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Alberta Politics: Clown costumes verboten today in Fort Mac schools … but are Canadians safe when costumed mimes can walk our streets?

PHOTOS: Mump and Smoot, Edmonton’s clowns of horror. They’re not welcome in Fort McMurray’s public schools today. Below: Something new to worry about … the New York subway’s Mime of Horror! Another photo of Mump and Smoot, from their Facebook page just like the one above, no doubt reacting the way I do to the . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Clown costumes verboten today in Fort Mac schools … but are Canadians safe when costumed mimes can walk our streets?

Alberta Politics: Brian Jean’s crack about beating Rachel Notley may have ended his hopes to lead Alberta’s right

PHOTOS: Opposition Leader Brian Jean, haunted by the radicalism of his own rural-dominated party, now looks like he’s stumbled into the same snake pit of anger and misogyny. (Photo from Wildrose.ca.) Below: Premier Rachel Notley, the subject of Mr. J… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Brian Jean’s crack about beating Rachel Notley may have ended his hopes to lead Alberta’s right

Alberta Politics: A spectre is haunting Alberta, and Wildrose Leader Brian Jean wants to assure you it’s not him!

PHOTOS: The plot thickens … like the gravy at a certain truck stop restaurant. The spectral presences of Jason Kenney and Stephen Harper eating breakfast are not quite visible in the booth. Below: Mr. Jean, plus the real Mr. Kenney and the real Mr. H… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: A spectre is haunting Alberta, and Wildrose Leader Brian Jean wants to assure you it’s not him!

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.- Neil MacDonald discusses the unfairness in allowing a wealthy class of individuals to set up its own rules, while Jeffrey Sachs notes that the U.S. and U.K. are among the worst offenders in allowing for systema… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

A Different Point of View....: The tale of two communities in crisis: Fort McMurray and Attawapiskat

Crisis situations are shaking two Canadian communities to their very core – the terrifying wildfires that destroyed Fort McMurray, and the epidemic of attempted youth suicides on the Attawapiskat First Nations reserve.The question arises: Why are bil… . . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: The tale of two communities in crisis: Fort McMurray and Attawapiskat

A Different Point of View....: The tale of two communities in crisis: Fort McMurray and Attawapiskat

Crisis situations are shaking two Canadian communities to their very core – the terrifying wildfires that destroyed Fort McMurray, and the epidemic of attempted youth suicides on the Attawapiskat First Nations reserve.

The question arises: Why are billions of dollars being pumped in to deal with one crisis while the other is all but being ignored.

By the time Fort McMurray is rebuilt, it’s likely that governments will have spent $2-billion or more.   Donations from Canadians will reach into the millions. And a representative of one of the big insurance companies estimated they will be required to pay as much as $9-billion to restore homes and businesses.  

Justin Trudeau receives a gift of sweetgrass and a canoe
from  National Chief Perry Bellegarde after addressing
 the Assembly of First Nations. 

I have no quarrel with anything that is being done to help the people and community of Fort McMurray.  The destruction and emotional distress suffered by residents is taking a heavy toll. Like thousands of other folks, I have made a financial contribution.

What I do object to is that, in comparison, the federal and Ontario governments are doing practically nothing and spending a pittance to alleviate the suicide crisis in Attawapiskat, a poverty-stricken, isolated community of 2,000 located 720 km north of Sudbury.

The youth crisis reached epidemic proportions just days before the fire outbreak in Fort McMurray. Eleven Attawapiskat young people attempted suicide during the same night. Local hospital staff, unable to deal with the situation, became frantic.

Following an urgent appeal for help, the federal and Ontario government sent a handful of medical specialists to comfort the young people.


The support didn’t help much.

Last week, on the second day of the fires in Fort McMurray, Attawapiskat experienced nine suicide or overdoses attempts.

Chief Bruce Shisheesh of Attawapiskat urgently contacted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and asked for a second meeting.  He told Trudeau it was now “a matter of life and death” in his community.

