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Harper to meet with Chief Spence/First Nations leaders

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Re: Harper to meet with Chief Spence/First Nations leaders

Postby grammafreddy » Jan 7th, 2013, 2:27 pm

Rwede wrote:So GF is your solution to dump more of our tax money into reserves?

No.
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Re: Harper to meet with Chief Spence/First Nations leaders

Postby Rwede » Jan 7th, 2013, 2:28 pm

So what is your solution? You seem, in your posts, to be defending the rampant corruption by the chiefs and other well-connected Indians that is syphoning off money that is intended for programs.
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Re: Harper to meet with Chief Spence/First Nations leaders

Postby Libelle » Jan 7th, 2013, 2:33 pm

What about the ice resurfacer? Pleading poverty Ms.Spence? Two words $96,000 ice resurfacer. In the mist of last years housing crisis a I've resurfacer was bought. How can anyone living in such dire poverty afford the hockey equipment needed to play hockey on their ice rink? Guess it was decided that it was a priority to get that I've resurfacer and not repair any homes, good call.
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Re: Harper to meet with Chief Spence/First Nations leaders

Postby grammafreddy » Jan 7th, 2013, 2:48 pm

Rwede wrote:So what is your solution? You seem, in your posts, to be defending the rampant corruption by the chiefs and other well-connected Indians that is syphoning off money that is intended for programs.


How about we clean up the way they are funded first?

I don't support ANY corruption and I sure see plenty coming from the federal, provincial, etc governments. Should we just ignore that and focus all our damnation against the native people who are the victims of this government corruption?

Just in case you missed it in that CBC video, the chief lives in a modular building that was formerly the jail - she doesn't have a palace or mansion like some posters here accused her of having. She may also share that former jail with several other families or her extended family.
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Re: Harper to meet with Chief Spence/First Nations leaders

Postby grammafreddy » Jan 7th, 2013, 3:09 pm

Libelle wrote:What about the ice resurfacer? Pleading poverty Ms.Spence? Two words $96,000 ice resurfacer. In the mist of last years housing crisis a I've resurfacer was bought. How can anyone living in such dire poverty afford the hockey equipment needed to play hockey on their ice rink? Guess it was decided that it was a priority to get that I've resurfacer and not repair any homes, good call.


Libelle ... who paid for the ice resurfacer?

You seem to keep ignoring the fact that the government tells them what to spend the money on and how much and when. If they asked for repairs for their existing homes and got 22 unfinished and inhabitable modulars because government sent them that, how can you fault them for that? Why are you totally ignoring government's part in all this "mismanagement of their funds"?

About that hockey equipment ... :127: ... does the government not provide sports funding to other kids/organizations in Canada even the poor ones on welfare? I think I recall a certain H2O Centre being built with quite a large chunk of government money for non-natives AND natives to use. Whose funding built the Parkinson Rec Centre and the tennis courts behind it? How about the Greenway? Who paid for the new Zamboni that cleans the new skating rink (also government funded) in the new park (more government funding)?

So you are saying natives on reserves should not get any of that funding even though you (who lives in your sparkling white world) gets it?
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Re: Harper to meet with Chief Spence/First Nations leaders

Postby Rwede » Jan 7th, 2013, 3:24 pm

The fact that Spence is sleeping with the finance manager of the band stinks to high heaven.

And, that $104 million is peanuts compared to the amount the Victor Diamond Mine pumps into that reserve.

Where's all that money going?
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Re: Harper to meet with Chief Spence/First Nations leaders

Postby Rwede » Jan 7th, 2013, 3:27 pm

And the government never told them to buy a Zamboni. That was chief and council's decision 100%.
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Re: Harper to meet with Chief Spence/First Nations leaders

Postby grammafreddy » Jan 7th, 2013, 3:56 pm

Rwede wrote:And the government never told them to buy a Zamboni. That was chief and council's decision 100%.


Maybe they used the money from the Victor Diamond Mine to buy it? LOL
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Re: Harper to meet with Chief Spence/First Nations leaders

Postby grammafreddy » Jan 7th, 2013, 3:57 pm

Rwede wrote:And the government never told them to buy a Zamboni. That was chief and council's decision 100%.


Where did you see that? Link???
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Re: Harper to meet with Chief Spence/First Nations leaders

Postby Rwede » Jan 7th, 2013, 4:38 pm

grammafreddy wrote:
Where did you see that? Link???



On the news - sorry no link. And not CBC either! :wink:

Whether they used DNID or Victor Mine monies, it's indicative of very poor financial management and screwed up priorities when people are living in squallor. Their old Zamboni was only about 10 years old ferchrisake!

