Federal Budget Furthers First Nations’ Fiscal Addiction

Do-gooders can often do wonders to help others: they mean well by giving charity and assistance to those in need … and it can make a difference.

But when the handouts extend for generations and when there is little or no demand for recipients to actually DO things to help themselves and get out of their poverty and predicaments … then the donors become enablers as much as helpers.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s latest federal Budget falls into that category.

More than $5 BILLION additional taxpayers’ dollars will be shelled out on Indigenous programs … on top of the $1.8 BILLION extra spending announced in 2016.

Included will be another $1.4 BILLION in new funding for indigenous child welfare programs, the National Post reported, to address the sad fact that although they represent only 7.7% of kids in Canada, indigenous children tally more than 50% of kids in care.

“This budget invests in new tools to help nations rebuild, and to accelerate self-determination and self-government based on recognition of Indigenous rights, so that our shared future is one where Indigenous peoples are in control of their own destiny, making their own decisions about their future,” Finance Minister Bill Morneau said in his speech Tuesday in the House of Commons.

It’s MORE welfare, MORE handouts by taxpayers, MORE unearned bucks that will only perpetuate the reality that too many First Nations communities live where there are no jobs and there is no hope that they …or their children … will ever exist without the rest of us giving them eternal charity.
And we wonder why so many of the kids … and adults … suffer from isolation, depression, drug and alcohol addiction and suicidal sadness.
If Trudeau and his government REALLY loved First Nations, they would tell them the truth: many of them have to get out of their isolated existences where there is NO prosperous future for their children and/or they must start embracing resource developments that can bring them jobs, self-sustaining revenues and real pride.
Instead, the Liberal government  has been making things even worse.
Trudeau discontinued one of the Harper government’s best  laws/regulations.. REQUIRING native bands to OPEN THEIR BOOKS so their own members …and the taxpayers … can see where all the BILLIONS are going!!
Why any government that has handed out so much public money over so many decades does not want even Band members to see if/where so much is wasted, given to friends and relations etc just boggles the mind!
And now, Trudeau may make it even worse!
The Liberals, according to the National Post, have also committed to paying the bills for Indigenous participation in treaty negotiations.  An open federal chequebook is there ever was one!!!
Previously, the government advanced funds as loans to First Nations for negotiations  to be REPAID out of any eventual settlement funds after agreements are reached.
That sounded reasonable … but now, Trudeau’s government may not only pick up all the First Nations negotiating costs .. but even forgive and even repay past loans … going all he way back to the 1970s!!!
Imagine how the lawyers, chiefs, negotiators will cash in if Trudeau goes ahead with such madness!!
Once more, those at the top will cash in; while most isolated Indigenous communities will remain in poverty …  the permanent welfare mentality will be prolonged …. and the addictions and suicides will continue.
Harv Oberfeld
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33 Responses to Federal Budget Furthers First Nations’ Fiscal Addiction

  1. Harry lawson says:


    Great and very astute post , really keeping it real.

    Enabling is disabling ,throwing a billion here or a billion there is not going solve a problem.

    The sad thing is there are little to none effective programs for indeginous Canadians who choose to try to asymulate to urban life. It is sad to see their carcasses picked for profit by the non profits, or political gain. For shame.

    (Response: Urban life is not the only answer. There are many others who not only survive but do quite well in rural or northern areas by embracing resource development opportunities .. which can not only provide jobs .. but royalties for many years too. But they have to stop opposing every opportunity that comes their way. h.o.)

  2. Gene the Bean says:

    Harvey, never thought you’d go to a place like this, very narrow interpretation of a very complex issue.

    Not lookin* forward to the half dozen posters here that will eat this up and spread the hate.

    Go rednecks go!!!

  3. Art Smith says:

    Harvey, I see we have the go to position of the left wingers already posted wherein anyone who disagrees with the holier than thou, virtue signalling is automatically a redneck, a racist who couldn’t possibly have anything of value to add. It sure makes it easy to shut down any discussion. Of course they don’t want any other opinions because theirs is always the only correct one. How nice to live in such a smug cocoon.

