Maryanne Wheesk peers out of her condemned home in Attawapiskat, Ontario, in which 21 people live.
Credits: REUTERS/Frank Gunn/Pool
An unelected and unaccountable judge in Canada, does it again.
In a ruling last week, Federal Court Judge Michael Phelan slapped the Harper government's wrists and scolded them for appointing a third-party financial manager to look into the troubled Attawapiskat First Nation in northern Ontario.
The judge's ludicrous ruling stated it was "unreasonable in all circumstances...and contrary to law" to bring in an outside manager.
This is the same reserve that grabbed national headlines last year for the deplorable living conditions of nearly 100 residents holed up in tents and sheds, with no electricity in -20C weather.
The taxpayers of Canada have given over $90 million in the past six years to the reserve, so rightly the federal government wanted to know where our money was going - because it clearly wasn't going to housing residents.
And the reserve's chief, Theresa Spence, had the gall to ask the feds for more money in May: $50,000 per month with no strings and no questions. When pressed for a long-term housing plan, she simply didn't answer.
There is something very wrong with this picture, especially in our country.
But sadly, this is an all too familiar story with reserves in Canada.
And throwing more money at the situation isn't going to fix it.
Taxpayers are already spending over $12 billion a year on Aboriginal affairs.
Further, appointing a third-party financial manager to look into problems on Canada's reserves is not new.
Dakota Tipi First Nation in Manitoba was forced into third-party management in 2002 because there hadn't been an election on the reserve in decades.
Batchewana First Nation in Ontario faced questionable election results and a third-party manager was brought in.
The Yellow Quill First Nation reserve in Saskatchewan has been under the watch of third-party since 1999, facing political and financial difficulties. Including high unemployment and a lack of suitable housing.
As the deplorable situation for residents in Attawapiskat continues to drag on, Canadians would be disheartened to know that little has improved on the reserve.
In spite of the millions of dollars flowing into the reserve, we don't know where the money is going.
So Judge Phelan is wrong when he says this isn't about money.
It always is.