Niki Ashton wants to waste tax dollars propping up Aboriginal Healing Foundation, writer says

To the Editor:

NDP MP Niki Ashton is asking people to sign a petition extending the Aboriginal Healing Foundation past its March 31, 2010 closing date. It is to be forwarded to the federal government.

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Afteran 11-year mandate, she claims this isn't long enough time for aboriginal people to get healed from their negative residential school experiences. She also gets on hermoral highhorse by commenting about the petitionin a recentpress release, "The cutting of the AHF goes against the spirit of the historical apology made by Stephen Harper and his government in 2008. It goes against the government's commitment to achieving reconciliation."

Ashton, like most Canadians,doesn't understand the fallacy of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. If she did, she wouldn't be asking for an extensionand spouting nonsense in apress releaseabout it. The fact is ithas been a$350-million dollar pity party for aboriginal people. It originated because of their collective neurosis that they are inherently psychologically damaged from the effects of being subjugated by white people. This self-loathing and self-pityingbehaviour has resulted in anever-ending, unattainablequest to be "healed."

Itculminates innon-productive,financial boondoggle projectslike the AHF. Let's get real. No one ever getshealed from psychological trauma, becausethe mindand the body never forgets.

The functionof Ashton'spetition is alsoto save 950 jobs of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. According to her, the loss of itsjobs in Northern Manitobawould damagethis part of the province'seconomy. But before she began this petition, did she do a thorough evaluation of the AHFprograms toseehow effective they have been?I haven't seen any evidenceshe was professional and did so. Instead, it appears she allowed herself to be suckered by the administrators of these programswho wanted to keep their high paying, cushy non-jobs for at least another few years. She wasn't astute andtough enough to say to them something like, "After 11 years, enough! If these people haven't been healed by now, they never will be. Good luck in your nextjob." Apparently, her priorityis to prop up the Northern Manitoba economy with make-work jobs rather than being responsible with taxpayers' money.

Aboriginal people are 70 per cent of the Churchill riding, so Ashton has to support these people tokeep her job as an MP. However, she does them no favours and likelya lot ofharm byencouraging them to be continually dependent on dubiousAboriginal Healing Foundation programs. I don't doubt her sincerity in working with these people toimprove their lives. But she has to use her intelligence better and reset her moral compass when dealing with aboriginal issues. Her effectiveness representing them as a MP depends on it.

Paul G. Olsen

Edmonton

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