The Harper government kick starts 2012 with another deplorable example of how they are not handling the horrid situation in Attawapiskat. Worse, if it can be, this government doesn't care about giving the impression they don't care.

Two audits reporting many problems with managing infrastructure money for first nations, funds mismanaged by the government, came under public scrutiny yesterday.


Both completed last February. Both posted just after the holidays. A well-known tactic to slip out damaging documents attempting to avoid unwanted attention. A time when they might be least likely to cause a backlash.

Eleven months from completion to publication. Why? What did the initial reports look like? The government had these audits, but still displayed political cowardice by blaming Attawapiskat leaders.

This is a moral crisis, not an issue of poor fiscal management. Either you care enough of about people to find solutions now or people live in squalor and bone-freezing cold.

If the Canadian military can shovel snow in Toronto, why couldn't military engineers and soldiers be working in Attawapiskat. Put down their guns and bullets, pick up some hammers and nails.

Why couldn't this government simply do the right and moral thing, instead of playing politics? With committed M.P.s like Charlie Angus repeatedly bringing Attawapiskat into the House of Commons, the Harper government was well aware long ago.

However, they chose - chose - to do nothing of consequence. Now we find that the government wasn't able to manage funds aimed at hardships on reserves across Canada.

This is, to be polite, a national disgrace. The backlash over the Harper government's disdainful treatment of the Attawapiskat people began months ago. Critics aren't just Canadians. The world is assessing this with hard, stark, but accurate statements. Phrases that make all Canadians cringe, except apparently those able to do something, to change the situation.

Third-world conditions. Communities in crisis. Dire. Comparison to the world's poorest nations. U.N. monitoring the situation.

What else has to happen before our prime minister, steps forward and says, "This is Canada. This doesn't happen here and this is what we're going to do."

Specifically and quickly. If the government never admits anything, that's fine. If they dance the blame two-step, offer a few bandages for gaping wounds, that's immoral.


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