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Aboriginal spending tops $1.4-billion

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

Projects range from skills training and housing to reserve infrastructure improvements ...Read the full article

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  1. K P from Canada writes: It would be nice if the Aboriginals made some gesture, maybe from their Casino funds or their incomes towards these ventures.
    As a Canadian Taxpayer I am sick and tired of the government throwing money at these people who seemingly have no itention of contributing towards their own well being.
  2. jerry quinn from Canada writes: The goverment spending into Northern areas is an economy into itself. Many people, not just Indians, are addicted to these funds.
  3. J W M from Canada writes: Aboriginal casinos in Canada are non-profit and therefore profits recieved go right back into First Nation communities and also your non-aboriginal economy.
  4. Joyce Smith from Canada writes: That sucking noise is the sound of taxpayer dollars going down the band council sinkhole.
  5. Ned Chiwalski from Oilberta, Canada writes: Here's a great use of taxpayers funds!!
  6. Nancy Wilson from N.Ontario, Canada writes: That's another $1.3 billion,on top of the already $10 BILLION received yearly?
    That's a lot of money,going to only 2% of the population.
    As usual,I'm sure most of it will be squandered,or the Chief's will be looking for bigger houses and SUV's.
  7. M W R from Canada writes: There needs to be an open-book policy. The Bands should all have to face an auditor whose report can be read by anybody. Otherwise it is like throwing money into a bottomless pit. There should be lots of developments with updated housing and roads what with all the money already received but it simply goes missing. If money has been solicited for education then it should go there and not disappear into the unknown.
  8. Patrick Freeman from Regina, Canada writes: Canada is still 100% behind racist policy
  9. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: When I taught school in The Pas, I heard of another teacher, a young guy with a new BEd, at Pukatawagan. He apparently was having more success with the local girls than the local lads liked, so they set fire to the ATCO in which he was living.

    He escaped, barely, quit the job and went to be a substitute teacher in Winnipeg.
  10. Toronto Lover from Canada writes: Let's see, if you can prove you've got some native blood, you can go to university tuition free, pay no tax and receive a host of other benefits. Sounds pretty good to me.

    Why does it take $25 million to build a native school that is still not built? the corruption is staggering. Free trips to the carribean, SUVs, shopping sprees are the norm and when one asks why there is no running infrastructure despite the billions spent on reserves, one only need look at the chiefs and their families who have stolen the funds at the expense of their constituents.

    Harsh penalties and strict accountability are not racist, they should put this money and the rest of the infrastructure money under a microscope. I have a feeling that this $1.4 billion will do zip and they'll be back at the trough in two years, with no schools, water or businesses to show for it, as they'll have blown through the $1.4 billion pretty quickly.
  11. Freddie Fender from Canada writes: Toronto Lover from Canada writes: 'Let's see, if you can prove you've got some native blood, you can go to university tuition free, pay no tax and receive a host of other benefits. Sounds pretty good to me.'

    This is not true. First Nations peoples do pay taxes and are entitled to the same benefits as other Canadians.
  12. John Melnick from High River AB, Canada writes: The CPC attempted to provide more transparency by posting a web page titled ' Disclosure of Grant and Contribution Awards Over $25,000'.

    Google it, it makes good reading.

    What I would like to see is a documentary on the life cycle of some typical First Nations housing. The homes are built and when you see some of them 10 years later some of them are a mess. And some are not.

    I realize that in native culture nobody owns anything but the Hutterites have that same social value and their properties are as neat as a pin.

    Even if they do not own something, by virtue of it being their home I wonder why they can't cleanup, paint and do running repairs?

    Can't get over one portion of a news clip where a home occupant was lifting up the lid of a very filthy toilet and claiming that they needed government assistance because the house was a wreck!

    I agree that 8-10 people in a home built for 4 is not acceptable and I sincerely hope that the $1.4 billion is earmarked to correct that. But once adequate housing has been provided one would think that it is reasonable to expect the band to take steps to maintain the structures?