“While the efforts of your ministers is appreciated to date, it falls short [of] finding  Attawapiskat has been under a state of emergency since early April, with chief and council saying it has been overwhelmed by ongoing suicide attempts.”

The Prime Minister’s Office replied that Prime Minister Trudeau could meet with native leaders in Ottawa when it was convenient to both parties.

Earlier, Trudeau charmed native leaders and reserve folks with vague promises and double-talk:

“I don’t want to pretend that any of us have the answers to the challenges facing indigenous peoples in Canada, but what I will tell you that as a country, we can build those answers.”

Clearly, compared to the human touch extended to the victims of Fort McMurray, governments are being callous in their responses to the Attawapiskat crisis.

Where is the empathy
in those kinds of promises?

A lack of money is not the problem. The federal government is sitting on about $4-billion to be used to improve lives, particularly education facilities, on reserves. http://communica.ca/summary-the-2016-federal-budget-and-aboriginal-programs/

What is hard to understand is why the federal government isn’t dipping into its stashed away billions to assist First Nations communities such as Attawapiskat.

If respect for human life is a factor, surely the greatest threat is at Attawapiskat. In Fort McMurray, luckily, only two people lost their lives, due to a vehicle accident. In Attawapiskat a 13-year-old girl committed suicide last October.  Since last fall, others have died and there have been more than 100 suicide attempts in the community.

Children – kids who should be growing up bright and enthusiastic – are trying to kill themselves.

The federal government could use one of those giant aircraft being used at Fort McMurray to airlift gifts to the depressed children into Attawapiskat. It would be great if they were given all kinds of things they’d love to have – from computers, to new bicycles, to dolls, etc.

Instead of loaning psychiatrists and medical support to the sad little hospital on the reserve, staff levels should be doubled or tripled until well after the suicide crisis is over.

Much of the housing on the reserve is uninhabitable and contributes to suicidal feelings and other problems.  The same military planes that were used to help Fort McMurray should be deployed to air-lift new pre-fabricated houses and community buildings to Attawapiskat.

I contend that the decades of poverty, the murder of more than1,000 women, the many youth suicides, and the general degradation of a race of people deserve equal attention to the aid and love being bestowed on Fort McMurray.

So, why is one crisis receiving massive support, while another, perhaps more serious in some ways, is getting little attention?

Governments and the public reacted so positively and so quickly to the Fort McMurray situation because the fire was so immediate and horrific. Now millions will be spent to allow the energy companies to get back to scraping up oil sands.

While I don’t have a lot of faith in Liberal governments, I am surprised that, given the strong stand Trudeau has taken concerning aboriginal issues, he hasn’t taken more action more quickly.

On the other hand, the problems on reserves such as Attawapiskat have been with us for generations. While there have been improvements in the attitudes of many Canadians toward indigenous people, many others still don’t think they should be helped.

If there were overwhelming pressure on the government to help Attawapiskat, it would be happening. Of course if a non-aboriginal community were threatened by dozens of children trying to commit suicide, government and public response would be overwhelming.

-30-
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Contact Nick Fillmore at fillmore0274@rogers.com

. . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: The tale of two communities in crisis: Fort McMurray and Attawapiskat

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Fort McMurray provides a humanizing break from hyper-partisan politics in Alberta

One year ago, the Edmonton Journal published a letter written by Greg Stevens, in which the former cabinet minister sent Alberta’s newly elected New Democratic Party best wishes at the start of its term as government. Mr. Stevens, who served in … . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: Fort McMurray provides a humanizing break from hyper-partisan politics in Alberta

daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: One year ago today the NDP won in Alberta. The next day hell froze over.

The attention of most Albertans this week is rightfully focused on the wildfires that are raging through northern Alberta and the more than 80,000 residents of Fort McMurray who have fled to safer ground in the south. It is a… Continue Reading → . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta Politics: One year ago today the NDP won in Alberta. The next day hell froze over.

