Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Scratching the surface

While McGuinty's well-deserved tirade against the federal government seems to be winning headlines, did anybody else notice this little tidbit from the Globe and Mail?
(A)bout 50 other native communities in Ontario are operating under a boil-water advisory.

David Ramsay, the provincial minister responsible for native affairs, said he has given up waiting for Ottawa and the province is now conducting its own assessments of other reserves.

The article doesn't follow up as to which ones are involved, or how many more there may be across the country. But that should be the biggest story here: that as appalling as the conditions are at Kashechewan, they reflect a far-too-common problem when it comes to the standard of living on Canada's First Nations reserves.

Due credit goes to Ramsay for at least starting the assessment process in Ontario. But this should be a nationwide issue rather than a provincial one. And it looks like if the heat is kept on, the federal Liberals may just be embarrassed into finally taking action.

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