End Aboriginal Poverty

A family in the First Nations Community of Pikangikum in
northwestern Ontario.  Overcrowding is a major problem on
many reserves.  Housing is in short supply and conditions
are substandard.              
                                                                Coleen Rajotte/CBC
Dear Canadian Taxpayer Federation,

Thank you for the email. 

I'm going to stand up and I'm going to be heard.

I'm going to sign your petition, right now!

I am so sick...

...and tired of this Conservative Government trying to address the problems of the Aboriginal First Nations by throwing around more and more (of our) tax dollars without any accountability.

After decades of throwing money around like we have an endless supply, let's get serious with First Nations and everyone involved.

The Petition

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) are encouraging Harper to end the poverty cycle on the Indian Reserves. With these five suggestions as starters:

1 Instead of continuing to fund people to stay in high unemployment reserves in the middle of nowhere, aim assistance at people – especially young people – to help them transition to where there are jobs and opportunities.

2 Chiefs can “hunger strike” if they choose but that does not exempt them from accountability. Audits are an appropriate response to millions in unaccounted funds.

3 Pilot projects should be initiated whereby reserve funding flows to the citizens. Chiefs and councillors can then tax their citizens in order to fund services.

4 Transfer more control of existing reserve land to the bands. And let the people, not the band own their own homes.

5 Stop creating more programs and laws that single aboriginal people out and finally, treat all Canadians the same.

To sign the petition online : Sign

Surprisingly one of the top questions asked via email was:

What benefits do Aboriginal Indians receive?

This is a list taken from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation website Q & A of what kinds of benefits the aboriginals currently 

receive from the federal government? 

A. The benefits if the person in question lives on or off a reserve or within an area that has been subject to a modern land claims agreement. A person with Indian status who lives on a reserve:
• Pays no personal income or business tax on income earned on the reserve, even if it comes from a large casino or “smoke shack’ (i.e. place where cigarettes and cigars are sold);
• Pays no property tax (i.e. the land is owned communally)
• Pays no income tax on scholarships, fellowships, bursaries or training allowances;
• Pays no GST or HST on good purchased on the reserve;
• Has Canadian taxpayers pay for all of his/her education costs up to and including the post-secondary level; at university, taxpayers pay for the aboriginal’s tuition, books and supplies, living expenses (i.e. food, shelter and transportation) and trips home twice a year;
• Has Canadian taxpayers pay all the costs of health and dental insurance, including vision and pharmacy expenses;
• Has Canadian taxpayers pay up to $40,000 of the initial cost of building a house (as allocated by band councils), plus Ministerial loan guarantees for the balance
• Has Canadian taxpayers pay up to 100 % of the eligible capital cost of a rental housing project;
• Has Canadian taxpayers pay for the costs of heating;
• Has Canadian taxpayers provide a wide range of subsidies for community economic development, including proving equity to start-up a business and low-interest loans;
• Has Canadian taxpayers pay all the legal costs that the band incurs in land claims issues or in participation in regulatory proceedings;
• Has special privileges, such as the right to hunt or fish on public lands, even in areas where fishing places a species at risk.
7.Q. What other kinds of benefits do aboriginals get from the current legal regime?
A. Aboriginals are essentially “wards” of the federal government, as indicated by the list above. In addition, on lands where land claims settlements have been reached, such as in northern Canada and in British Columbia, a whole new range of benefits has been included in constitutionally guaranteed agreements. These include in some areas:
• The right to receive a specific share of any revenue that would normally go to the government as a result of resource development;
• Special legal regimes that grant the aboriginals the right to impose an additional layer of regulatory review for any resource project;
• Guarantees (in the Inuk areas) that most governmental bodies will forever include at least 51% aboriginal members regardless of the future racial composition of the population;
• Guarantees that any company seeking to undertake an economic development project within a settled claim area will have to conclude an Aboriginal Benefits Agreement that will assure the provision of jobs, training, contracts for aboriginal businesses, and a wide range of other benefits in preference over other Canadians;
• A requirement under section 35 of the Constitution that any aboriginal group in the general vicinity of an economic development project (even if it is several hundred miles away) must be “consulted” about the project before it can proceed; in practice this requirement has been used by some bands to force companies to provide Benefits Agreements similar to those in lands where claims agreements exist.
As a general proposition, the benefits that aboriginals now have, and those that they seek, are significantly greater that those received by all non-aboriginal Canadians. It is a set by benefits differentiated solely on the basis of race and status.

What's going on here?

Lets get this Issue resolved and put behind us so we can 
move forward as a nation.  
Prime Minister Harper, look after the homeland.
Chief Hector Shorting shows off some of his community's "undrinkable" water outside his mould-infested lakeside home in Little Saskatchewan First Nation -- the 14th worst community in Canada.

Dog Brindle


Miss. Qawasmi said...

I'm sorry but seriously, I couldn't hold my laughs after reading this.

Anonymous said...

It's annoying being a Canadian tax payer and seeing this issue constantly being tip-toed around. Put an end to these games already! Equality means no free handouts and special treatment! Enough is ENOUGH!!!