Today’s top news story is about how Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are giving the Indigenous people of Canada a fiscal middle finger. His government recently used an extraordinary act to approve a $100 billion Coronavirus aid package, and announced with pride that $305 million of it is earmarked for Indigenous communities. Now on the surface that sounds like a generous amount, but when that’s put into perspective, it’s actually amounts to a big financial ‘f-you’ to Canadian First Nations. I say that because as of the 2016 census, Indigenous peoples in Canada totaled 1,673,785 people. That’s 4.9% of the national population. So just to be fair, they should get 4.9% of the aid. But instead of receiving $4.9 billion (their fair share), Ottawa has insulted them yet again, offering them a mere 0.31% of the aid package, despite the existing deplorable disrespect and conditions that many are already trying to contend with. This, of course, is also in addition to already terribly under-funding their healthcare, education and economic development.
Indigenous Aid Only 0.31% Of The Aid Package
On top of financially depriving First Nations out of the billions of dollars that they’re entitled to, governments are putting them at horrific risk of Coronavirus infection. For instance, while peaceful Indigenous people in northern BC practice a period known as ‘Wiggus’, the Wet’suwet’en word for respect, by not putting up resistance against the massive Coastal Gaslink pipeline while their nations discuss and decide what they want to do, that illegal pipeline is going full steam ahead. Instead of pausing construction until legal ownership is established, and the pipeline is legally approved, TC Energy is ramming the project ahead as fast as it possibly can, using the ‘shoot first, apologize later’ approach to law, aboriginal ownership, and authority.
Quarantines Waived For Foreign Workers
To do that, instead of shutting down the massive construction camps to mitigate risk of Coronavirus outbreak, foreign corporations continue to fly in hoards of temporary workers to northern projects, all going to and from work without the mandatory quarantines that the public is subject to. This hypocritical health standard has thrown public safety right out the window, all in a bid to complete massive pipeline and mega dam projects before public resistance can be made. And by doing so, it’s put all BC communities at extreme risk of a major infection, causing some to talk assertive action. For instance, the mayor of Fort St. John has declared a state of emergency fearing infection by nearby foreign Site C workers devastating her community. In response to the public’s fear, John Horgan has done what he does so very well: not a damn thing – especially anything right, good, or decent.
Big Cities Naively Unconcerned
I suspect there isn’t a great deal more public outcry about the temporary worker infectious highway because the work is going on in the northern areas of the province. You see, the bulk of British Columbia’s population lives to the south, so the big cities seem naively unconcerned, never realizing that the people in the north travel to the south every day, and all of those foreign workers going to and from the northern construction camps are being moved through southern airports, potentially contaminating everything and everyone that they come in contact with right smack in the middle of a major metropolis. It’s what I call a massive disregard for the safety of the citizens of British Columbia, and a prime example of how controlled by business our politicians have allowed our governments to become.
Complete Complacency Of Decency
And this brings me back to how horribly Canada’s Indigenous people are being treated by people who claim to be ‘good upstanding citizens’. First Nations are being stolen from, their property trespassed upon, and their laws and traditions deliberately yet diplomatically ignored as they’re horribly used and abused. And the saddest thing of all, is that the very people who should be protecting them in government are the ones who are dejecting, disrespecting and rejecting them. And those in the public whose religious beliefs should have them lifting the First Nations up in prayer, oddly become spiritually deaf and dumb as soon as Indigenous is mentioned. Instead of praying for them, they they turn a blind eye to those preying on them, proving that their love is a limited offer, and their good Samaritanism is race regulated.
Canada Put At Risk By Greed
Ultimately, I’m disgusted that government continually insults the hell out of First Nations with ignorant and unjust acts, such as providing them with just 0.31% of the aid they deserve, rather than the 4.9% they should receive. That there, in my opinion, is one sorry ass and unnecessary state of affairs. Canada has the means to do and be so much better in every way, but it’s held back by industrial greed and political corruption that’s reared it ugly head in an almost prideful way. So, to all those citizens who are wondering why healthcare providers are running out of supplies, know that it’s because all of the billions and billions of tax dollars that should have been spent on supplies to protect your safety were handed to rich foreign corporations on platinum platters to help them become even richer, as you and your nation continues to get poorer.
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