  4. Island Lookout says:

    #2 Gene the Bean

    This is not a red necks versus the PC Virgins here, Gene the Bean.

    Canadians need to conduct an open discussion free from group-think.

    So, how much money must the public give before a clearly identifiable group of people, some two per cent of Canada’s population, can shuck its past and get on with the present and future?

    I worked in northern Canada with a number of first nations people a long time ago. We got along fine and they worked hard and got paid as did we all.

    They were the very few. And they made something of themselves in the “white man’s world”, meaning the world that was/is out there now, where people of other races are also outstandingly successful.

    With so many native people languishing in the streets or living in those horrific Potemkin villages in the outbacks of Canada it all adds up to an ongoing national disgrace.

    All the money in the land will not help. The billions deployed so far, for more than the last 150 years, have been largely wasted.

    Who’s to blame?

    I think it’s a combination of a sclerotic ministry in Ottawa, the non-native do-gooder “indian industry” and local community corruption, specific examples of which have been well documented for years.

    Not all band councils are crooked. Some along the west coast and in Alberta are highly successful and people there prosper. There must be examples elsewhere.

    HOWEVER, being “afraid” to talk about this publicly, because a person may be labelled racist, is the worst element in all of this miasma.

    Discussing this does not make one a racist if the opinion does not jibe with the “truth” as espoused by our betters, the elites, a failed group in and of itself.

    Imposing censorship is tyranny and that will not free the native people. It will only further suppress them.

    (Response: There are indeed many native bands/reserves/councils that are very well run, with successful businesses that share the profits with members. They are not the problem that needs addressing: unfortunately there are too many others in economically difficult or completely unsustainable locations …where the quality of life for residents and especially youth are terrible ..and no amount of taxpayers’ charity will solve that. If they love their kids, they should get out… to communities where there is work … and that’s how the feds could/should help. h.o.)

  5. Gilbert says:

    We need more transparency so that everyone can see where the money is going.

  6. 13 says:

    Harvey how dare you tread on sacred Indian government spending. We expect the government to spend enough tax dollars to help us forget that we have …………
    To bad that Harper lost. Laws forcing the First Nations to fully disclose where the money goes would have been welcomed by almost all tax payers.
    Enablers. We enable the poverty pimps. We enable the First Nations peoples. We really enable their leaders.
    Yet when you look at the over all bang for the buck you would think that our government has not spent one dime on this problem.

  7. Rocker Rich says:

    Truer words never written.

    Of course Harvey risks being labeled racist. So do I, Gene, Harry and the many more concerned readers who will undoubtedly comment in coming days.

    Thanks to Trudeau The Younger overturning the somewhat-transparent governance guidelines of Harper’s government, odds suggest one outcome. A disproportionate amount of these additional billions will be hoovered away from rank-and-file natives and go to the favoured few running many bands.

    Very sad. Very preventable.

    Trudeau Sr. and his Native Affairs Minister Jean Chrétien were oh so close to ripping up the Indian Act and trying an approach more oriented to individual natives, but chickened out.

    Late in his time as PM, Chrétien wanted his Minister, Robert Nault, to bring even more sweeping governance measures than Harper implemented. Alas, Paul Martin put the kibosh on such notions and sent Nault packing after overthrowing Chrétien.

  8. nonconfidencevote says:

    @#2 Gene the Bean

    Nothing “hatefull about asking for financial audits.
    I like to see that my tax dollars are being spent wisely ( i can dream cant I?).
    To rescind the Harper Govt requirement for “open books” and auditing ( basic accounting principles) is pure folly.
    According to you. Are we to assume that all aboriginals are honest upright and infallibel?
    Or are we branded racists just for asking that question?

  9. BMCQ says:


    A Heartfelt, Honest, Thoughtful, Objective, COURAGEOUS, Fair and Balanced Essay and Analysis of The Liberal Federal Budget, their Enabling and Dishonesty regarding First Nations and the serious problems facing their people.

