Thursday, December 01, 2011

Attawapiskat vs gazebos

Steve very unhappy about Attawapiskat housing crisis and "missing" dough :
"This government has spent some $90 million since coming to office just on Attawapiskat," he told the Commons on Tuesday. "That's over $50,000 for every man, woman and child in the community."
Yeah, Steve, it must be their own fault they're living in tents and sheds without electricity or running water or indoor plumbing. Better punish them for embarrassing you. And how's that school coming along after 10 years? Ah - next year, is it?

But according to Aaron Wherry's breakdown of the figures, the housing budget is only $500 per person per year, which would not even cover upkeep on the existing homes never mind building any new ones in a community where shipping the materials in costs more than the materials themselves.

A lot of racist crap in comments under these articles - in particular repeating rubbish like the G&M's More than 80 on-reserve politicians paid more than PM! - a lie already deftly demolished here

Instead try this excellent article from Patricia Pearson  and a really really must read from âpihtawikosisân.
Donations via the Red Cross here. Attawapiskat page from Another Voice here.

Sunday update : Âpihtawikosisan's entire blogpost reprinted word for word today in the National Post as :
Brett Hodnett: The real math behind Attawapiskat’s $90 million 
with tiny credit to her tacked on at the end.
NaPo commenters busy congratulating NaPo on their excellent journalism.
Hours later ... via Holly Stick :
The National Post has changed its headline and added a note:
"Note: This article was inadvertently credited to Brett Hodnett. Full Comment apologizes for any confusion, which was due to a misunderstanding on our part. As noted, the original article appeared on the site âpihtawikosisân."

then amended once more to include : "The original article, written by Chelsea Vowel,  appeared on the site âpihtawikosisân."
Dec 13 APTN
De Beers decision to dump sewage into Attawapiskat played role in current housing crisis
(h/t Holly Stick ... again!)
Dec 15 Funding by the numbers : Attawapiskat vs Toronto


Brian said...

While the people of Attawapiskat have been been suffering for years, we finally see the federal and provincial governments showing up to express concern for something other than the resources they can extract from native land. And here's what Kathleen Wynne, Ontario’s Aboriginal Affairs Minister, says:

“It doesn’t make me comfortable that there are people in Ontario who are living in these conditions.”

Well, we can't have a cabinet minister feeling uncomfortable can we? How could they be expected to provide the strong, stable leadership we need if they are not comfortable? Wynne avoids spreading such terrible feelings of discomfort by omitting any reference to Attawapiskat on her website. I hope nobody makes Wynne feel uncomfortable by mentioning the homeless people living in the Don valley that runs through the centre of her riding in Toronto.

Here's my page (largely created a year or so ago) about Attawapiskat:

Alison said...

Thanks muchly, Brian. Added link to post.


Beijing York said...

Brain, your piece is highly informative. More people need to see through Harper's faux outrage and manipulation of public opinion.

Brian said...

I posted a link to this blog on Facebook this morning and it looks to be spreading quickly mainly as Judy Rebick picked it up. Here are some comments: Accountable budgeting?, Tsk., SHAME!, whoa shame!, How the hell does a gazebo (or even multiple gazebos) cost 50 million?, That says it all!, Tout est une question de priorité., great graphic., Disgusting!

Skinny Dipper said...

I don't know if I can use some sarcasm and state that the police should go in and clear the Occupy Attawapiskat shacks.

Alison said...

Well, SkinnyDipper, for a start the police would be the guests in that situation.
Jonathan Kay suggested clearing them out yesterday without bothering with sarcasm.

Brian : Thank you for that - not on FB or Twitter myself. Hope the graphic is strong enough to make the obvious clear.

Meanwhile Âpihtawikosisân is doing a fantastic job of answering the many questions people have left on her blog (link in post). With any luck the CBC and print media should pick up on it. This is how understanding begins. Good for her!

julia aka garconniere said...

honestly i've been trying to stay informed about what's going on in attawapiskat but i've been feeling more and more like i need to disengage. coming across something like this is a little boost of moral, stepping away from the condescending racist tone so many people have been using.

also, to respond to alison's great comment, as it happens interviewed aphitawikosisan last night! it was great to hear.

