Where is modern civilization heading?

As a society are we heading in the same direction as the ancient Romans? If so the question becomes.......

Are our leaders fiddling while civilization burns?

While we ponder the question I will post my personal thoughts on this blog. Often I will focus on current events that catch my interest, however I am not and do not pretend to be a news organization. I'm simply a guy with his own thoughts on issues that I believe affect our country and society.

Be forewarned, I have been accused of being a right wing thinker and if that is offensive please move on. Remember, this is my blog and my opinions, and unlike many facets of our already over-governed modern society they are not being forced on anyone.

However, please feel free to leave your comments, good, bad or indifferent, after all this is a free society we live in (at least for now).

Monday, February 13, 2012

You can lead a horse to water, but that doesn't get you a foundation built...

As some of you may recall, in December of 2010 I posted an article about the housing situation on the Attawapiskat First Nation reserve in Ontario and the ongoing political and public outrage calling for the government to fix the problem. My solution was simple, or at least I thought so. Unfortunately, as usual the Canadian government decided against listening to my sage council on the issue and took their own course of action. A course of action that I suspect had far more to do with public relations than actually providing a long term solution to the issue.

The governments solution at the time was the announcement that they would
commit to sending 22 modular homes up to the reserve as quickly as they could be built and road conditions would allow. The band committed itself to the responsibility of preparing the lots so that when the homes arrived they could be dropped in place and residents could move in as quickly as possible. A joint effort that would ensure that results were achieved as quickly as possible.

Well the good news as of this week is that the homes building is progressing at a rapid pace, with a good portion of them completed and ready for transport. The bad news is .......

The lots are not ready, in fact virtually nothing has been done towards preparing them.  Rather than my going into great detail here is a video clip from Global News that addresses the problem.

Folks, what is amazing about this is that we are discussing a community of 2100 people with an unemployment rate of 90%! Now assuming that half of the total population is "capable" of working (allowing for the young, old, and disabled) and only 10% of that group are employed that leaves us with a potential idle work force of approximately 500 individuals or so to prepare the foundations. Or in simple math about 22 individuals to prepare each foundation. Yet by the time that the bulk of the modular homes have been built and are ready to transport only a few cinder blocks have been laid and a bit of snow cleared for foundations.

Maybe I misunderstand the situation but as I recall it was only 3 months ago that our government was being accused of inaction and dragging their feet on this "crisis" by the tribal leaders of Attawapiskat First Nation. Are these not the same individuals that should have organized the required labour to get the foundations ready for the modular homes. Instead, now the homes have to go into storage as they are completed because there is no where to set them up. I imagine that as always the government will be laid to blame for this. After all what were they thinking , asking these poor unfortunate souls to take an interest and invest some sweat in their own well being?

Often the First Nations will refer to their proud history and how so much of that was taken away from them when the first settlers landed in North America. Funny thing though, those first settlers certainly knew how to bring a community together to "raise a barn" in short order to help each other. Maybe our aboriginal friends in Attawapiskat should take a lesson from that part of Canadian history.

On a last note, it appears that there may be some hope on the horizon to solving this mess. On Friday,  the Liberal critic for Aboriginal Affairs Dr. Carolyn Bennett. introduced a motion in the House of Commons Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development calling on the committee to travel to Attawapiskat in the coming weeks so that they can examine whether the federal government’s response to the challenges confronting this First Nations’ community is producing results or instead hindering progress. Now, my response to this is that the Liberals would probably do more good by taking their shovels and work boots and actually laying some foundations if they truly want to speed up progress, as it appears the only way the work will get done is by the intervention (once again) of an outside party.

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