The fact remains that hundreds of millions of dollars have been pumped into this reserve, yet the people have nothing to show for it. That money, as is so often the case, has been slipped into someone's pocket, and the financial manager of the band, who sleeps with the chief, is the one disbursing it.

No wonder Spence ran the government-appointed manager out of town last year, as he would surely have exposed what is happening with their finances, something it appears they want to keep hidden. And then Spence has the audacity to scream for more taxpayers' money to make this situation even worse.


Spence's timing of her hunger strike (a fat lady eating soup for a few weeks is NOT a hunger strike, BTW) is simply a diversion of attention away from the audit report which she knew had to be made public by January 16th, IMO. People get sucked into believing she's doing this for a noble cause, but nothing could be further from the truth.
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Re: Harper to meet with Chief Spence/First Nations leaders

Postby grammafreddy » Jan 7th, 2013, 5:08 pm

I am not surprised you couldn't find a link for government buying the Zamboni - because the government did not. And it wasn't a Zamboni, either.

http://www.netnewsledger.com/2011/12/17 ... the-media/
But the facts are simple, the people in the remote community raised the money for the new Olympia Ice Resurfacer through fundraising efforts, in particular bingos in the community. The machine was purchased in order to replace one that had come to the end of its operational life according to the Attawapiskat First Nation.


There is also this http://www.attawapiskat.org/wp-content/ ... piskat.pdf which talks about the ice resurfacer, the funding for the SportsPlex and the chief's relationship with the band co-manager and how that all came about (including the federal government ultimatum). Spence was not the chief then and she has no signing authority on any bank accounts of the First Nation.
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Re: Harper to meet with Chief Spence/First Nations leaders

Postby Urbane » Jan 7th, 2013, 5:42 pm

This column speaks for itself:

CBC News made headlines on Monday by publicizing a scathing audit report on Attawapiskat, the impoverished northern Ontario Cree community led by hunger-striking chief Theresa Spence.

Yet you’ll find an even more searing indictment of Attawapiskat’s leadership in a televised report from the CBC’s Adrienne Arsenault. That segment is a year old, but it’s getting a new life on the internet thanks to a Twitter-based resurrection campaign led by blogger Richard Klagsbrun.

Watch the video: It’s shocking how many important lessons from Attawapiskat Ms. Arsenault manages to pack into just eight minutes.

The idea that the destitution of far-flung First Nations such as Attawapiskat is a result of Ottawa’s neglect is wrong. Ms. Arsenault’s quick tour of Attawapiskat — a place that then was supposed to have been in a housing crisis — shows a half-dozen well-constructed houses with no one living in them. When questioned about this total waste of resources, Chief Theresa Spence has no real answer.
In fact, Ms. Arsenault’s reporting suggests that the real problem in Attawapiskat is Ms. Spence’s own incompetent leadership — in which capacity she is aided by her live-in boyfriend Clayton Kennedy, who serves as the community’s manager. Neither apparently can be bothered to fill out the paperwork required to get needed resources from Ottawa, or even supply basic accounting information. When Ms. Arsenault bluntly asks Mr. Kennedy whether its appropriate for the chief’s unelected romantic partner to be running the place, he answers that it’s “nobody’s business.” (A decade ago, Art Eggleton got thrown out of federal cabinet for awarding a research project to a former girlfriend. Yet Ms. Spence has become a “grass roots” hero after giving an even cushier job to her current boyfriend.)
Ms. Arsenault didn’t intend to profile Attawapiskat’s economy. But she did a good job of it nonetheless. Take a look at every backdrop: Every home is made from materials transported from hundreds of miles away. The temperatures are frigid, so every home goes through gallons of heating fuel daily. All the chairs and paneling in the leaders’ conference room, all the North Face coats, all of the snowmobiles and hockey equipment — it’s all flown in from Timmins or elsewhere, or trucked in on winter roads at high expense. This might be one of the most expensive places in the world to operate a human settlement. Yet the town itself has zero private economy — except for a few cafés and the like. There is a major diamond mine in the region. Yet we do not meet anyone who has any sort of high-tech job skills, or any way of achieving them in Attawapiskat. Put aside culture for a moment: In economic terms, Attawapiskat exists as a pure sinkhole for resources produced elsewhere.
Perhaps the most pitiful scene in the whole piece is the one in which Ms. Arsenault examines the masses of boxes containing (apparently useful) donations from concerned Canadians. Yet until Ms. Aresenault came around, no one had even bothered opening them up: Ms. Spence complains that she couldn’t get “volunteers” to do the job. That in itself is a damning indictment of the state of civil society in Attawapiskat. We are always told that the preservation of reserves is a great way to maintain First Nations culture. But the opposite is true: The best way to destroy a group’s spirit of civic solidarity is to turn the economy into an outsider-funded cargo cult; whereby the locals’ only “job” is to sit around waiting for handouts — to such extent that apparently even rousing themselves to rip open cardboard and plastic is seen as too taxing.
Far from being idolized by Attawapiskat residents, Ms. Spence seems to be regarded with a mixture of suspicion and exasperation — in large part due to her cronyism. Local reserve resident Lindy Mudd, interviewed at length by Ms. Arsenault, states quite clearly that he is ashamed by the manner in which Ms. Spence has made Attawapiskat a poster-child of native poverty. Ironically, Ms. Spence is far more popular with naïve, white Naomi Klein types who venerate her from afar as a sort of Gaian martyr than with the people who actually have suffered under her incompetence.
Ms. Arsenault gave Ms. Spence and her lover a chance to address all of these points on air. And yet whenever given this opportunity, all they could do was assert self-righteous but extremely vague complaints about Ottawa — even when they were asked explicitly about decisions they had made that had resulted in the squandering of federal aid. This itself is a telling spectacle: We have gotten to the stage in First Nations politics whereby you no longer even have to string a logical sentence together to connect a problem on the ground with Ottawa’s blundering or malfeasance. Turning the feds into all-purpose bogeymen is convenient for Ms. Spence, but it also effectively destroys the very idea of sovereign native self-government — since the very notion of a government responsible for its own citizens is ludicrous if every problem is casually passed off as the white man’s fault.
Attawapiskat gets about $17-million a year from Ottawa. But as the audit report shows, we have very little idea how that money is spent. “In a letter dated Sept. 20, 2012, that was written by Deloitte to Chief Theresa Spence and copied to the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, [the] auditing firm says that of 505 transactions reviewed, more than 400 lacked proper documentation,” CBC News reports. “The letter to Spence also says there is ‘no evidence of due diligence on the part of Attawapiskat of funding provided by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada for housing projects and Health Canada for health-related projects.’ ”