Trashy's World: Fort McMurray fires

I don’t know about you, but I am blown away by the images I am seeing out of northern Alberta. Keep in mind that Fort Mac is a city of about 90,000 and much of it could go up in flames. If you are able, please donate to the Red Cross relief effor… . . . → Read More: Trashy’s World: Fort McMurray fires

The Canadian Progressive: In Alberta, First Nations engage in a complex dance of resistance to and cooperation with Big Oil

In this illuminating piece, Seattle journalist Erika Lundahl examines how, in Alberta, First Nations are forced to “engage in a complex dance of resistance to and cooperation with” Big Oil “in order to survive.” The post In Alberta, First Nations engag… . . . → Read More: The Canadian Progressive: In Alberta, First Nations engage in a complex dance of resistance to and cooperation with Big Oil

Alberta Diary: Climate change divestment movement gains ground in church – but not in Canadian media or political circles

Ho-hum… Some typical Canadian reporters, hard at work … Actual Canadian newsrooms may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Is he more influential than we imagined in Alberta?

CALGARY

When retired South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu visited Alberta’s Tarpatch capital of Fort McMurray last month and called the output from . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Climate change divestment movement gains ground in church – but not in Canadian media or political circles

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: NEP what? Trudeau Liberals dominate Oil Capital Fort McMurray

TweetPreliminary results from last week’s Fort McMurray-Athabasca by-election show that federal Liberal candidate Kyle Harrietha dominated in the industrial capital of Canada’s oil economy. According to an initial breakdown of the results by polling station, Mr. Harrietha earned 46% of the votes cast (2,560 votes) in the northern region the riding on June 30, 2014, . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics: NEP what? Trudeau Liberals dominate Oil Capital Fort McMurray

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Alberta tar sands a “war on the earth”: Brigette DePape

For Canadian activist Brigette DePape, participating in last weekend’s final tar sands Healing Walk in Fort McMurray, Alberta, was akin to “witnessing a war on the earth, and being part of a growing movement to stop it.”

The post Alberta tar sands a “war on the earth”: Brigette DePape appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.

. . . → Read More: THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Alberta tar sands a “war on the earth”: Brigette DePape

Alberta Diary: Happy Canada Day from the prime minister of Canada and the premier of Alberta, channeled by Perfesser Dave

Oooooh! Happy Canada Day, Canadians. Enjoy yourselves. Prime Minister Steve Harper and Premier Dave Hancock wish they could be here with you and Perfesser Dave. Below: Mr. Hancock and Mr. Harper … Happy-Happy!

Happy Canada Day!

Perfesser Dave, here, the political predictions guy, speaking on behalf of my friends Stephen Harper and David . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Happy Canada Day from the prime minister of Canada and the premier of Alberta, channeled by Perfesser Dave

Alberta Diary: Big by-election in Fort McMurray? Never mind that! As goes Macleod, so goes Alberta…

Fort McMurray, before the Bitumen Boom. Things have changed. Below: Conservative Fort McMurray-Athabasca candidate David Yurdiga, Liberal candidate Kyle Harrietha, NDP candidate Lori McDaniel, former Conservative MP Brian Jean.

If the good people of Fort McMurray climb out of bed this morning and decide to elect a Liberal to represent them in Parliament, . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Big by-election in Fort McMurray? Never mind that! As goes Macleod, so goes Alberta…

THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE: Final Tar Sands Healing Walk Under Way In Fort McMurray, Alberta

Hundreds of people from all over Turtle Island are currently participating in this weekend’s fifth and “final” tar sands Healing Walk, taking place in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

The post Final Tar Sands Healing Walk Under Way In Fort McMurray, Alberta appeared first on THE CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE.

Alberta Diary: What happens now that we know there really is a cancer cluster in Fort Chip? Nothing?

Greenpeace Canada info-graphic showing connections among the far-right Conservative Party of Canada activists behind the so-called Ethical Oil Institute. Below: Dr. James Talbot; Dr. John O’Connor; Ezra Levant.

