First Nations Have Been Stabbed In The Back
November 15th, 2020 | RR
Justin Trudeau's betrayal of First Nations is remarkable. From a prime minister who promised to solve some of the indigenous community's biggest challenges, they have gotten nothing but a silver dagger thrust into their spines. With his characteristic smugness, Trudeau has delivered nothing but platitudes and broken promises to First Nations that have been devastated and left behind by every government that has ever come and gone from power.
The Neskantaga nation is going into its third decade of having to boil drinking water. This is five years after the election of a Liberal majority that many of them voted to secure. Along with many First Nations across the country, they trusted Trudeau to change the status quo and to finally address the challenges they have been facing for more than two decades. In 2020, their crisis has finally made headlines and the prime minister is coming close to being held accountable for his inaction. The glaring double standards have made it out in the open for everyone to see.
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This Liberal government has a lot of taxpayer money to throw around, but not much has gone to solving what should be a simple problem in a wealthy, first-world country.
Money For Black Entrepreneurs
For some reason, the Neskantanga nation and its cohorts across Canada have failed to register on Trudeau's wokeness meter. Unlike Canada's few black entrepreneurs, Canada's indigenous communities have failed to meet whatever criteria this Liberal government has installed for ethnic communities.
In September, Trudeau announced a $221M loan program to help black entrepreneurs establish and build their businesses, as well as to encourage blacks to become entrepreneurs and business owners. According to the prime minister, Canada's black community—which makes up less than 4% of the population—was disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
Trudeau violated public health orders by kneeling at a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, right in the middle of a pandemic that prevented Canadians from visiting their loved ones in hospitals. It was a clear political play for points and it seems to have worked well at propping up his poll numbers. His new loan program was icing on the cake. You see, unlike most First Nation communities, the black community has a much higher turnout on election day. Unlike many indigenous folk, blacks provide valuable votes in many urban centres where the Liberal Party thrives.
While Trudeau was kneeling and buying votes from the woke crowd, Neskantanga was under a boil water advisory. In Canada, one of the wealthiest countries on Earth, residents of the Neskantanga nation were living in conditions that are more familiar in developing countries and in war ravaged hell holes. It's hard to believe, but it's true. Right now, there are people in Canada who live in communities without clean drinking water and electricity.
None of those people are black.
Money For Other Countries
Trudeau has millions to dole out to countries like Ethiopia, where he invested our heard-earned tax dollars in the country's oil and gas sector. He also pledged $10M to the African Union Commission to fight gender inequality, among other things. Trudeau has been sending hundreds of millions to other African countries, but hasn't been able to help First Nations communities in his own country.
While the Neskantanga nation was boiling its drinking water in September, Trudeau pledged $400M of foreign aid to other countries in their fight against Covid. It was all done through the United Nations, with Trudeau telling us the money will go to”trusted partners on the ground”. Perhaps, maybe, he means organizations like WE? He never clarified.
It's not like previous governments have done much to help Neskantanga and other indigenous communities. However, previous Conservative governments never ran on such promises to begin with. Trudeau, on the other hand, promised in 2015 and 2019 to help Canada's indigenous communities and to end boil advisories. He promised to help rebuild struggling indigenous communities, but he hasn't followed through at all.
His promise to help First Nations has fallen by the wayside, just like his promises to plant a billion trees and to restore ethics in parliament.
Conservatives Should Step Up
Now is the time for Erin O'Toole to visit Neskantanga and to meet with its leaders. The Conservative leader has reached out to unions and to certain Liberal-friendly activist groups, but why not to indigenous communities that have been forgotten by Liberals?
The only federal party that has stepped up to care about Canada's indigenous communities is the NDP, and it has benefited them in sparsely populated Northern communities in Ontario and the prairies, where there are only a few federal seats to win.
If O'Toole is looking to grow the big blue tent, he can start by reaching out to indigenous communities and then following through on any promises he makes. Right now, he can put pressure on the federal government to help indigenous communities and to prioritize their well-being over that of foreign countries. Conservatives can introduce bills that focus solely on helping indigenous communities with more than just empty promises, awareness and a few dollars.
Taking care of third-world problems that exist in Canada shouldn't just be the sole responsibility of New Democrats. Trudeau should be held accountable for the promises he has made to First Nations. The Conservatives shouldn't just leave it to the NDP and Charlie Angus to make the noise. Erin O'Toole should be louder. He has an opportunity to pick up the pieces left behind by Justin Trudeau's broken promises to indigenous Canadians.
Related: About Erasing Canada's First Nations
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