An Open Letter to Prime Minister Harper

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

Forty three years ago, my parents made the choice to emigrate to Canada from Ireland. Canada was a vast land of opportunity, and my Father thought being Canadian would give him more opportunities in life. He was right of course, at least back then in 1969. These days I am not so sure my Father would have made the same choices.

We took Canadian citizenship the year I turned 11, and oh were we proud to be citizens of this great country that afforded us so much opportunity! We have been proud Canadians since that day…until now!

I never thought I would hear myself say it, but I am not so proud of my country today! How can I be when my fellow Canadians in Nunavut are starving?

I said that to a friend the other day, and he acted as if I had committed an act of treason, that is, until I explained WHY I was finding it hard to be proud of Canada. When I told him of the situation in Nunavut he was shocked! I can’t blame him I was shocked myself when I was first informed.

Please explain to me Mr. Prime Minister the reasons why you are doing nothing about the situation in Nunavut? Why have retailers not been taken to task over their horrendous overpricing of food? Why are the retailers in Nunavut allowed to gouge the public and claim transportation costs as the reason? Why is no one worried about the situation 32,000 of our citizens find themselves in?

I live in Southern Ontario, and I do not have to worry that when I go to the grocery store I will be paying ridiculous prices to keep my family fed. I know that I can afford the food that sustains us. Mothers in Nunavut do not have this peace of mind. They must struggle to put food on the table, and when they do it is substandard. Children are going hungry, and resorting to rooting through garbage for food! Is this really what you want for the citizens of your country? Somehow I doubt it. Yet the situation in Nunavut grows worse each day, and you do nothing about it!

It is easy for you to sit in Ottawa with your fridge full of food and say, that these people should help themselves or move elsewhere. That however, is not the answer! Each citizen of this country has the right to choose where they wish to live. Many of these people were born in Nunavut, it is their homeland and they should not be forced to leave to survive. Yet your lack of concern for these people has caused them to do just that.

The way Canada treats it’s native population has appalled me for years. Lands stolen, children stolen, heritage lost. You act as if they have no right to be here! Yet these people have more rights to Canada than we do! They have been here for hundreds of years, walked and hunted on this land long before our ancestors came and claimed it for themselves.

You have the means to change this, but you do not act! This leaves me wondering why? How can you ignore an entire territory and it’s people? How can you attend your fancy luncheons and dinner meetings with their overabundance of food and drink while Canadians starve?

I will not be proud of my country again until ALL it’s citizens are treated equally! I am not native, I am Irish and an immigrant, yet I am given access to affordable food, proper medical care (although that is also an issue) and the rights and freedoms of a Canadian citizen. In short I, an immigrant to this country, am treated better than the natives who were here long before us.

I know you will say that Nunavut is too remote a region for you to deal with this situation. I say that is an excuse. We have military bases in Nunavut, and supplies for those bases are shipped on a regular basis. The army does not go hungry in this region, so why do the citizens of Nunavut have to? It is not impossible for our armed forces to change this situation. They could simply add supplies for the local population to their regular northern supply runs. It is a simple solution to a major problem, but one that is viable and could help to make things easier for those who live in the Canadian north.

Why are you ignoring Nunavut Mr. Prime Minister? Are they not Canadian? Or is it that you simply do not care about the native population of our country?

You may have kept this situation under wraps for a long time, but now it’s out there, and the whole country knows. Thanks to the power of social media, we are able to work with our native friends in Nunavut to bring awareness to this situation, and we are doing so. We will make sure the whole country knows how you treat the natives. I am sure that as more and more Canadians learn of the situation in the north, they will be just as shocked as I was when it was brought to my attention. Citizens of Canada will not sit idly by while you kill off the population of Nunavut with your refusal to act!

Oh and Mr. Prime Minister, I’d start packing, because there is no way in hell Canadians are going to vote you back into office when they know you don’t truly care about the citizens of Canada! I for one will never vote for you, and I know many people who right now are of the same opinion. We need a Prime Minster that cares about ALL Canadians!


Janette Hamilton



8 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Prime Minister Harper

  1. more talk about the indians,bla bla,maybe they should use their rent money,oh yeah they have no rent,no property tax,no tax what so ever!They are not that bad off

    • Really you moron? Just goes to show that some people have no appreciation for the fact that CANADA belonged to the natives long before the white man came and decided it was their’s. It is people like YOU who keep these people poverty stricken. Acting as if THEY have no rights here when YOU are the interloper. Your petty ignorance is showing!

    • Fitzgerald: first of all Nunavummiut -Inuit, the people of Nunavut, aren’t Indian. Inuit and native Indians are both “aboriginals” but we are different cultures, different people. It’s like saying Chinese and East Indians are the same people just because they are of Asian groups.
      Second: Inuit do pay taxes, thank you very much. We pay taxes on everything, just like other Canadians.
      You’re probably confined in a comfortable world, one who doesn’t care to pay attention to the outside world if it doesn’t affect you, and that’s perfectly fine, just don’t go ignorantly commenting about a culture if you aren’t properly educated about them.

      • He is too busy believing the government hype to actually have an original thought!

      • Fizz-brained, fitzgerald is too ignorant to educate himself. He is one of many people that have too high of shares in the white linen companies of the world. Racist and ignorant to the facts of Natives. Unfortunately he is not bright enough to listen to reason and should have been deleted from the comment board.

        I hope that now that these facts about Nunavut are world wide, thanks to the net, that our ignorant government steps up to the plate and does something about the injustices laid upon our NATIVE people.

        Thank you all for taking time and caring about each other. As for fizz-brain, I pity people like you. It has to be be painful to be that hateful and ignorant.

      • He wasn’t deleted from the comment board because he needed to be told!


  2. Excellent letter, Janette. I appreciate that you have made the Prime Minister aware of an easy solution as well as pointing out the problem. It is an viable project for our Armed Forces to help resolve this problem. Peaceful service will help to keep our Armed Forces primed and ready to serve where needed.

    • I can not believe that with the solution staring them in the face they are still acting as if there is nothing they can do!

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