Barriere Lake gets enough money, but problems persist

Members of the Barriere Lake Algonquin First Nation are seen before the Internal Flame on...

Members of the Barriere Lake Algonquin First Nation are seen before the Internal Flame on Parliament Hill in this file photo. (ANDRE FORGET/QMI AGENCY)

Anthony Furey, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:14 PM ET

BARRIERE LAKE, QUE. - While Attawapiskat is getting the front-page treatment, it's not the only troubled reserve in the country. In fact 14 of Canada's 617 First Nations are under the most severe level of intervention.

In 1996 the Algonquins of Barriere Lake were first placed under third-party management. They've since gone on and off multiple times, the last being April 2011 which remains in place.

The Quebec community three hours north of Ottawa has been plagued with a disproportionately large number of problems considering its on-reserve population of only 571, as of Dec. 2012.

"Our concern was the social conditions," says NDP MP Mathieu Ravignat, whose Pontiac riding includes Barriere Lake. "There hasn't been any new lodgings built since 1985." According to a solidarity website, some houses hold 18 people.

In 2008, the government set aside $500,000 to deal with household mould, at a cost of $3,000 - $15,000 per home. More than 50 homes were treated. The total housing count is around 60 (as the community did not participate in the 2006 census, official data is sparse).

 


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