Saturday, 21 May 2011

The aboriginal services industry (part ii)

The other thing about politics and why I don't think the editorial on Aglukkaq's win (see previous blog entry) is really a fair assessment, is the very short term memory partisan politics requires to exist and thrive.

I don't know if people remember but when Harper came into power about seven years ago he made immediate cuts to funding for women's groups, aboriginal organizations and charities making it more difficult to carry out community-based activities and advocacy work in the corridors of power. He also tried to cut funding for the arts and cultural programs but it didn't go well with Quebec - although the Minister responsible for arts funding was rumbling recently about Canada Council's decision to fund the production of a punk-rock album for its title: Holy Shit: the poo testament. Harper reeks of censorship and political interference where it don't belong.

The more insidious aspects of Harper's right-wing agenda have to do with degrading the data collection apparatus (which sections on homelessness, unpaid housework and volunteering, numbers of people accessing charities like food banks and such were eliminated) before ceding on the short form but making it non-mandatory. Without proper information and hard data it becomes more difficult to build a case for funding requests for social programs and community development; most importantly, Harper eliminated the court challenges program that allows the relatively disenfranchised and vulnerable groups to challenge government policies and legislation at the supreme court and constitutional levels.

Believe me, these initial cuts and questionable forays were just trial balloons for longer-term action. Remember his warnings against the "socialist" and "evil" coalition; these aren't just words but insights into his psychology.

Do Nunavummiut love "winners"? Not the kinds that look like social Darwinism.


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