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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

“We have elderly people picking up food from the dump to eat." The plight of the people of the North.

From Jorge Barrera and Annette Francis
APTN National News

Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq tried to force an apology from a Nunavut hamlet over statements made by its deputy mayor who said high grocery prices in the community forces dozens of residents to scavenge the local dump for food.
Sam Tutanuak, deputy mayor of Rankin Inlet, said Aglukkaq’s office called the hamlet’s senior administrative officer Wednesday asking for a letter of apology addressed to the minister and the Conservative party.
“She wanted to talk to the mayor of Rankin in regards to the comments I had made and that the hamlet of Rankin Inlet should write an apology letter to Leona Aglukkaq and the Conservative party that the Nutrition North program is working,” said Tutanuak, in an interview Thursday evening.
Aglukkaq is the MP for Nunavut.

Tutanuak said no apology is forthcoming.
“I am not apologizing,” he said, in an earlier interview with Nation to Nation host Nigel Newlove. “We have elderly people picking up food from the dump to eat. How can I apologize for something like that?’
Aglukkaq’s office did not return APTN National News’ request for comment on the claim she tried extracting an apology from the hamlet.

The Auditor General of Canada delivered a report Tuesday containing a scathing review of the Harper government’s new Nutrition North food subsidy program for remote Northern communities. Auditor General Michael Ferguson’s report said the federal Aboriginal Affairs department had no way to determine whether the program was making food affordable or improving Northern residents’ access to healthy foods like vegetables.
On Wednesday, NDP Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair led Question Period on the subject of Nutrition North and referred to the APTN story. He asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper whether he felt “shame” people in the North were getting food at the dump.
Harper sidestepped the question, but Aglukkaq, who sits on the front government bench, began heckling, according to five opposition MPs interviewed by APTN.
All five MPs, three NDP and two Liberals, said Aglukkaq yelled “that’s not true when Mulcair mentioned the dump.

“The minister clearly said, over and over again, when anyone mentioned the question of people eating out of garbage dumps, that it wasn’t true,” said NDP MP Carol Hughes.
“When our leader (Mulcair) asked about the situation in the far North, Leona was shouting and heckling him,” said NDP MP Charlie Angus. “When the issue came up of people trying to find food at the dump, she said, ‘that’s not true.’”
Liberal MP Judy Sgro said Aglukkaq repeated the words three or four times.
The minister hollered out ‘that’s not true,’ to the first NDP question, the second NDP question, and the third NDP question,” said Sgro. “She said ‘that’s not true,’ very clearly, those three words.”
Aglukkaq’s spokesperson Ted Laking said Aglukkaq never said those words during Question Period.
“It is false,” said Laking, in an email.
“She denies that she says it, but she said it over and over again,” said Hughes. “She is in denial that it’s happening, but it’s clearly happening and she clearly said it.”

Tutanuak said Thursday that between 50 to 100 people in Rankin Inlet regularly go to the dump looking for food.
“Yeah, you see it. Unfortunately, it’s a common sight,” said Tutanuak.
When asked what he thought when he found out Aglukkaq wanted an apology, Tutanuak said his reaction was not fit for publication.
The state of the people of the North...
Children sniffing gas and glue 

Families living in squalid conditions...

Now...Elders looking for food in dumps...
And finally...
Some who claim to speak for the people get paid by those who are responsible for all this....
Ever heard of the expression "they can't bite the hand that feeds them".
Here are a few of the numbers that shocked moderately-paid chiefs
The Peerless Trout First Nation, near Peerless Lake, has a registered population of just 864. But its chief, James Alook, received $205,937 in salary and expenses last year, including $109,998 for travel.
The O’Chiese First Nation, near Rocky Mountain House, has a population of 1,270. Last year, it paid Chief Darren Whitford, a base salary of $164,453, with another $100,778 for travel and personal expense, for a total compensation package of $265,231.
Those kinds of compensation packages make it seems almost unexceptional that the Samson First Nation, with a population of 8,000, paid its councillors a mere $150,000 to $190,000 a year, with $6,000 for expenses.
Yet it’s important to note the huge disparities, to point out that other bands such as the Piikani or Tallcree paid salaries in the $45,000 to $70,000 range.
Let's not put all this on one group, greed in Canada expands to other groups...
Senators Mike Duffy, Mac Harb, Pamela Wallin, Patrick Brazeau, mcguinty and wynn's $1 billion gas plant, Quebec's Charbonneau commission, on and on...