    Your Blog Post should be reprinted in every Newspaper of any size right across Canada and the United States.

    EVERY Elected Politician at all Levels, Tax Payer, and Governmentsl Official should also read the Post, we/they will all learn several things of importance.

    Many Paid Journalists right across this Nation should also pay serious attention to this, they could learn something.


    I find it very sad that PC Social Justice Warriors, Leftist Activists, Poverty Pimps, and other Social Engineers always resort to the Racist, Sexist, or Xenophobic Card when they wiill not acknowledge The Truth.

    Harry – 1
    Art – 3
    Lookout – 4
    Gilbert – 5
    13 – 6
    Rocker – 7
    NonCon – 8

    Very Impressive ALL of YOU!

    I find it incredibly interesting how you are all slightly different and in fact have slightly Political Leanings but at the same time you all possess something called Common Sense.

    Even more importantly you all care about Canada, First Nations People, and their place in our Country.

    On the other hand I find it repugnant that PM Justin and the Federal Liberals Govern by Polls and Silly Juvenile Ideas that they believe will score them Press Headlines in Canada, the rest of the World, Brownie Points with the UN, and of course Votes with First Nations, Women, Special Interests and many different Activist Groups.

    Loathsome and Cringeworthy!!

  10. BMCQ says:

    I forgot to add that regardless of the above it is long past time that the First Nations Ministry needs a complete overhaul and accountability should be at the top of the list right after the need to fix and guarantee Fresh Clean Water in Remote Reserves.

    I would suggest that Government Agencies and Bureaucrsts have nothing to do with a Review of First Nations, the Solution must be Free of Politics and it must be objective and responsible, we all know that Governments cannot accomplish anything without Politics and Vote Getting becoming part of any solution.

  11. Gene the Bean says:

    Ohhhh, hit a nerve… big surprise.

    I have the pleasure of residing within easy driving distance of three First Nations communities that are no doubt some of the most successful in the country. They provide considerable non-aboriginal employment and look after all their members respectfully.

    Fully agree with open books and with the removal of chiefs and councils that rob and steal from their bands. Should have always been that way.

    I also fully agree that I will never suffer from the delusions of the majority of Canadians regarding aboriginal people. It is a disgusting legacy of hate and purposeful exclusivity that has tainted too many generations. Lend a hand or give them the finger, your choice.

    But soon, the geezer generation will be worm food and young, fresh and untainted minds will rule the roost and we can kiss goodbye the conservative ideals of hate, divisiveness and fear that lead to how so many people here feel about aboriginals.

    Most Muricans have an underlying respect for “Indians”, because a lot of them already have someone a little ‘darker’ to throw their hate at …..

  12. Diverdarren says:

    Harvey, there’s not much to disagree with in your take on the Native file. If money was the solution, many of the issues would have been solved decades ago.

    I’m not calling for a complete defunding of the Department of Native Affairs (or whatever it’s called today). It’s who gets the money that should be reexamined. Right now Canada directly transfers money to individual native members and also to Bands as a whole. Plus funding for capital projects on Reservations.

    I think it’s time to let the Natives determine through the democratic process exactly how the transfer of wealth occurs.

    The natives should be allowed to decide if they want the money allocated to Band leadership to be stopped and that money to be directly given to the individual Natives as a monthly payment.

    Defund the Bands, and directly fund the Natives.

    Without direct cash into the coffers of the Bands the Leadership will need to tax the members to fund Band projects and operating costs. Once it’s the Natives own money going out of their pocket into the Band’s tax pool you’ll see that the Natives themselves will demand accountability and oversight of how their taxes are spent.

    And Bean, I don’t see a lot of “hate” on Harvey’s blog. Plenty of debate, lots of strong opinions, a few “pie in the sky” ideas. The one I just wrote above might as well come with a pony, cause there ain’t no way the Federal Government is going stop funneling cash to the Bands. But, hate not much of that.

    Unless Bean, you define hate as anyone with an opinion that differs from you.