Alberta’s chief medical officer has now confirmed that statistics released a couple of weeks ago indicate there really is a cancer cluster in Fort Chipewyan, . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: What happens now that we know there really is a cancer cluster in Fort Chip? Nothing?

Alberta Diary: Back to the future with Guy Boutilier: a run to be Fort Mac’s MP looks to be in the cards

Guy Boutilier in his Wildrose caucus office in Edmonton back in 2009. Notice Ralph Klein peering over his shoulder. Below: Other Fort Mac politicians Brian Jean, the Conservative Crossword King, and Mike Allen, a saxophonist, in his St. Paul Police mugshot.

Guy Boots, Member of Parliament?

Why not? When you think about it, . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Back to the future with Guy Boutilier: a run to be Fort Mac’s MP looks to be in the cards

Alberta Diary: Small changes may signal glimmer of awareness of trouble ahead among rank and file Tory MLAs

Members of Alison Redford’s brain trust plan the latest hashtags in the Twitter war with AUPE … No! Wait! That’s Bob MacNamara telling LBJ about his plans for the war in Vietnam! What the hey? Below: That rude info-graphic; Red House Chief of Staff Farouk Adatia; White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough.

. . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Small changes may signal glimmer of awareness of trouble ahead among rank and file Tory MLAs

Susan on the Soapbox: Does Fort Mac Look Like Hiroshima?

Neil Young said many provocative things about the oilsands, but the one that became a lightning rod for criticism was this: “The fact is, Fort McMurray looks like Hiroshima”.* He later explained that the reference to Fort McMurray was meant to symbolize all of the oilsands operations in northern Alberta.

Is the comparison appropriate?

Michiko . . . → Read More: Susan on the Soapbox: Does Fort Mac Look Like Hiroshima?

daveberta.ca - Alberta politics: Neil Young, the oil sands and shifting political loyalties in Fort McMurray

TweetPundits from across the country are waxing and waning over comments made by rock n’ roll icon Neil Young about Canada’s oil sands. Mr. Young’s inarticulate criticisms of the oil sands (and comparing Fort McMurray to Hiroshima) have not helped the discussion around the impact of natural resource development in Canada, but he does deserve . . . → Read More: daveberta.ca – Alberta politics: Neil Young, the oil sands and shifting political loyalties in Fort McMurray

Alberta Diary: In four letters, Brian Jean, the Crossword King of Parliament Hill, has Q-U-I-T

How Brian Jean may have started to see himself after whiling away too many hours on Parliament Hill over the decade. Amateur psychologizing by blog authors is unlikely to resemble the actual mental state of real Parliamentarians. Below: The real Mr. Jean, who announced yesterday he is quitting his job as MP for . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: In four letters, Brian Jean, the Crossword King of Parliament Hill, has Q-U-I-T

Alberta Diary: The Top 13 from 2013: Alberta Diary borne ever upward on wings of far-right loons

Ron Paul, the crazy uncle of the American right, surrounded by grinning acolytes at the 2013 conference of the Manning Centre for Undermining Democracy in Ottawa. Putting Dr. Paul here worked before, so maybe it’ll work again! Below: For New Year’s Eve, we show Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who says he doesn’t drink . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: The Top 13 from 2013: Alberta Diary borne ever upward on wings of far-right loons

BigCityLib Strikes Back: For Mac Mayor Talks Global Warming: B.C. Is Sinking And Alta. Real Estate Is Going UP UP UP

 Three-time mayor Melissa Blake on AGW:

“I’m a big believer that, yes, the climate is changing. If the climate goes up by two, three, four degrees in the future, we’re lucky to be here in Fort McMurray. We’re lucky not to be in California or BC. They’re going to fall in the ocean. In a . . . → Read More: BigCityLib Strikes Back: For Mac Mayor Talks Global Warming: B.C. Is Sinking And Alta. Real Estate Is Going UP UP UP

ParliamANT Hill: MusiciAnt songs banned on radio station

Inspired by this headline:  http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/music/2013/09/12/neil_youngs_music_banned_from_radio_station_after_hiroshima_remark.html