OTTAWA – Canada’s Department of Aboriginal Affairs has been robbing Peter to pay Paul.
In this case, “Peter” is the department’s infrastructure budget and “Paul” refers to its cash-strapped social and education programs.
A new document shows Aboriginal Affairs shifted half a billion dollars meant for infrastructure over a six-year period to try to cover shortfalls elsewhere.
The result? The department’s already strapped infrastructure program is starting to buckle while its social and education needs are still falling short.
The document is included as part of a First Nations advocate’s long battle at the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to get aboriginal children the same funding from the federal government as non-aboriginal kids get from the provinces.
The document says the department has made “significant reallocations” of about $505 million over the past six years in infrastructure dollars to social, education and other programs to try to fill shortfalls.