attawapiskat look to the province for help, they are continually told that they are a federal “responsibility.”
Ironically, the province doesn’t take the same attitude when it comes to the immense wealth coming out of Attawapiskat’s back yard. The De Beers Victor Mine is the richest diamond mine in the Western world. Just recently, the province upped the royalty tax at the mine from nine per cent to 11 per cent to ensure an even higher return for the provincial coffers. Not a dime of provincial royalty money comes back to help the community with infrastructure or development. (Charlie Angus – The Huffington Post)
In one case as many as 27 people are living in a home while up to 90 live in a construction trailer left behind by the diamond mining company De Beers Canada Inc.
“I often have to remind myself that I am still working in the province of Ontario,” said Blackmore, a former Toronto physician.(Richard J. Brennan – The Toronto Star)