Sniffing progressive gas 189

 Mark Steyn writes about how ‘caring’ has destroyed Indian lives in Canada. Read the whole thing here. It says a lot that needs to be said about about welfare, aid, caring, and the whole sentimental self-indulgent  political philosophy of the liberal progressive multiculti left. 

A decade ago, Canadians and their government were "shocked" by TV images of the Innu community of Davis Inlet in Labrador, a shantytown whose inhabitants were snorting drugs, glue, gas and pretty much anything else that came their way. Having claimed to be "shocked," our rulers then claimed to "care."

So they decided to build the Innu a new town a few miles inland, with new homes with new heating systems and a new schoolhouse with all the newest accessories. The new town-Natuashish-cost taxpayers $152 million.

Two years after the resettlement of the Mushuau, let us turn to our good friends at the CBC for a progress report:

"Alcoholism and gas sniffing continue to be a problem for people living in Natuashish, two years after the Innu community was relocated from Davis Inlet. The community of about 700 has seen four suicides in the past few months, and drug and alcohol abuse is rampant, say local officials.

"Former Mushuau Chief Katie Rich says she has never seen anything like it before…Rich says children are going to school hungry because their parents are drunk or stoned…

"RCMP officers in Labrador agree with the assessment, saying alcohol-related problems in the community are worse than ever…"

At this point, let’s ask every reader who’s surprised by this to put up his or her hand.

Well, okay. You’re Western Standard readers. But let’s ask Toronto Star and Globe and Mail readers, and Maclean’s subscribers, and CBC viewers and listeners: how many of you impeccably liberal, "caring" Canadians stuffed to the gills with "da Canadian values" are truly, genuinely, honestly surprised by the results of your "caring"?

I thought as much. Now what are you going to do about it? Build another new town 10 miles down the road from Natuashish but spend $300 million this time, and then another 10 miles from that costing $600 million, and another for a billion, and another and another, secure in the knowledge that by the time you run out of vacant land in Labrador, the government will have been able to refurbish the original Davis Inlet trash heap for another two or three billion?

Gas-sniffing is not a traditional Innu activity. Before the first European settlers came, the Mushuau did not roam the tundra hunting for Chevy Silverados. That’s something the white man taught him. Or, to be more precise, the lazy, posturing Liberal establishment white man. And, if any of us propose trying anything different, the Liberal party white man and his cronies in the rotten band structure dismiss us as racist.

Remember a year or two back, when the papers were full of stories about the aggrieved alumni of residential schools? They were doing a grand job of suing Canada’s Catholic and Protestant churches into oblivion, a very small number of them for the usual excesses of randy clerics, but the overwhelming majority for the far vaguer offence of "cultural genocide." On closer inspection – which not a lot of guilt-ridden liberals could be bothered giving it – "cultural genocide" turned out to involve not genocide in the Sudanese, Rwandan or Holocaust meaning of the word but in the sense that generations of Canadian natives had been forced to learn about Queen Victoria, Shakespeare, Magna Carta, Sir Isaac Newton, etc. In other words, the kind of stuff which, back in the day when Lord Macaulay was writing his famous memo to Her Majesty’s Government on education for (east) Indians, it was felt that everyone needed to know in order to be able to function in the modern world. The (east) Indians still feel like this, which is why when you call up for tech support you wind up talking to Suresh or Rajiv.

Imagine if our own Indians had just, oh, two or three per cent of that business. Alas, they fell into the hands of a vile alliance between the ostentatious "carers" of Ottawa and a corrupt artificial form of "self-government." Residential schools aren’t "cultural genocide," but what’s happened to the Mushuau of Davis Inlet should surely qualify. They were hunters and trappers originally, like the first Frenchmen on this continent. But the pur laine Quebecer doesn’t do much trapping these days. He moved to Montreal’s village gai, settled down with a nice young MUC officer from Algeria, and has no desire to return to James Bay. The Mushuau were denied those kinds of choices. Their old culture died, but we "cared" about them so much that instead of embracing them as full, free citizens we’ve maintained them in an artificial government cocoon for four decades. The gas-sniffing adolescents of those "shocking" 1993 TV pictures are now gas-sniffing parents with wee little soon-to-be gas-sniffers of their own. And on it goes, the curse of Canadian compassion, unto to the next generation.

Consider the sums of money involved: $152 million for 700 people. That’s $217,142.85 for each man, woman or child. I’ve got a wife and three kids, so, had we been in Davis Inlet, that would have been $1,085,714.20 just for us. Imagine what you could do with that. Build a new house. Start a company. Hire some people. Invest in business opportunities. Get the kid an Ivy League education.

But the Innu don’t have to do any of these things. They don’t need to work, because the "caring" government pays them to lie around the house all day. And they don’t need to buy a house because property rights is some racist whitey racket so all the homes are communally owned. That $152-million new town was a one-off, but the regular payments aren’t so bad. In 2002, the local band council got $14 million just in federal funds. That’s $20,000 per – or, for me and my gang, a hundred grand a year to do nothing. The result is pretty much as you’d expect. Everyone cruises around in brand-new pickups on roads that go nowhere, and, although there’s no liquor outlet in Natuashish, when a town’s that flush with cash, there’s plenty of bootleggers prepared to provide the service: a 40-ounce bottle costs $300, and up to $800 on popular holidays. But, in a town where the government gives you $20,000 to do zip, it’s holiday season all year round…


Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Thursday, January 8, 2009

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