ORNGE you glad I didn’t say Attawapiskat Banana.

Here is a bit of background information:

The highest paid public servant earned $500,000 as reported in 2010; however more recently, with an access to information request, thestar.com reports that he in fact earned $1.8 million.

In my opinion, that is quite a bit for a public servant. But I guess given the services provided/overseeing, it might make a bit of sense.

What did this public servant do exactly? Well he was the head of the ORNGE Ambulance service. This is an air ambulance service that has “13 dedicated bases staffed 24/7.”

This service uses up $150 million in tax payers monies. Yet, there still seems to be some controversy over the accountability of these services. I mean, all services should be held accountable that are funding by tax payers’ monies. You can read a bit about the ORNGE in the Toronto Star here.

Accountability? Wasn’t it Minister of Indian Affairs Mr. Duncan that said,

“Our government believes First Nations, like all Canadians, deserve transparency and accountability from their elected officials…”

And, what…

This was said in speaking of a new bill called “Act to enhance the financial accountability and transparency of First Nations” to force individual First Nations

“…to publicize financial information on their own website or the website of a Tribal council/partner organization. The bill also requires that the audited financial statements and schedule of remuneration that First Nations are already required to submit to the federal government be published on the website of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. Those statements include expenses and salaries of chiefs and councillors and detail how money was spent every year.

There was a big uproar over the Attawapiskat issue in major media outlets regarding the $90 million that was sent over five years to “help” with the 3rd world living conditions. People asked questions like “where did this money go to?” or “what happened to the money?” Our own PM Harper didn’t even flinch when he got wind of what was happening on this First Nation (which is not uncommon to many other First Nations). Nope, he declared the First Nation to be put under forced third party management and forced an audit of the community’s financial statement. Implicitly telling First Nations peoples that you are unable and incapable of running your own community. First Nations do what they can with what they were/are given. Many communities, like Attawapiskat, are just getting by… However, you can read Chelsea Vowel’s healthy breakdown of how that $90 million over 5 years article on the huffingtonpost.com titled, “Attawapiskat: You Want to Be Shown the Money? Here it Is.

I mean, why wouldn’t anyone ask what happened to the $150 million/year in tax payer money? Why wouldn’t this audit be excessively regurgitated in the major media outlets just as much as the Attawapiskat audit? And where did the CEO go to after his $1.5 million income was announced go to?

It’s too bad that the same transparency and accountability that is forced upon First Nations is not forced upon services such as these.

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