The lead editorial in today's Leader Post (subscriber only) is pushing for Indian and Northern Affairs Canada to move to Regina, and say it just "makes eminent sense."
Regina has been abuzz since a rumour started making the rounds that the feds might move Indian Affairs closer to the people it serves.
Of course, 400-600 new bureaucrats in Regina would be a huge shot in the arm for the local economy, but just imagine the cost. Think of all the 'crats who will simply refuse to leave Ottawa and will rightly demand significant severance. Imagine the cost of purchasing or leasing new office space and all the logistical hassles that go along with it.
The LP says it "makes sense" for three reasons:
1) The majority of aboriginal people live in Western Canada. This is funny because in the very same article, they point out that Ontario actually has the most natives of any province. However, 62 per cent of natives do live in the western provinces and territories. But really, what difference does it make if you 600 KMs from Indian affairs or 2000? It's not going to make a lick of difference for the average person.
2) Moving the staff to Regina would be a "shrewd political move" for PM Paul Martin as he "strives to convince western Canadians he wants to end their sense of alienation from Ottawa." Huh? Are they serious? Uproot hundreds of people from their homes and ship them to Saskatchewan while spending hundreds of millions in the process for no more than crass politics and public relations?
3) First Nations people have long complained about centralized decision-making in Ottawa/Hull. Oh please! Does the LP editorial board really believe having decisions made in Regina will feel any less centralized? The "centralized" feel is due the very existence of INAC, and new address on the letterhead will do nothing.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
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