Nothing in the CBC report, or in Ms. Arsenault’s year-old report, suggest that Ms. Spence or the people around her are stealing money. Instead, they collectively present an image of a massively unproductive, high-cost, sociologically infantilized and dysfunctional welfare state, run by poorly trained and educated locals who have little political legitimacy and no tax base — all of it overseen by an Ottawa bureaucracy that is itself beleaguered and only semi-functional.

The idea that these problems can be solved by giving more power and more money to leaders such as Ms. Spence is nonsensical. What we need instead is a candid discussion about whether communities such as this should remain in existence as subsidized entities.

Mr. Mudd says “There’s nothing here for my kids.” He plans to move away. Like other people interviewed by Ms. Arsenault, he wonders openly about whether anyone has a future in Attawapiskat.

The rest of us should be asking the same questions (and not just Ezra Levant, who’s been highlighting this stuff since 2011) — never mind the accusations of cultural genocide that surely will follow.

Ms. Spence is attracting the lion’s share of attention with her hunger strike in Ottawa. But the real issues lie 950 km away, in the well-funded wasteland she calls home.

National Post
jkay@nationalpost.com


http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/201 ... anagement/
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Re: Harper to meet with Chief Spence/First Nations leaders

Postby Ken7 » Jan 7th, 2013, 5:54 pm

I caught part of the story about this Chief Spence's Band on the radio today.

"They said 51% of their spending can not be accounted for."


Attawapiskat gets about $17-million a year from Ottawa.


Do you think that might be the money for housing? It simply amazes me, we keep throwing money their way and they keep asking for more for the same initiatives.

Wait are we stupid or is it just the government of Canada can not say no to them?
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Re: Harper to meet with Chief Spence/First Nations leaders

Postby the truth » Jan 7th, 2013, 5:59 pm

Ken7 wrote:I caught part of the story about this Chief Spence's Band on the radio today.

"They said 51% of their spending can not be accounted for."



Do you think that might be the money for housing? It simply amazes me, we keep throwing money their way and they keep asking for more for the same initiatives.

Wait are we stupid or is it just the government of Canada can not say no to them?


most of the money always goes to the chiefs and relatives thats why the rest of the band members live in poverty
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Re: Harper to meet with Chief Spence/First Nations leaders

Postby grammafreddy » Jan 7th, 2013, 6:04 pm

Urbane wrote:This column speaks for itself:



So does this one:

http://www.netnewsledger.com/2011/12/17 ... the-media/

Attawapiskat – There is a war of words happening in the media
in Editorial / by James Murray / on December 17, 2011 at 3:20 pm /

THUNDER BAY – Editorial – There is a war of words happening in the media, and in online comments across the Internet on blogs, news stories and media reports on the situation in Attawapiskat. Part of the problem appears to be one where much of the fight is happening in the media can be reports that sound great, but don’t add all the accuracy that is needed to really tell the full story.