Unfolding Landscapes said...

excellent analysis and graphic Alison. Looking through all the video footage it is also clear that CMHC should be held accountable for letting mainstream architects and builders from borderlands build up there. No wonder the houses are full of mold and falling apart. They are not designed or built for northern climates.And then the FN has to pay mortgages on crap housing.

Alison said...

Thanks, Julia!
Âpihtawikosisân on As It Happens in Part 1 at the 10 minute mark.
Alt. link

Her blog post now republished at Rabble

Alison said...

UnfoldingLandscapes : Yes.
Regional Grand Chief Stan Louttit :
"Homes built on top of permafrost have extra challenges because the large families heat up the homes, and then melt the permafrost underneath. So foundations and beams sink and then crack and mould infestations spread."

Don't know if permafrost issue was taken into account in their construction, but a couple of people have commented anonymously under news stories that they worked on constructing Attawapiskat housing and that they were crap construction anyway.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but this is garbage, how about some accountability. They don't pay taxes, they don't want to be Canadian citizens so why should the government be bailing them out. It's their land and their problem. If my roof needs to be fixed I don't complain to the government, I get a loan and fix it. Its time they took account for their own actions

thwap said...


Pull your head out of your ass,

Alison said...

Anonymous : Think of it this way.

Your grandmother has a house and your family doesn't.
"Grammie," you say, "how about you give me that big old house and move into this nice shed instead."
"Ok," says your grandmother, "but you gotta pay all the taxes on it."
"Deal", says you.

For years she sends you letters saying the shed isn't insulated, has a toxic leak under it making her sick, doesn't have running water or a toilet, etc etc, and to top it off, she doesn't qualify for a loan to fix any of these things as long as she stays there.
One day you see her on national TV complaining about it.

"What's her problem?" says you. "It isn't as if she's paying taxes on it. Why doesn't she just move anyway?"

It's going to be hard to fix the dumbass deal between you and your grammie, but first off you're going to have to sincerely want to.

Why don't you give her a call and try listening first?

Alison said...

Âpihtawikosisân's blog post now featured in today's National Post -
The real math behind Attawapiskat’s $90 million

Holly Stick said...

Cross Country Checkup talked about it today and I heard a bit from a caller named Scott something who works on northern reeserves.

He made several points about the housing system being broken, for example a northern Manitoba reserve using materials from BC, contractors from southern Ontario, contractors cutting corners, federal regulations about air-tightness leading to mould, etc. He said the expected lifetime of a house there was 5 to 8 years.

So the houses are not designed or built for that environment.

Holly Stick said...

The National Post has changed its headline and added a note:

"Note: This article was inadvertently credited to Brett Hodnett. Full Comment apologizes for any confusion, which was due to a misunderstanding on our part. As noted, the original article appeared on the site âpihtawikosisân."

I'm guessing it was a letter to the editor to begin with.

Alison said...

Thanks, Holly Stick.
I'm guessing they got quite a few ltte's about it.

Holly Stick said...

They changed it again and included the blogger's name. Dr. Dawg had contacted them about it, and like you say, many others may have.

Alison said...

Holly : I sent them a note early in the morning and left the correct attribution in the various comboxes of blogs who linked to it. By the time I went to work at noon they still hadn't changed it - took them long enough.

Anonymous said...

Harper is a snake in the grass, with more dirty tactics up his sleeves, than all the rice in China.

Harper should be forced to resign. How many times do we have to hear. F.N. children pleading for a REAL school. Not an ice cold portable, where they have to keep their winter jackets on, to try and keep warm. If the everyday people have heard them, so has Harper. And, that adorable baby girl that died of pneumonia, out of sheer negligence. Harper is totally to blame, for the health care of the F.N. people.

Harper is the worst P.M. in the recorded history of Canada. That s.o.b. should be kicked, right off the planet and good riddance.

Holly Stick said...

The joys of having a diamond mine nearby; apparently DeBeers sewage may have caused some of the housing problems.

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