Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Beginning 2013 With a Lack of Social Justice.

      The beginning of 2013 finds Canadians in the midst of a couple of issues which are a result of a lack of social justice. Both of these issues began in December of 2012 but their origins are from hundreds of years ago. One , Chief Teresa Spence's hunger strike, has more recent origins but is more critical. The second, "Idle No more" has origins further back in time but is not in need of immediate attention.

     Chief Teresa Spence had a serious housing problem on her reserve less that a year ago. Prime minister Steven Harper did very little about the situation. A few emergency measures were taken. The band's finances were taken over and chief Spence fought against it as it was not the problem.

     Since then, Steven Harper's spin doctors have taken over. Steven Harper would like us to believe that the Attawapiskat community has had 90 million dollars for housing in the last year. Of course, the spin doctors, with innocent caring eyes, want to know why houses haven't been built. So here's what happened. the 90 million dollars was for the last five years so that's about 16 or so million a year. Now out of that 16 million came education, health and welfare. This left about 4 to 5 million for houses. Now out of the 4 to 5 million house maintenance was taken. So were left with little for housing and in fact nothing as they decided to use all the money on maintenance rather than let the houses fall into disrepair. Now these folks just can't go down to the local Canadian Tire or Rona and get materials to fix their own houses. These stores are not in their community. As a result these houses fall apart quickly.

    Now back to Chief Spence.  For the past year she has been patiently and persistently lobbying the government to expand and improve housing. Nothing was done. Now we are to the winter season again and drastic action is needed. This is where Chief Spence found herself on  hunger strike. 

    So this is a case where social justice is completely lacking. Also lacking is the basic humanity of a Prime Minister who apparently has no concern for certain groups of people. The Prime Minister sees himself as an economist although he has very few economy classes. He's done some reading of material from  the Chicago School of economics. Apparently economists don't have to worry or care about people. They only care about the "economy."

     So it's a very sad start to 2013 where we have a person who is near death because she's fighting for housing for her people and a group of people who have very poor housing for the winter.

    Please support Chief Teresa Spence.