For example Ezra Levant from Sun News was on the network other day berating the Attawapiskat First Nation over how they set their priorities. The political pundit and television host was commenting on how purchasing a new Zamboni® ice resurfacing machine, which was alluded to as federal funds being mis-directed, was a perfect example of that out of touch with reality attitude.

Levant slammed the Member of Parliament, Charlie Angus, saying that the problems in Attawapiskat happened on “his watch”. He then slams the Chief and Council asserting that they are responsible. He then blames the individual families in the community over the choices they have made. The fact that people in the community have a flat screen television seems to bother this Sun Media pundit. So too does the fact that people have electricity in their homes.

Before you leap to think that is taking this television host out of context, go to the 5:30 mark of this video. (video at the link)

As the television personality rips apart the situation in Attawapiskat, all it takes is a little research to find out that it is very likely that the editorial is long on rhetoric, and far shorter on facts.

Take for example Levant’s claim that Charlie Angus has been silent on this issue.

First of all, that tidbit should never have got past any fact-checker.

Starting on CharlieAngus.ca one finds several posts on his efforts in the community. Go to the Timmins Daily Press, and Charlie Angus is quoted saying, ““I really want to get up to Attawapiskat… so that it’s a just development”. That was from the first interview the MP gave after being elected. That was in 2004.

Angus has been working hard to raise the issues facing this community for a long time. In 2010, when student leader Shannen Koostachin was killed in a tragic car accident, Angus was there for the community.

Angus has taken the past two Ministers in the Aboriginal (earlier the Indian Affairs) Ministry to task over Attawapiskat and other First Nations issues. In this Youtube video, one that isn’t flattering to John Duncan, the Aboriginal Affairs Minister, it appears that Charlie Angus is “Not shy about talking about Attawapiskat”.

Perhaps what is really getting to the heart of the situation is that Angus, who was selected as one of the top three MPs in Ottawa by CTV News, is that Angus has been a thorn in the side of the Conservatives over a number of issues including the G8 Spending. Finding a way to slam this energetic representative would be a feather in any conservative pundit’s cap.

However the real issue is getting to the truth and moving past the spin.

There is the claim on people choosing a television set over purchasing “insulation” for their home. Perhaps this Sun Media personality is unaware of the fact that it is Aboriginal Affairs, under the legislation which is responsible for housing on the First Nation Reserves. It is unlikely that people who don’t own homes, would be spending their money adding insulation to their home? Or maybe it is different under the Sun?

That a person or family would have a “flat screen tv” is simply the kinds of televisions many people in the north have. One of the reasons is that the cost of shipping is very high. Flat screen televisions weigh less. One might wonder why a television show host would wish people not have television sets, after all that is how their advertisers reach an audience, which pays the salary of the television show personalities? I digress.

The next thing wrong with this video opinion piece is the claim that Attawapiskat purchased a Zamboni® ice resurfacer. The fact is the community purchased an Olympia Ice Resurfacer, not a Zamboni® ice resurfacing machine.

While many people assume that every ice resurfacer is a Zamboni® ice resurfacing machine, they are not. A Zamboni® ice resurfacing machine is the registered trademark of the brand. The company website states, “ZAMBONI is registered in the US, Canada, in the European Community and via the Madrid Protocol member countries, as well as through a number of national registrations. In addition, the configuration of the Zamboni® ice resurfacing machine is a registered trademark.”

Frank Kellner, the regional sales manager from the company’s office in Brantford in Canada stated that the life span of a Zamboni® ice resurfacing machine being used in an average rink in southern Ontario is 8-10 years. He adds that in some of the smaller communities, where the ice is not being resurfaced hourly, that lifespan with proper maintainance would be 15 years or more. That is backed up by an online report on the Riverview Community Centre in Winnipeg. That community centre outlines a bit of information on a donated Zamboni® ice resurfacing machine that they was able to get in their case they were able to get an older machine, and use it to this day. Their machine is far older than the competitive machine that was in use in Attawapiskat and needed replacement.

But the facts are simple, the people in the remote community raised the money for the new Olympia Ice Resurfacer through fundraising efforts, in particular bingos in the community. The machine was purchased in order to replace one that had come to the end of its operational life according to the Attawapiskat First Nation. The facts from Attawapiskat are online Olympia Ice Resurfacer.

Getting the facts right is an important part of getting this story focused on the real issues, the housing crisis and other related issues on First Nations across Canada. When the media fails in that task, with the goal being to assess blame, it is very important to get all the facts right.

In this case, the opinions expressed by the ever ongoing Sun Media host Ezra Levant are ones that perhaps he should be sitting down with his fact-checking team and discussing.
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