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Should Ottawa have taken away control of finances in Attawapiskat?

Categories: Canada, News Promo, Politics

The federal government has put the northern Ontario community of Attawapiskat under third-party management and ordered an audit to find out where federal funds were spent.


 People in Attawapiskat use tent frames and shacks to cope with insufficient housing. (Allison Dempster/CBC)"The government of Canada has informed the chief that we are placing the community in third-party management to ensure community needs are addressed," said Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan.

Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence was shocked to hear the community has been put under third-party management.

"I guess, as First Nations, when we do ask for assistance and make a lot of noise, we get penalized for it," she told CBC News on Wednesday.

NDP MP Charlie Angus, whose riding includes the troubled reserve, said the government's solution is to "blame the community."

"Why is it that when it's a First Nations community in distress, this government's response is contempt?" said Angus.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper this week said $90 million of federal money has gone into Attawapiskat since 2006. "Obviously we're not very happy that the results do not seem to have been achieved for that, we're concerned about that, we have officials looking into it and taking action," he said Tuesday.

Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae said Harper's numbers were misleading.

"It's the government that has to take responsibility for what's happened and not simply continue to blame the victim," said Rae.
    
Do you agree with the federal government's move to put Attawapiskat under third-party management? Why or why not? Do you think the community's finances need to be audited? Let us know what you think in the comments below.



(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)

Tags: Aboriginal, money, Ontario

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