Harper giving First Nations “the back of his hand” by linking welfare payments to job training: Mulcair

News that not only informs, but inspires.

APTN National News
OTTAWA–Prime Minister Stephen Harper is giving First Nations “the back of his hand” by introducing a program linking welfare payments to job training, says Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair.

The $241 million program, unveiled as part of the Harper government’s 2013 federal budget, would force on-reserve First Nation youth aged between 18 and 24 take job training if they want to receive welfare payments. First Nation bands can only access the program funding if they agree to enforce the link.

“At a time when First Nations are holding out a hand for reconciliation, he’s giving them the back of his hand,” said Mulcair.”It’s insulting, it’s paternalistic and they’re the only ones who are getting this kind of proposal.”

Only $109 million of the total will be used for actual “personalized job training,” while the remaining, larger portion of $132 million will go toward the administration of the program.

First Nations leaders agreeing to take part in the funding program will also have to follow the rules set out by their particular provinces that run these so-called incentive programs.

Conservative Manitoba MP Shelly Glover, the parliamentary secretary for finance, said First Nations people were asking for this type of program.

“Folks do not want a welfare cheque, they want a job, they want to be able to have the skills to be employed in different jobs so they can support their families,” said Glover, during a live debate on APTN National News’ political panel which aired Thursday evening.

“That is why we are offering to provide the skills training to ensure they do in fact rise up out of that situation.”

Liberal Aboriginal affairs critic Carolyn Bennett shot back at Glover saying, “no one asked for workfare Shelly.”

Glover, who is part of the Conservative party’s Aboriginal caucus, responded saying, “You don’t listen.”

Bennett said the Harper government should have concentrated funding on improving K to 12 education.

“When only a third of young people are finishing high school we would rather they didn’t end up on social assistance,” said Bennett. “The way you end up with them not on social assistance is to make sure they are successful in elementary and high school.”

NDP Aboriginal Affairs critic Jean Crowder called the announced program a “bombshell” that showed the Conservative government was not interested in building its relationship with First Nations people.

“If this is the prime minister’s idea of resetting the relationship, this is a dismal failure,” said Crowder.

Glover, however, said Crowder was wrong.

“Of course they consulted,” she said.

Tags: , , ,

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=573753302 Cory Sutherland

    …good luck with that, Harper.

  • http://www.pacificfreepress.com Chris Cook

    Maybe you could sponsor schools indigenous youth could travel to for training; perhaps run by the churches, who could help maintain the disciplines required?

    • swampdonkey

      are you KIDDING!!! these kind of comments based on pure cultural ignorance are insulting to every First Nation person.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shawna.paul1 Shawna Paul-Arcand

    I totally agree they make it sound like all the 641 First Nations get MILLIONS, now lets take for example the 155 million for reserve infrastructure, and do the math : over 5 years that would be 31 million for 641 first nations in one year that equates 4836.19 and we wonder why we have delapatated houing, poor water systems etc, or The federal Assets that we report on every year are so SUBSTANDARD,,, Canada’s Economic Action Plan working for you!!!

    • bigshynepo

      Your math is bad, it should be $48361 per reserve per year.

      But that’s just based on the number you are using.

      The article on aptn :”budget offers mixed bag on infrastructure for indigenous communities” indicates over 7 BILLION for infrastructure over the next 10 years. Where are your numbers coming from?
      Based on my numbers, each reserve gets over 1 million a year under this single plan not to mention all the other unaccounted for money.

  • http://twitter.com/deenojalapeno Nadine Erickson

    yeah, they didn’t listen. the money needs to be going to schools, not jobbanks. ever dumb.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nativepridewayne Wayne NativePride Barry

    Not too sure many will accept this.
    1. In one way it’s beneficial: Training.

    2. Yet, in another way, it’s not as beneficial. This is marginally linked to a communist-style governing body: “To get government money, do this”.

    3. What’s next? Training entire reserves for their federal funding?

    Government’s Motto: We Are The Government, We Tell You How To Live.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nativepridewayne Wayne NativePride Barry

    Canadian Government Motto: We Are The Government, We Tell You How To Live.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nita.mclean.7 Nita McLean

    @facebook-100000293330575:disqus . I hope your comment was sarcastic because the government already tried the school run by churches. HUGE mistake and terrible fact in Canadian history!