Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Native issues off the radar

Candidates questioned on how they would help

  • Print

St. Theresa Point resident Kevin Taylor isn't getting much help from federal politicians on his top-two problems -- the lack of running water in his house and the shortage of health and social services for people like him with chronic ailments.

What he might get, though, is a new slop bucket.

Last week, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada delivered 200 buckets, topped by toilet seats, to Taylor's neighbours in nearby Garden Hill First Nation. Aboriginal leaders say hundreds more slop buckets have been delivered to other remote reserves.

That gift highlights slow progress on permanent water and sewer solutions and the lack of attention aboriginal issues receive on the national campaign trail.

"The two biggest issues of water and health are not even on the radar," said Northern Grand Chief David Harper of Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak.

Harper said Taylor's case is a tragic example. Taylor, who has cerebral palsy and can't walk, must often be carried to the outhouse by his father and has no access to services like vocational training, home care or physiotherapy on his reserve. He'd be more likely to get those services if he lived off reserve and was the responsibility of the provincial government.

Taylor's family has filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission, alleging the disparity in services on and off reserve amounts to discrimination.

While they wait on their formal complaint, Taylor's mother, Alice, hopes party leaders and federal candidates in their riding of Churchill offer some creative ways to bridge the gap in services.

NDP candidate Niki Ashton says social and health services on many remote reserves are getting worse, not better.

She said her party would lift the cap that limits annual funding increases to First Nations to two per cent. And she said she will continue to lobby for clean drinking water and indoor plumbing for thousands of northern residents who don't have either.

Ashton was in Garden Hill last week when the slop pails were delivered.

"This is the response INAC deems appropriate," said Ashton. "What's going on here isn't just inadequate, it's disgusting."

Liberal candidate and former MKO grand chief Sydney Garrioch said his party has been clear that sewer and water infrastructure will be built on reserves that need it.

"It is very devastating to see in homes I visit, the people who are elderly, the handicapped, the children, all who have no proper water and sewage systems," said Garrioch. "To live in these conditions is unacceptable."

Green party candidate Alberteen Spence said her party would cancel corporate tax cuts and use that money to reinvest in housing, clean water and education.

Despite several attempts in recent days, Tory candidate Wally Daudrich did not respond to requests for comment.

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca maryagnes.welch@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 21, 2011 A10

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Keri Latimer looks for beauty in the dark and the spaces between the notes

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press. Local- WINTER FILE. Snowboarder at Stony Mountain Ski Hill. November 14, 2006.
  • A golfer looks for his ball in a water trap at John Blumberg Golf Course Friday afternoon as geese and goslings run for safety- See Joe Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge- Day 24– June 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Which of Manitoba's new landlord-tenant rules are you looking forward to most?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google