Historically, this is nothing new....List of Canadian political scandals
That's just part of it though....Been one of the most taxed people in the world...where does all the money go?

Canada donates money to other countries, 
$220 million in support to help Ukraine stabilize its economy
Canada will put up $19.9 million for Africa
Baird Donates $550 million of Canadian Taxpayers' Money to Michigan
Canadian government donates $5 Million to UNICEF
Just to name a few...

Canada’s foreign aid spending totalled CAD$ $6 billion, compared to CAD$ 5.66 billion in 2011. This equates to about C$ 168.30 per Canadian.
"Canada will continue to follow into the old trap, where foreign aid transfers money from poor people in rich countries, to rich people in poor countries." 
Tell me, if you look at the world today, now going on 2015, has anything really changed?
Oh! we are nice people, but do we take care of others, before our own?
Does all that money really improve the lives of the people receiving it?
"A massive study of 6000 individuals receiving direct foreign aid in developing countries found that while they appreciate the assistance, the aid has made no impact improving their lives."

This is not counting to money spent on useless military aid and adventures for the past 20 years....

Let's all have a radical idea, let's help other nations, "AFTER' we take care of our own???

How would you like live and go shopping for food in the north?

So called leaders should stop their photo ops up north, claims their policies provide nutrition, and show the realities of life of the people of the north, and their struggle to feed themselves and their families.
It's fine to help, and that is to "really" help other people from other nations as long as it goes to the right people not in the pockets of those country's elite.
But any responsible government must make sure, what is happening in the North and other places be fixed first.
One years foreign aid, managed by responsible people would vastly improve life in Canada's own backyard, and that includes all children of this country, instead of using it to promote the politicians that are waving money they do not own, to people who do not deserve it...or need it.
Each month, close to 850,000 Canadians are assisted by food banks, and 36.4% of those helped are children and youth.

But, with all this. let's make sure reality is in the forefront...
The cost of food and the housing conditions up North, populated by majority of native people, is by far, the worse of all poverty in Canada, if billions can be sent overseas, billions can be spent to improve the conditions, instead of a few who wave this money to others as if it is their own to do what they want.

Let's start to whisper a word...INDEPENDENCE...
We couldn't do any worse....
A long time ago, people (Warriors, Clan Mothers, Elders) gathered to try to figure out what was going on and how to offer the people a better life. There was talk of more co-operation, how to get along, demanding more money, more lands, so on...
Then an Elder spoke up and in a soft voice mentioned "independence".
Many mentioned reason why this was impossible....
So he asked..."why?".
Then it went something like this....
"Are you telling me, a few people who came to Turtle island from another continent, and in 500 years, took everything that was not theirs, claiming it as their own, doing it in a way which under today's international laws is recognized as crimes against humanity, are better than we are in the long term?
Why can't we do the same, start over, have a long term goal, even if it takes a few hundred years, take back piece by piece what really belongs to us, what we need to survive. We don't have to push them back into the sea, they can live here, as long as they respect all life. It might take a long time but at least we would have a goal, a sight on the future, give the people something to look forward to, to give to their children...
if they can do it....Why can't we...Have we been so conditioned to believe they are better than us?
Let's face it, if we continue on the road we are in today, we will disappear...
We have become a dependant people and such a people cannot survive...."

Everyone went quiet and most acknowledged that this was possible and would give the people something to work for and look forward to. A GOAL...

Since 1990, I always remembered what he said, and believed that some sort of Independence is not only possible but necessary. Let's face it, if we continue on the same road, which hasn't changed for 500 years, "obviously", as we can "clearly see above", our children will suffer the same fate.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

Is that what food cost up north? wow.I didnt know that.

Runingwolf said...

That's a valid point,independance.
Like u said,how can it be any worse,we tried to live with them and even in today's world,this is the results?Looking for food in dumps.

Nikyon the clan mother said...

A goal,independence. very good idea.

Nizhoni said...

I agree,good idea.Lets think long term.A future for the coming generations.

Attakullakulla said...

Im all 4 it.

Anonymous said...

looking for food in a dump, overpayed chiefs and council,let's clean up

Anonymous said...

So sad,specially these days.