(OPINION) – Good Afternoon there Thunder Bay,
Recently in the news across Canada, the housing crisis in Cat Lake First Nations has been brought to light. Folks from coast to coast are seeing the images of children afflicted by black mould and I’ll be honest even for a dead soul like me they’re pretty hard to see.
I’ve just got a few opinions to pull from my backside on this whole situation so hear me out. I understand when it comes to racial things in Thunder Bay everyones as touchy as a Vatican camping trip.
While I sympathize wholly with what’s going on when the media is coming around and you’re asking the nation to get aboard would it not be a good idea to at the very least make it appear you care about the home you’re in? The pictures in the media of homes filled with trash, childrens scribbling all over the walls and spiral nails being driven deep into drywall to hang posters do not invoke a sense of care. I’m told that the homes are not owned by the people living in them but let me tell you, if you give me a home I’m going to be damned sure I keep that thing up, it’s a blessing.
Now folks are telling me it’s hard to get cleaning supplies in Cat Lake, I do get that. Prices like $50 for a jug of bleach. Personally I couldn’t fathom such a thing however you do live in an area of abundant water and you’d be surprised what a little hot water and elbow grease can accomplish. Certain damages to these homes like fist-sized holes in the wall cannot be explained away by a lack of cleaning supplies.
Next point here is on the Federal Government and the placating they’re doing without action. I’ve been pretty vocal about my complete disbelief that the government bought a pipeline for $4.5 BILLION dollars that was going to be built and funded by private enterprise regardless of their involvement or not. That’s a hefty chunk of taxpayer dollars wasted for absolutely nothing at this point and nothing in the forseeable future. The things we could have accomplished for folks like those in Cat Lake are pretty nuts. Which leads me to my next point here, roads.
At what point do we stop investing in band-aid fixes here? Folks keep telling me we simply can’t build a road up yonder way because of the countryside, the muskeg but I’ve shown time and again we can and we already do, well the oilfield companies do. In locations far more remote through muskeg, swamp and seemingly impassible terrain the oilfield companies will build corduroy roads reinforced with geotextiles that allow them to run crude haulers, mining equipment, drilling rigs and all sorts of other light duty traffic through what people in the Northwestern Ontario region call “impassable”.
If the lack of a road is what keeps things so expensive in Cat Lake why don’t we stop throwing money away on things like buying pipelines that didn’t need to be bought, shipping oodles of cash overseas to fund gender studies in a country that Canadians have never heard of? Why not open roads with that money? We could put more men and women to work building these roads which would lead to more income taxes being paid, we could get men and women from these northern reserves out there working on them, teaching them how to run heavy equipment and getting them trained to work elsewhere if need be.
Hell, Cat Lake could open a pretty awesome general store, perhaps get locals into the outfitting game to act as hunting guides.
I don’t have all the answers here at all, on anything, ever. What I do know is both the folks of Cat Lake and the Federal Government both need to step their game up.
That’s just one idiots opinion though.
– Jake Kesey