Ottawa

Attawapiskat math (II)

Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan says “things don’t add up.”

Romeo Saganash has forwarded this blog post as a rebuttal to the Prime Minister’s math.

Meanwhile, during QP today, Nycole Turmel quibbled with the Prime Minister’s numbers of choice.

Turmel. Mr. Speaker, federal officials travelled to Attawapiskat at least 10 times this year. No red flags were raised. Why? We need an answer. Does the Prime Minister want to talk about numbers? Outside of first nations, social standing in Canada is about $18,000 per year per person. According to his own numbers, federal spending in Attawapiskat per person per year is about half of this amount. How is that possible? Why is he blaming the community?

Harper. Mr. Speaker, unlike the NDP, which has voted against investments in this community and elsewhere, this government has made tens of millions of dollars of investments in this community, infrastructure investments of over $50,000 for every man, woman and child. It is obvious there continue to be needs. The government is working to fulfill those needs, but they are twofold. There is a need, obviously, for more services and infrastructure. There is also clearly a need for better management. The government will ensure both of those things are dealt with.

In using the phrase “infrastructure investments,” the Prime Minister overreached. As the government’s own numbers show, the total infrastructure spending in Attawapiskat is about $28.6 million. Divided by a population of 1,700, that’s just under $17,000 per person.