Monday, October 20, 2014

Premier's Dinner Dines on Cruel Irony

The 900 or so people attending last weekend's Premier's Dinner heard Mr. Eric Robinson unreservedly endorse Premier Selinger as a great friend and supporter of First Nations people and communities.

Does this rhetoric really align with reality?

Remember this press release from 2006?  We won't reproduce the entire thing, but have retained a key quote from former Premier Gary Doer who very rightly pointed out the travesty of northern Manitoba communities not having access to clean water and sewer systems.

The former NDP Premier made the point that modern water and sewer systems are not only critical to good health, but are also a matter of "basic human dignity".

Here's the Free Press' coverage of that news release.

Fast forward eight years.  Eight years later, who ends up getting a $45 million water treatment plant?  The people of Garden Hill?

Nope.  Stony Mountain convicts and CentrePort.

Don't get us wrong... convicts and empty industrial parks need love too.  None of us could possibly sleep at night knowing industrial parks and convicts were being denied their "basic human dignity".  Clearly, this stuff matters to Manitoba families.

Mr. Robinson does not normally mince words when it comes to sharing what's really on his mind.  Just ask the people of Osborne House.

We find it difficult to believe he supports a $45 million water treatment plant for an industrial park and convicts when many communities in his constituency struggle to attain and maintain access to clean, running water.  Which makes us wonder why Mr. Robinson would so unreservedly endorse Premier Selinger as a friend and supporter of First Nations people and communities.

Is something else going on here we don't know about?  Why the unwavering support for a Premier so soon following what should have been a drastically divisive political decision for Mr. Robinson to swallow and defend to his constituents?

As for Garden Hill - a community of 3,800 mostly without proper drinking water where elders are still forced to use outhouses in extreme winter weather - hang in there folks... we'll get to you once our industrial parks and prisoners are looked after, and Mr. Robinson and Premier Selinger find a way to align their rhetoric with reality.