In his academy award winning film, Roger and Me, Michael Moore documented what happened to the world's largest corporation after a bean counter was put in charge. After Stephen Harper tore up the Kelowna Accord, he called on Sheila Fraser to audit Canada's native communities. Lawrence Martin writes this morning that Ms. Fraser smelled a rat:
Ms. Fraser’s department had done a report before the Tories came to power showing that an average band produces close to 200 reports a year. If the bands didn’t file audited financial statements, their funding was cut off or delayed. The AG’s office thought that for any government to pretend it didn’t know where the money was being spent was foolhardy. There was likely some abuse, but no more or less than most other organizations.
The Conservatives’ motivation in pushing for the band audits was political, the AG’s office suspected. They wanted to score points with their base and the chiefs were an easy target.
Having been stiffed by the recently retired Ms. Fraser, Mr. Harper has returned to his original game plan. Come hell or high water, his government will rely on bean counters as their first line of defence in its dealing with Canada's first nations.
Attawapiskat is the tip of the iceberg -- an iceberg which has only increased in size and complexity over more than a hundred years. If Stephen Harper thinks that the solution to the problem lies in appointing talented bean counters to solve it, he should consider the recent history of General Motors.