  13. Jimbo says:

    We took generations of very young children away from their parents, homes and language – did our level best to turn them into good little white people – it did not take and we deal with the consequences today. Assimilation is a proven nonstarter. Close Indian Affairs and grant them land title – turn’m loose!

  14. mike says:

    Accroding to people like Gene the Bene, truth=hate. In today’s world (according to progressives) the truth is racist, sexist etc etc. Hey Gene, it is time to stop living in clown world. Hey Gene, how has throwing BILLIONS of dollars on FN worked so far?

  15. Rocker Rich says:

    Oops, I mistakenly lumped Gene the Bean in with purveyors of non-racist common sense. Obviously there’s a core constituency supporting no end to shovelling money into the pockets of corrupt band officials.

    Short of ripping up the Indian Act would be to make it moot by sending cheques to individual natives. They could decide whether to stay and fund local services…or try their luck in areas where employment beckons.

    Any Conservative leader espousing some version of meaningful change would inevitably be labelled racist. But if that leader held firm, he or she would absolutely rout the Grits, NDP and Greens.

  16. nonconfidencevote says:

    Just in case anyone thinks I’m a jerk.
    I have two aboriginals working for me.
    I hired one 3 years ago and the other one last year.
    Hard working.
    No BS.
    No drama.
    Excellent in every way.
    I just fired a white 27 year old lazy, lying, boy/man who caused nothing but problems in the 4 months he worked for us.
    I’d hire an aboriginal over a young white kid any day of the week.
    And if thats racism.
    So be it.

  17. e.a.f. says:

    don’t agree with you on this one Harvey. its a very complex issue. However, I do agree the band members ought to have the right to see the books. that is part of a democracy or even traditional Indigenous governance. It suits the federal government to keep chiefs in control and thus controlling the people in the various Nations/Bands/Tribes.

    I am not in favour of the rest of us seeing a Band’s books, its not our business. I know, I know not every one is going to agree because they view it as Taxpayer Dollars. However, there are treaties in place and like them or not, they are there and we will simply have to live with it or we could just back our bags and go back to where our families all came from. Ya, I know no one is going to like that one either.

    Although much has been written and said about how Bands spend the money, ie. chiefs and band councils, they all have to be signed off by a federal government staffer, thus, if the Band Chiefs were up to no good, the federal government was complicit.

    One commenter did make a suggestion which we might want to look at, simply directing the money to the families themselves. The federal government provides, the infrastructure and the families get their cheques. it may in fact prompt more families to leave their reserves, to follow their children when they leave for higher education. as it stands now, people leave the reserve to accompany their children, when they leave for higher education, they also leave their homes and their incomes. It would give less control to Chiefs and Councils and allow families to make decisions regarding their own futures.

  18. 13 says:

    Gene you do test the limits. You call everyone that posts on the blog all sorts of names. Its juvenile. Its makes you look pompous and arrogant. Better than the rest.
    Maybe you are. I guess Ill have to take your word for it.
    You did not hit a nerve, you simply called us a bunch of names.

  19. Harry lawson says:


    Some interesting responses, we all acknowledge the current system is broken. Mr Bean talks a about a narrow interpretation of a complex issue, sometimes this is called the root of the problem.

    I am proud to be a social conservative as well as a social justice advocate.

    If we are going to find a solution to this issue all side must be brutally honest , stop the name calling under the guise of political correctness. Stop the Pandering for profit and votes .

    Let’s solve it once and for all we owe that to future generations of Canadians, if not this pandering may just be considered by future generations another form of genocide.

  20. BMCQ says:

    NonCon – 16

    Other than perhaps one Poster thst seems to have a Supiority Complex there is not one of us that thinks you are a Jerk.

    Like you at times I have felt I needed to state that my Wife’s Father was Metis, my own Son who happens to be adopted is a Pacific Islander and is only in Canada because the Evil Stephen Harper allowed the Birth Mother to come to Canada, and my Sons Wife happens to be of Mixed African Anglo Ethnicity. Then to top it off they have a one year old Son themselves, that is quite a combination!

    Then Horror of Horrors both my Son and his lovely Bride are Cloven Hooved Conservatives!!

