Friday, April 18, 2014
Text Size

Generous support

By Mark Milke, The Leader-Post

In his comments about my recent Fraser Institute study on taxpayer funding for aboriginal matters ("Aboriginal spending: Too much or not enough," Dec 13), FSIN Chief Perry Bellegarde asserts that my study contained flawed methodology and does not account for population growth and inflation.

Bellegarde is wrong. As noted throughout my study, inflation adjustments were made for every figure; the study also accounts for population growth.

The results almost speak for themselves. While per-capita federal program spending grew by 387 per cent between 1950 and 2012, drill down into Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, and in just that one department, spending on aboriginal matters jumped to $9,056 per First Nations person in 2012 from $922 per person in 1950, an 882-per-cent increase.

Bellegarde also asserts that the $1.1 billion spent by Health Canada annually on modern medical benefits such as pharmaceutical drugs, vision care and dental care for First Nations and Inuit peoples is covered by Treaty 6. That is incorrect. These are not constitutionally or treatyrequired benefits.

As the federal government notes, "current health programs and services including non-insured health benefits are provided to First Nations and Inuit on the basis of national policy and not due to any constitutional or other legal obligations."

Taxpayers pay substantial sums to provide generous benefits to First Nations and Inuit peoples. Those same Canadians usually must buy insurance or pay out of pocket for their own dental work, eye care and prescription drugs.

Canadians are very generous to First Nations peoples.

Mark Milke

Calgary

Milke is a Senior Fellow with The Fraser Institute.

Whatever Trevor

Dis is Trevor.

Blast from the past: FP archive

When is Consultation, Consultation?

Write comment (7 Comments)

Ovide Mercredi

National Chief – AFN

During a Treaty Roundtable meeting of the Alberta Chiefs, I took note of a federal government document outlining their strategy to define and ultimately impose their own form of self-government. Read more...

Letting go of residential schools

Write comment (2 Comments)

by Gilbert Oskaboose, Nov 1993 First Perspective

There is a lot of "unfinished business" in Indian Country. Garbage that we as a people have never really dealt with. Chief among them is the whole issue of those infamous residential schools and their impact on people. Read more...

OBIDIAH

obidiah picture

ANALYSIS - Bill Gallagher

gallagher picture

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

EVENTS

April 2014
S M T W T F S
30 31 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 1 2 3
Thu Mar 20 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
1ST WOMENS GATHERING WITH THE 13 INDIGENOUS GRANDMOTHERS
Mon Mar 31 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
NICE ‘Indian’ Trust Funds
Fri Apr 04 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
THE 21ST ANNUAL ABORIGINAL MIXED CURLING BONSPIEL

John Bigface

imageimageimageimageimage
cartoonscartoonscartoonscartoonscartoons

Current Video

Indigenous Writers Festival 2014 Opening Night

Write comment (0 Comments)

Chief Arlen Dumas Confronts NC Shawn Atleo

Write comment (2 Comments)

Employment