    An earlier poster remarked about the billions that go towards the Aboriginal community already and why isn't it making a difference? Well think of it as the 'Indian Industry' on which many bureaucrats, lawyers, band councils and chiefs depend for for their income. Many are well meaning but some are there because that's where the money is.

    Then what's left goes to the rank and file who really need the help.

    Look at the residential schools settlement. The LPC trumpeted the gross dollar value and then the lawyers descended on the feast. Not one dime had gone to the victims until the CPC came to power and chased the vultures off the meat. The money was then divvied up according to a set of rules and is now in the victims' hands.
  13. Barret Dokis from writes: As an educated First Nations individual... I'm amazed at how many people come on here and comment on something which they are obviously uneducated about. complain complain complain... get out and live life people... don't waste your time bitching on a newspaper website... does nothing to improve your life... or even change that which you whine about.
  14. GlynnMhor of Skywall from Canada writes: Freddie's not quite right either.

    The circumstances are all over the map.

    Some (indeed, many) indians have jobs, pay taxes, and generally prosper the same way that anyone else does.

    Some do get tuition money, but there are budget limits for government money to do that.

    Some indians avoid taxes depending on where they work and for whom, some evade taxes, and some are honest.

    Some indians do not even work in the regular economy, indulging in barter and subsistence activities.
  15. John Melnick from High River AB, Canada writes: Barret Dokis from writes: does nothing to improve your life... or even change that which you whine about.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Not so sure about that Barret. As someone who grew up next to a First Nations settlement and went to school with them (I knew Ovide Mercredi quite well during our University days), it has pained me to watch changes in their standard of living proceed with glacial speed over the past 50 years.

    Something is wrong and throwing money at the problem will not solve it so I hope by making my views known something will eventually bust loose and needed changes will take place.

    To see the Native people of our land find their true place (and I'm not smart enough to know what that is) is my sincere wish.

    It's also practical since the Aboriginal community is one of the fastest growing segments of our population and if they remain unduly dependent we will all suffer.
  16. Freddie Fender from Canada writes: Real Westerner from British Columbia, Canada writes: 'Not much difference between an auto wreckers and { is it correct to say} a first nations peoples residence, this is not racism it is a fact try and deny it .......'

    As an educatd Aboriginal Canadian, I defy you to come and see my yard. You may not be a 'Real Westerner,' but you sure are a real racist, jimmy bob.
  17. Chris E. from Canada writes: With todays technology, I could build a cottage somewhere in the Canadian Shield, off the energy grid, with my own water purification system and environmentally-friendly septic system, for a few tens of thousands. There is no need for reserves to have endless need of federal money for housing and utilities.

    50 years ago, reserves got by without government aid. Today they are addicted to government handouts. Rip off the band-aid. Tell them that all subsidies will end in ten years.
  18. Tyler Phillips from Seattle, writes: ' Barret Dokis from writes: As an educated First Nations individual... I'm amazed at how many people come on here and comment on something which they are obviously uneducated about. complain complain complain...'

    Maybe you can educate them then.

    People have a right to be concerned about where their tax dollars are going. I think it's quite racist to give one group of people special treatment, and that's what happens in Canada.

    Please let us know how all the money is being well spent.
  19. Loudan Bellicose from Canada writes: A waste of money!
  20. Slippery Slope from Canada writes: Aboriginals are always the last to be invited to opportunity, and the first to be let go. Good for Harper for not forgetting about them.
  21. Barret Dokis from writes: here is some education...

    kashechewan... the people of this community told our gov't that building the community where the gov't wanted to was result in floods. These people knew this because they lived there all their lives. It was their home. But no... gov't says lets build it where it is now (likely cheaper to do so), and now every year we spend lots of tax payers money on rebuilding the community in the same spot. And causing great upset to the residents. Not because these residents want to live like this, but because our gov't doesn't listen to them (sound familiar?).

    This is one of probably thousands of stories like this across our country. None of us like it, but to keep the 'current' system going... it takes lots of money... and it will keep eating up more money (I never once said I wanted more money, but many of you seemed to assume that was my point). The point I was making is that crying on a website that our gov't is 'wasting' money on First Nations isn't going to change a thing. The scope of the problem is much greater than money being wasted. There are aboriginal leaders that are working hard at trying to make proper changes using more holistic approach. Contrary to the few who do abuse their power, and everyone judges the rest based on those bad apples.

