“Canadian Senators’ remarks on H1N1 curious
But it also brought home how far away Ottawa can be from the on-the-ground realities in Canada.
Several minutes of debate were spent on whether or not it could possibly be true that communities in Canada don’t have running water.
One senator even acknowledged he’d never even been to a remote reserve.
When the members of a committee tasked with studying aboriginal issues don’t even know that many reserves in remote areas of this country don’t have running water, it’s no wonder these communities have been unable to shed Third World living conditions.
It also is discouraging that one of the chief recommendations to the committee was an independent task force to figure out what went wrong and develop solutions before the fall, when the virus is expected to make a potentially more menacing appearance.
British Columbia Senator Larry Campbell at least got a few laughs when he pointed out having a task force complete any sort of meaningful work by the fall is unlikely.
“It will be fall before they even figure out who will be on it,” he quipped.
Also of note at the committee was one senator, whose name I didn’t catch, who seemed tired of listening to Health Canada officials explain all the reasons why everything is under control on the affected reserves, despite so much evidence to the contrary.
“One of the things that always amazes me about civil servants,” the senator said dryly. “You always give the impression things are OK.”
But in the middle of the hearing, there was at least a sign that one senator in that room got that the outbreak of H1N1 is a symptom of the ills of our reserves and what is required is more than just speeding up shipments of hand sanitizer.
Conservative Senator Gerry St. Germain, the committee chairman, issued a call to arms to all governments in Canada to stop the status quo.
“Unless we do something differently we’re going to continue to get the same results,” he said.
“We’ve created a horror story out there as a society for the last 100 and some years for First Nations people. It’s time the (Assembly of First Nations) and every group, the governments, oppositions, whoever, start working together and making a difference in First Nations’ quality of life or else it’s going to victimize all of us… We are the healthiest and the wealthiest and it’s up to us to do something.”
Some Canadians falsely still cannot shed their discriminatory, partiality, racists’ approach , policies for even hog farms have running water.