Federal government crisis management to provide fifteen modular homes for the isolated community of Attawapiskat has provided a sudden windfall for the construction company and its employees who successfully bid on the project. At $200,000 per unit, these homes are probably overpriced but with the limited time frame available and the public uproar over the deplorable housing conditions, the government and the taxpayer really have no choice but to plug the gap that now exists. This should not be the case going forward, since like all crises, this one also provides opportunities which should not go unrecognized.

All future commitments for this type of funding by the federal government should be conditional upon the following:

(a) Aboriginal communities receiving benefits must commit a significant portion towards the construction and maintenance costs from their operating budgets so that they have a vested interest in the construction and ongoing viability of these projects.

(b) Committed and capable individuals from within each qualifying community must be trained to maintain and repair these buildings which will also provide good paying jobs in the future.

(b) Successful construction companies bidding for these contracts must commit to hiring, training and continually educating these individuals as part of their long term business relationship with the community.

Anything less will be another wasted opportunity and more money down the drain.