    Change will take time, and our gov't is working on this, and we understand that it will take time. But the current infrastructure that we have is falling apart and unfortunately it needs money.
  22. Barret Dokis from writes: BTW... I've never meant a single aboriginal person that 'truly' wants to be dependent. Many of you may 'claim' that you know this 'one Indian who is always in trouble' and blows his 'welfare check on booze' all the time. But none of you actually KNOW this person. I DO.
  23. Osky Wosky from Wet Coast, Canada writes: No amount of money will change the First Nations situation in Canada. Only when First Nations accept responsibility for themselves as individuals and not as a tribe or clan, do away with reserves and accept private ownership of their property and homes will they succeed in throwing off the yoke of poverty.
    Benign self interest will lead to prosperity for First Nations in Canada.
    The land claim issues in Canada have continued this fantasy of tribal ownership to the detriment of all Canadians including First Nations.
    The Berger decision started this mess. Justice Berger was a former NDP politician. A socialist of course.
  24. Frank Lee My Dears I Don't Give A Damn from Toronto, Canada writes:
    How long are we going to be held to ransom for aboriginal demands? This is just like throwing money into an empty pit.
  25. Rand Bowerman from United States writes: Same problem here in the States. Physical seperation from society and no assimilation is the problem. The answer is to give the 1st Nations 5 years to prepare for each individual member to be given x number of acres of the Rez and a small amount set aside for religious practices, tribal government, etc. During this 5 year period ramp up spending for college and vocational/technical training for tribal members. After that, they are on their own to make their way in society. A society cannot prosper and last without a commitment to society's common values. And a democracy cannot survive with a large segment of society demanding internal 'soverignty'.
  26. Mrs. Whiggins from Canada writes: Meanwhile back at the Ranch, the Harper government allows Chalk River to spew heavy water into the Ottawa River and tells people to not worry.

    Sure but this spending is going to get there. Just like last year when the safety protocols were to be addressed at Chalk River nuclear plant.

    Is there any community the Harper party can care about without worrying about votes? Does nuclear meltdown matter less than votes? Radiation sickness ring a bell?

    Is it hockey rinks and Tim's only? Where's the closest Tim's to Chalk River? Care about them do ya? Going to go all freedom of information on those folks?
    .

    Oh! No aboriginals there? How weird. Usually the Harper party is all about making those people responsible for themselves while holding up their rights. How is the Harper party going to deal with the people of Chalk River who are faced with incompetence, delayed reporting of dangerous breaches, and liquid death released in their neighbourhood but reported months later? Can't just label those Canadians and let them twist in the wind.

    Now what?
  27. CJ Bryson from Canada writes: Anyone who has knowledge of the facts regarding spending for services to aboriginal people is aware of the systematic underfunding of commonly available public services to them. While the government of the day publishes big numbers to give the impression that they are pouring money into their cup, compartive information regarding what is spent by governments on the same services (education, houisng, policing, child welfare, etc.) for non-aboriginal people demonstrates, over and over again, that aboriginal people get significantly less. They also have little or no control over their natural resources, required to build a sustainable economy for their communities.

    I hope that none of the above commentators have children to whom they download their ignorance and blatant racism.
  28. Mrs. Whiggins from Canada writes: Rand, Osky, Frank, Irene, Joyce, Ned, Nancy, Glynn and assorted ilk: how about Canadians give you 5 years to become humans? The sort of humans that are recognized by the UN? Can you do it?

    Do try. Or you're outta here.
  29. David Gibson from Hamilton, Canada writes: Among the most storied workers in the Alberta oil projects are Newfoundlanders who make the things run, many of whom will return home some day, many of whom have emigrated, and many of whom commute! This is how many people make a living when living in an isolated location without jobs: they move, temporarily or otherwise. I do not wish to send any tax money to geographical entities which have no genuine economic reason for existing, such as many Indian Reserves; but on the other hand, I have no say in the matter.

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