A great deal of head-scratching and anguish has been portrayed in the media lately over the appalling living conditions on the Attawapiskat First Nations reserve on James Bay.
No question about it, it is pretty gut-wrenching to see little children living in tents and ramshackle sheds with no heating and no running water, all while winter sets in with its usual vengeance.
But something is horribly amiss here.
NDP MP Charlie Angus, whose riding is Timmins-James Bay, says the reserve is underfunded.
Well, if you read column last week in the Sunday Sun, you might wonder how $34 million a year translates into underfunded.
There are a great many question marks that need to be followed with some answers.
The bands’ people, for example, are living in squalor but, if you look at the financials, you will see that some $12 million was spend on salaries and benefits to oversee a reserve with a population of less than 2,000 residents.
And that, friends, is almost half the $34 million the reserve receives from the government.
No wonder running the reserve has now been taken out of the band leaders’ hands.
If it is not greed at play, it’s incompetence.