Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Attawapiskat - It's Getting Worse, Not Better

Do you remember this?



and then this?



Well, they still have no school and today I heard that the portables that they had been using, such that they are, have been closed down. You see they are tearing down the old school that was unfit to learn in. That school was built over top of an old diesel spill. In tearing in down, of course the earth is being disturbed and apparently the fumes are unbearable.

The portables that were put in place to replace the school are a stone's throw away from that site. As the demolition began, the stench was horrific and the children were becoming ill. The staff tried to keep things going but the children couldn't concentrate and started developing headaches and other symptoms that you would associate with being exposed to diesel fumes. (I don't know about you, but I didn't know what a headache was as a child.)

The portables, so, their school, have now been closed. These kids are at risk of losing their school year. This is deplorable.

So many things run through my mind when I hear such stories. I watched the news tonight and saw the devastation in Italy and of course it's just awful. I wondered though why we don't see this school and these kids on the news. Why is that? There is a much larger, deeper story here.

These kids, against all odds, want to make it. Some of them won't and that is our fault. I listened to some commentary today about the trial of J.S.R. the young man that shot Jane Creba on Boxing Day. The right wing in this discussion was quick to say, oh poor baby...lock him up and throw away the key. What has come out though, is that he lived in poverty, was abused as a child, had numerous problems, ADHD etc., but all of that is to be ignored. People like Michael Coren are famous for saying that poverty isn't the problem, but when you have the courage to did down a little deeper, surely we can see that by depriving kids, through poverty, we set them and ourselves up for failure.

I always find it laughable to hear the right chant, 'they had a choice'. No, not really or at least, not much of one. If you can't see your way out except through one path and no one shows you another, what real choice do you have? Coren famously chides us with bromides like, there are plenty of poor people in the world and we simply don't have that in Canada. We apparently don't know the meaning of the word. Well, I challenge him to go and spend a month, sitting in those portables all day.

I have no idea at this moment where the Liberal party stands on this issue, but I will strive to find out. I know that the Harper government cancelled a Liberal initiative to build a new school, but I don't know where we stand now.

This should be a larger issue. If the economy is failing those who have, imagine the impact on the have-nots.

10 comments:

northwestern_lad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
northwestern_lad said...

Thanks for the good piece in support of the community of Attawapiskat and I hope that you are successful in getting the Liberal Party to get behind the NDP's efforts on this. When it comes to the health of this community, it's children and it's needs we all need to come together and party lines should come a distant second. Priority number one is getting this community the help that it needs and the school that it's youth deserves.

The Right is Where it's At said...

KNB I agree to a lot of what you say,but where I disagree with is when people use poverty as an excuse for the crimes that they commit. I'm talking in general here.

We hear it often people that were dirt poor as a child and yet they made it. Some of them are multimillionaires. Some of them I'm sure were also abandoned. Why is it that those people make it?

We have people that had /have perfect parents,money and an education that commit or committed crimes on this wonderful world of ours. Are we going to blame their past for their crimes? I think not! I guess what I'm saying is that people always have a choice. It's a matter of taking the right path. Not use your past history as an excuse.

KNB said...

I agree Cam. This goes beyond party lines. Angus has done a great job of keeping the issue out there, but I'd like to see it have a higher profile and a solid action plan assigned to it.

KNB said...

I'm not suggesting that poverty is an excuse Right, but to ignore it as a contributing factor in some cases is ridiculous.

We've created virtual ghettos in this country and believe me, in Toronto the examples are numerous.

People can only make choices, the right ones, when they are equipped to do so. Children that are brought up in atmosphere without hope, without role models of how to choose wisely, with little or no education have less of a chance in this society.

I mentioned Michael Coren. He's famous for saying that poverty has nothing to do with it. He cites countries around the world that are far less fortunate than Canada and proudly says, there is not the same problem there. Well, when all you know is poverty and have never seen anything else, that is not the same as living among the affluent and being told that you are worth less than others through actions or words. In fact, Coren has actually commented that it's a problem unique to the black community in Toronto. Jamaicans specifically according to him. Idiot.

Of course, his balloon was burst recently with gang violence making it's mark in BC. Of course these gangs weren't black.

Anyway, I've gone off on a tangent here, but the bottom line for me is that it is not an excuse, but it's often a contributing factor. Not the poverty as much as what often accompanies it. It's not black and white.

The Right Leaning Towards Mr. Ignatieff said...

"I'm not suggesting that poverty is an excuse Right, but to ignore it as a contributing factor in some cases is ridiculous."

KNB I don't believe that it's a contributing factor. Sorry to disagree with you on this. It doesn't mean that we shouldn't be doing anything to help these people. It's just that I get so upset when I hear after a crime as been committed that they bring up their past. What does that have to do with anything?


"People can only make choices, the right ones, when they are equipped to do so. Children that are brought up in atmosphere without hope, without role models of how to choose wisely, with little or no education have less of a chance in this society."

People can succeed if they're equipped for it."TRUE" But I'm sorry,but after a certain age you know what is right and what is wrong,even if you've never been in school before.

P.S. If you noticed I've changed my moniker."LOL"

The Right Leaning Towards Mr. Ignatieff said...

KNB my new moniker!

KNB said...

Yes, I see your new moniker, right.

I think you have some s'plaining to do given that you so believed in what Harper was doing. He and Ignatieff and night and day, despite what some disgruntled Lib's might say.

The Right Leaning Towards Mr. Ignatieff said...

"Yes, I see your new moniker, right."

"I think you have some s'plaining to do given that you so believed in what Harper was doing. He and Ignatieff and night and day, despite what some disgruntled Lib's might say."

Don't get your hopes up so fast. I'm still right of center.That will not change. Mr.Ignatieff has made a right turn with the liberals. I don't agree with everything that he has said "NO". But I don't agree with everything that Mr.Harper has done either. I don't accept to agree on everything the two has to say.

I'm kind of leaning towards Mr.Ignatieff for example,he got rid of the so called "green shift plan,"
his views on the oil sands,his views for a strong military etc.etc..

You can't deny that he has done a sharp right turn with the liberals. But I haven't parked my vote with anyone yet. I still need to hear a whole lot more before I decide who to vote for. KNB my vote in the past, has gone from Conservative to Liberal,Liberal back to Conservative.

I could have never voted for Mr.Dion or Mr.Rae. No chance of that ever happening. I still will have to see what the new Liberal platform will be before I decide who to vote for. Mr.Ignatieff is the most right wing leader that the Liberals have had in a long time. You can't deny that fact. We will have to wait and see what happens in the next few months.

The Right Leaning Towards Mr. Ignatieff said...

Knb I also forgot to mention
Mr.Ignatieff undeniable support of Israel in the middle est conflict.I meant to change my moniker a while ago,but never got around to it.