    Then I am told Time and time again by a regular on this Blog I Hate “Brown People” and I am Morally Bankrupt! Go Figure!

    No NonCon, you are entitled to your Opinions and NO One here should call you names for asking Accountability of First Nations Leadership.

    Remember the Left Grasp at Straws and when they have no legitimate argument or facts to defend their position they typically and predictably reach for the Racist, Xenophobic, or Sexist Card.

    From One Morally Bankrupt Individual to Another, Chill Out, you are doing just fine by asking for answers to the questions you have.

  21. r says:

    cost benefit analysis a consideration .?

    (Response: I doubt it! More likely a cost/vote analysis. h.o)

  22. Gene the Bean says:

    Nerve hit – big time.

    I have never spoken or even considered the need to say “ I am not a racist”.

    I wonder what a psychiatrist would say about people that have a need to say that …. hmmm …

    The truth will set you free.

    There is goodness in all of us, if you let it live.

    Stop being afraid. Do the right thing. Be a better person. What do you have to lose …?

  23. Oldislander says:

    100% agreement with your post.

    But, @ #22 Gene, let’s visit the dictionary:

    – having or characterized by a certainty, especially an unfounded one, that one is totally correct or morally superior.

    – making a hypocritical display of virtue.
    – falsely earnest or sincere

    – making a show of being morally superior to other people.

    holier than thou:
    – marked by an air of superior piety or morality

    – having or showing a feeling of patronizing superiority

    (Response: PLEASE folks!…let’s get back to the topic …not the personal crud. h.o.)

  24. BMCQ says:

    Islander – 23

    Could Not Agree More!!!

    You might also find the attached of real interest.


    Where are the Advisors to Prime Minister “Dressup” and his Gender Balanced Cabinet?

    “Symbolism Over Substance” !!!!!!!

    That certainly describes our Federal Government and it’s Leadership!

    Where uh, are, eh, the uh, Adults?

  25. 13 says:

    Scheer and Singh???? Why arent these two “leaders” infront of the 6pm News Cameras lambasting Justin (I really like PM DRESSUP). This would do two important things.
    They would be holding the current government to account. They could tell Trudeau to STOP acting like a spoiled child, grow up and govern.
    The second and almost more important thing would be recognition. Ill bet that most Canadians dont have a clue who the leaders of the two opposition parties are. Up until recently I didnt have a clue what they looked like.
    Someone up the page said that we have inept politicians by design. Looking at our three Federal leaders it would be hard to argue against that theory.

  26. e.a.f. says:

    BMC Q, the adults, well that is the voting public of this country and they decided Trudeau was doing fine. You may consider it symbolism over substance, but we never did have any substance or symbolism with the Harper gang, so at least we have something. Its more than we had, so to speak.

    As to your comments regarding how multi faceted your family is, regarding ethnic make up, well that doesn’t make you any more impartial or non racist. Now let me be clear, I am not saying you’re a racist, but I have met racists within in a group’s own members.

    As to what the Financial Post has to say, its the Financial Post and they’re mostly interested in what works for the business community and such and not the average working Canadian. One could not say the Financial Post is a bastion of progressive social thought or action.

  27. Harry lawson says:


    A poll I heard today said if a election was held today the conservatives would form goverment,

    Once again his finance minister is being accused of conflict of interest over the pharma care file .

    (Response: That surprises me … instant reaction to Trudeau’s latest gaffes? Or longer term diminishing impression? I think how he handles Trump’s coming attack on steel this week will determine a lot. h.o)

  28. 13 says:

    @eaf, When does it become clear that the average working Canadian, depends on a prosperous business community so that he/she has a job that allows him/her to be an average working Canadian. The business community flourishes under a business friendly government. Usually right wing. Which allows the average working Canadian to improve his/her lot in life.
    The business community fleas from non friendly governments . Usually left wing ie NDP or worse yet the current Federal Liberals. Under these unfriendly circumstances businesses tend to move and or downsize. The average working Canadian sees his or hers wages remain stagnant or decrease.
    So perhaps while the Finacial Post might not appeal to poverty pimps and social justice warriors, it might provide a road map to success for business and the AVERAGE WORKING CANADIAN.

