Yes, that’s right I think we need more of that old time Federal paternalism and I think the role of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs should be expanded.
Poor old Nault is increasingly coming under fire for his role in putting the Aboriginal community of Pikangikum under third party management. Basically, this means that they have mismanaged funds that are supposed to help their community and there are the high suicide rates to consider. In his role as Minister he is responsible for the well-being of Aboriginal communities and peoples everywhere and he did not have a choice in this matter. Just as he did not have a choice in putting 183 Aboriginal communities under remedial management plans. Some of them are under recipient-managed plans (where they provide a deficit-reduction plan that is approved by the Minister), co-management (where the First Nation hires an outside management firm with the approval of Indian Affairs) and the dreaded third party management (where Indian Affairs hires an outside firm which holds all of the bands money and has the sole authority to disperse, it.)
All of this is done under rules, which I might add existed before the Minister came to office and he must abide by them.
Basically, a First nations Band, when receiving monies, must: give services and programs comparable to other levels of government, provide Indian Affairs and Band Members with an audit and must not exceed a cumulative deficit of more than 8% of its operating budget.
Yes, there must be rules for our wayward Aboriginal brothers. After all, how else will they learn to survive in the real world? The real world like Toronto with its $4 billion budget and $1.8 billion projected deficit. Oops, isn’t that a little over the 8% restriction placed on First Nations by Indian Affairs? Why, yes it is, but non-Abriginal places like Toronto are allowed a 25% deficit. I guess the non-Aboriginal peoples have learnt to handle losing money better than the First Nations and are allowed more leeway.
Since Toronto seems to be going over the 25% mark anyhow why don’t we expand the Indian Affairs Department to bring that errant non-Aboriginal community under control. I mean look at the crime rate in Toronto and the amount of complaints we hear about the services being poorer now. Something needs to be done and Indian Affairs with its record on remedial management plans is the experienced tool of choice for the job.
And didn’t the Quebec government hold back on using hundred’s of millions of dollars of health care money one year or so past? A clear case of fiscal mismanagement of funds that were supposed to benefit the members of the band… er I mean Quebec citizenry. It’s time for the Naultster and his band of merry bean counters to impose third party management as far as I am concerned.
And as you look across this great land of ours the examples of this type of behavior are numerous and widespread. It is time for Indian Affairs to take matters in hand, a heavy hand I would say and right the wrongs being done to all citizens of the state. Yes, it’s time to make us all wards of the State, not just Aboriginal Peoples. There’s a whole group of other ethnics and non-ethnics out there who need the righteous and firm assurance that accountability is not just for the First Nations.
Gathering Strength indeed, my brothers and sisters!