Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Proud to be Canadian?

Hello Everyone,

Recently we have all heard stories of Keesathawan where governmental incompetence resulted in contaminated drinking water in a aboriginal community. A friend of mine from Baker Lake was recently transfered to a small community in Keewaywin Ont. Upon his arrival he was warned not to drink the water. It seems a few years ago water tests found that the water table in this area was contaminated with Uranium. No attempt's seem to have been made to provide this community with clean water. The fish in this area are all contaiminated and shouldn't be eaten, which would lead me to speculate that all wildlife would share this assessment. The store provides pure water to the community but how safe can it be to shower,wash dishes or any of the other daily activities in which we need water. Why do we allow people to live in this condition? Because it isn't in the news? Because these people are less desearving than others who live in cities? When you turn on your TV your shown appeals from various organisations to assist providing water to african communities that exist where no water is found, and we voluntarily send money to assist these people when we have the same troubles in our own backyard and we do nothing. It seems growing up in Southern Ontario we were insulated against these realities by our own well being. We feel free to complain of wait times in hospitals and the state of our roads when we promote these conditions within our own communities.
I'm sorry for the preachy tone of this post but I wanted to express some of the shame I feel myself towards my own ignorance of the plight of our native communites. Sit back have a glass of water and appreciate it, not everyone in this country can.
Take Care


Anonymous said...

Oh you hit a nerve with that one. You can't preach to the converted. I agree with you, I was outraged with the situation in Keesathawan.
I believe the Brantford 6 Nations reserve has been under a boil water advisory for years.
But let's not forget Walkerton, that was a nice small Ontario town and they couldn't get a handle on their water problem. There was a city in Saskatchewan this year with the same trouble.
Baker Lake dumps untreated sewage back into the water it draws it's drinking water from, how long will that work? I suspect there is another Keesathawan waiting in the wings there but who is to deal with it...not me sitting in Southern Ontario.
Once the band in Keesathawan got vocal people became aware of the problem. Maybe I don't understand the band system but I thought they had people who were to represent their interests and speak on their behalf. Some one was quiet about this problem for a long time.
In Canada, safe drinking water should be something we are capable of providing for all our citizens regardless of their race or location. It also has to be something that people are unwilling to compromise on. There is truth in the adage about the squeaky wheel getting the oil. Sometimes I think that the squeaking isn't being directed to the right problems. If they put up with the problem without a reasonable solution in sight, who am I to tell them otherwise.
I, as a citizen would support just about any plan of action that actually dealt with the issue..and to me a lifetime of bottled water is no solution...
Someone has to make some level of government accountable and responsible to ensure that safe water is a right...maybe we can get it into the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, than it would actually be worth something.
Ok, my 2 cents.
Take care,

Anonymous said...

That sort of thing is happening even here in Lexington KY. I'm helping out a research lab at the psychiatric hospital in Lex. Apparently the buildings are so old that the pipes are lead. We know about it in research and drink bottled water, but I don't think the patients at the hospital know. So they drink water with lead in it. I'm sure that probably exacerbates their mental problems. It's a matter of who has the power and the voice to speak up. Those who can't speak up or aren't even aware there is a problem live with the consequences.

Curtis Groom said...

Gee KYT, I surpised that would happen even in Kentucky, After all the center of the cultural world is somewhere near KENTUCKY isn't it, maybe right behind the roadkill Cafe and beside the Chapel of Kissin' Cousins. I didn't even know kentucky had running water, I though thats why you visit so often, you needed a shower. Well, live and learn, Kentucky has running water. Whats next a President from Little Rock?
Take Care

Anonymous said...

Ya'll kin kiss ma lily white arse! And my grits! Ack ppht! :P


Anonymous said...

Hi Curtis - I guess I will have to put my two cents in as well. After watching TV coverage of the problems with contaminated water on many reserves, the commentator said the problem has existed for years. Quite frankly, I was shocked. He went on to explain why.One of the main reasons he surmised was the fact that a lot of the areas are remote and they don't get a lot of press. Another reason is the fact the government lacks trained people who are willing to go to these areas. Until and unless those affected make noise, this will continue. I am with ckms on this issue - more people have to speak up and keep speaking up to solve this problem.

It's sad that there is at least one province in Canada (Alberta) today, that is "struggling" with the problem of how to spend all oil revenues, while other Canadians are wont for the basic necessities of life - only in Canada, eh?