  29. BMCQ says:

    e.a.f. – 26

    I am “AGHAST” !

  30. 13 says:

    Harvey I must have read your essay a half dozen times. It is so accurate so concise, so honest that I am amazed that any logical clear headed person (s) can mange to find fault .
    Your not even being a racist, although Ill bet you have been called one.
    The situation with our First Nations needs to be addressed. Justin Trudeau is like a care aid at a detox clinic selling drugs on the side to the patients. The wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    (Response: If you REALLY care about people living in poverty and pain, you must try to get them OUT of hopeless situations: but it’s much easier as politicians to just hurl money at them and look away from how their leaders spend/waste the funds ..and make sure even band members cannot find out where the dough goes. h.o)

  31. e.a.f. says:

    hi 13, perhaps at some point in the past. today its called income inequity and its growing, very, very, fast. the average Canadian is falling behind, not moving forward. Same for the U.S.A. Income inequity is one of the fasted growing problems in the world. That is what the Financial Post agrees with and so do a lot of others. We have only to look south with the tax laws and if businesses in Canada could do the same thing, trust me, they would.

    Yes, people need jobs and corporations frequently provide them. However, when corporation C.E.O.. make by noon, what it takes the average worker to make in a year, we have a problem.

    You may call them poverty pimps and I’m sure there are some, however, there are also a lot of charities out there doing good work when the government doesn’t. Perhaps you haven’t noticed one in five children live below the poverty line in this country and hence the Trudeau cheques each month for families with children. Corporations haven’t kept up salaries with the cost of living.

    as to social justice warriors, thank heavens we have had them. With out some of them like Dave Barrett, we might not have had some of the things we take for granted in our society to day or Tommy Douglas and his “extreme” at the time demand doctors accept a government run health care system. With out Unions, yes social justice warriors do you really think people would have extended health care plans today? Do you think pharmacare is a “gift” or some “warrior” worked for.

    There needs to be balance. With out it small business couldn’t survive. Corporations, need to be held in check or they will run with all they can get or who can forget harper’s Revenue Canada “forgiving” those who “hide” their money abroad. I’d like that deal some time. While Christy Clark let a billionaire mine owner not pay his electricity bill, low income people were having their electricity cut off because they couldn’t afford it.

    To make a country run, you need a good social safety net, great schools for ALL children, adequate housing for all children, a FAIR income tax system, an environment in which business can make money and it all needs to be balanced. The Financial Post isn’t one of those who gives the impression its into balance, except for a large one in the pockets of corporations.

    Reports reflect there is a min. of $23 TRILLION and as much as a$60 trillion, which have been laundered and hidden. It isn’t all money from drug cartels. How does that happen? Well you start with some really friendly banks and corporations, and not so great governments. We need balance. Remember corporations can’t flourish without workers, i.e. human beings.

  32. DonGar says:

    Simply question around any hand out to any group.

    What are the desired outcomes and how do you measure them?

    I have found in almost all cases these are never articulated and outcomes when stated are said to be too difficult or can’t be measured.

    (Response: Good point …there SHOULD be measurable goals for all federal handouts … especially when the amounts run into the BILLIONS over DECADES and almost NOTHING seems to change/improve … while lots of those in charge fill their pockets, and those of their friends and relations, with lots of loot. h.O)

  33. BMCQ says:

    I cannot help but laugh out loud when any group claims to know how much $ Money is Laundered.

    Then those same Genius’s cannot locate any of that Money.

    How then would they know the actual amount?

    We/ the Canadian Government know exactly How Much Canadian Tax Payers Money is going to First Nations Leadership.

    Why would any Government Reverse the very reasonable and judicious Legislation that the former Conservative Government implemented that guaranteed Transparency and Accountability of First Nations Leadership for Canadian Tax Payers and First Nations People.


    This Borders On Criminality.

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