In the stricken northern Ontario aboriginal community of Attawapiskat, it is being portrayed as an alternative to government. The Red Cross stepped in after Alberta wildfires and Quebec floods, but Attawapiskat is a slower-moving disaster. The fly-in reserve near James Bay is facing an acute housing shortage. A state of emergency was declared at the end of September and, as winter begins to bite, dozens of people are living in wood-frame tents and uninsulated sheds, using slop buckets as toilets.
Pictures and video posted online by northern Ontario NDP MP Charlie Angus have shocked Canadians, and the story is likely to get more coverage Tuesday when interim NDP leader Nycole Turmel visits. Small wonder the Opposition is going big. Shots of mouldy, overcrowded houses and Third World poverty beamed into suburban living rooms move people to ask questions of their political leaders. (Photo: Allison Dempster/CBC News)
The digital artist and painter hopes to make a lasting impression on Canadians by organizing next month’s To Japan with Love art show, a fundraising exhibition of posters by 13 Canadian artists, created to support residents from Japan’s northeastern coast who are still struggling with the aftermath of the high-magnitude quake and the tsunami that followed. (Proceeds from the sales will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross.)
“What happened in Japan isn’t necessarily going to stop once the media stops reporting about it,” Nakanishi says. The Japanese-Canadian artist says it will probably take more than five years to fix the quake’s damage. “Before, horrible images were being shown on these news stations. It’s hard not to have compassion for people in Japan, but very quickly you shift to whatever else is current.”