Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What Can You Buy For $90M Dollars?

When a state of emergency was declared this week in the Northern Ontario Aboriginal community of Attiwapiskat due to deplorable living conditions, the initial response was anger at the government for neglecting the people. Then we find out that this small community of 2000 people has received $90 Million dollars in funding from the Harper government since 2006, prompting most logical people to ask the most obvious question, what the hell did they spend that money on? Today's poll question; should $90M over 6 years be enough money to lift a community of 2000 people out of "3rd world" living conditions?

What can you buy for $90 million? As the government is sending in a team of auditors, we should soon find out. There is a very good chance we are going to find that the leaders of this community in charge of spending that money did not spend it wisely. They are saying that nearly all of that money went to education. Somehow I seriously doubt that, but I will allow the auditors to do their work before making my own allegations about local corruption. For all those attacking Stephen Harper as being responsible for this state of emergency, remember that the McGuinty government in Ontario has a Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development. What do those people do for their 40 hours a week? What responsibility for local mismanagement falls on the Ontario government?

We are going to find what happened to the money. Speculating that it was spent on beer and popcorn at this early stage isn't helping anyone...


  1. CBC says new homes up (how far?) north cost $250000. This seems too much as cheaper homes would still be an improvement. Part of the problem is many reserves aren't economically located. I'd focus my home building on reserves where it is cheapest to build and infrastructure. For instance, urban reserves and reserves with rail, hydro, nearby farms....
    There are towns about two hours from Wpg, just out of commute range, where older homes were very cheap a decade ago. Like, $15000 each. Where reserves are very expensive to service, it might make cents to take over parts of dying towns; to give some reserves money to move to better ecoonmic locale. It would be interested to assess the infrastructure economics of each reserve, and pick cheapie favourites.
    I lost two err, ten dollar bills, and I feel awful. I don't wear dress pants anymore and now I'll keep all my kleenex in one pocket. I think I'm depressed or something; prohibition makes those bills seem like diamonds to me.

  2. one more time. give all indians a 30k pension. we currently flush 100k per person living on reserve property. with no taxes and free land i'm guess any thinking person could live on that. heck a family of four would have 120k. how many bureaucrats does it take to eat up about 10 mbillion a year that indian affairs gets? remember the people in offices in ottawa produce absolutely nothing of value.

  3. we need a poll on media reporting of this latest crisis
    fear mongering
    one sided

  4. Do the math: $90,000,000 in six years, spread around to 2000 people is $7,500 each. For a family of 4 that's $30,000 a year to buy food, Big Screen TV, beer, smokes and not repair your "house".

    Don't get me wrong, but it's also a "fly-in" settlement. Last time I signed a bill for an air charter Twin Otter (4000 lb load), it cost $6.20 a mile. That was in 1989.

    Suddenly that $20 sheet of plywood is now $60 landed 200-300 miles north of where it was bought, so $250,000 to build a new house up there isn't unreasonable. Smokes, food and beer are correspondingly more expensive.

    Frankly, Bob Rae suddenly stumping for Attiwaspikat is a joke, the libs have "run" reserves longer than the cons and I find it odd that suddenly NDP Charlie Angus is exercised about this, as the reserve is right in his riding. WTF has he been doing with his time the last few years?

  5. I'm getting more bitter the older I get. The easiest plan B is drugs; I can self administer them responsibly ever since about 25. Beer since about 28. Coffee nope. I don't get why you Blues are so hard on people who don't get endorphins from raising kids and healthy relationship...
    Part of the problem here is Chretien went from assimilation to giving Indians what they wanted back in the late 60's or early 70's. Middle ground would've been nice. The best lands were taken up by European settlers who have built capital stocks and education. I don't know why Indian Reserves are comparing themselves to cities. Of course cities have a higher quality-of-life (no NRA). If the goal is longevity and quality-of-life, IRs need to compare themselves with rural white lands around the middle of last century and improving ASAP. I'll suggest peat moss farming and an IR biz carbon price to provide minimum wage and a few engineering jobs to many reserves. Ultimately those house construction costs have to come down. Power utilities need on site technicians. Cities had factories and banks and universities. IRs are too small for factories. IRs have trouble borrowing off of homes. And no where for graduates to work. Railroads to nearby cities would help. In Halifax welfare perverts crowd out workers. So people willing to work (applying or educating) at least P/T should get the nice homes on IRs. Most IRs have a comparitive advantage of some sort, often natural resources. Where there is no economy, feds should send them to dying (aging) white towns. Without the ability to borrow against a home...

  6. The Conservative government needs to grip its expenditures. It is ludicrous that on year 5 of Conservative governments that the minister says he does not know what is going on. No wonder the Harper government runs record deficits.

  7. No,it isn't enough money. The solution suggested by the first post here is more sensible than trying to rebuild in that isolated area.
    Just the cost of freighting the materials for construction would be sky high. There are no roads,no railway,so how could you ship in enough lumber to build roughly 500 houses of minumum 2 X 6 construction,with quadruple thermopane windows and doors.

    Also,the cost of the tradesmen having to live there for long periods would be extreme.

    It's a frustrating and useless exercise to continue the apartheid policies of the current system.

    Piss away all the money you want on Attawapiskat,it'll do no good. In a couple of years,the new houses will be trashed,the alcohol and drug problems worse,and no one will do much until the next socialist hero "Charlie Angus" decides to embarrass the government of the day,unless it's an NDP government of course.