Canadians once again are split when it comes to who is right when protests by First Nations are in the forefront, such as the protest in Rexton, New Brunswick. The recent and ongoing protests by the Elsipogtog First Nations over shale fracking reached a peak when it was discovered some First Nations protestors torched vehicles, and were found to have a stash of explosives and weapons, assumed to be used later in the protest. While not cool, Canadians seem to have already taken sides, including some in the media.
Man, it is one thing to accuse first nations of mishandling their protest, by some who propose violence. it is another thing to add insult to injury when a National Post columnist rants that 85% of the first nations community of 2, 390 subsist on welfare, include a couple of hundred dollars more for each recipient over the provincial average. While it looks like a lot of money, I find it irresponsible of Christine to not delve into the issues at hand, or to disseminate the First Nations populace.
Judging by comments on the internet media sites, it appears many are under the impression 2,390 of First Nations are all adults! To put into perspective, a household of 3 (including Mom, Dad, and 1 Child, brings it to a more realistic number of 796 families. If one were to assume 85% were on welfare, which would be 676 recipients who collect welfare.
Certainly a far cry from 2,390 if one was to base it on households.
Of course, the Maritime region has for decades been a money pit of welfare recipients and seasonal workers unable to subsist on year round employment. Certainly a government ruling those provinces is to blame along with its citizens. Rest assured when you factor in to unemployment rate of Maritime Provinces and welfare recipients, it will far out-shadow a small rural First Nations community exponentially.
I was for a few years, Director of Engineering for First Nations, including training community members, and improving their infrastructure. Today, these communities have told me I actually made a difference for the communities I served. I also lived among First Nations and I still consider friends and extended family. So when I write about this, it is in a first person perspective, having lived on reserve, and not from an office tower in Toronto.
While First Nations communities lot in life is hard, they make do, and as most First Nations communities live in rural areas, and remote locales their quest for a job, medical appointments, or even groceries requires most rural communities to trek the nearest cities, usually an hours’ drive, with no bus service, so packing in a van is their option. When government funding was gone, sadly so was my position, and a relocate to Vancouver.
While I may be a lowly part time scribe, who writes a social policy column for various media, I pride myself on stating all the facts, so as to be clear. Yes, I do on occasion go into a rant on some subjects, usually when I read an article devoid of facts.
Apparently Christine Blatchford does too, though misdirected at times.