The Victim Industry

Brian Giesbrecht, Commentary, Culture Wars

The Globe and Mail reported on August 17, 2018 that different factions of lawyers involved in what is termed the “60s Scoop” class action suit are squabbling over $75,000,000 in fees that are up for grabs for the work they claim to have done to date. Recall that recently, various groups of the claimants themselves were in court arguing that the approximately $750,000,000 that a compliant federal government had agreed to pay them was not enough. They wanted more. Recall as well that as compensation for work they claimed to have done on the residential school file, one Saskatchewan law firm put in an enormous claim that was subsequently whittled down to $50,000,000. That sum represented the fees of one firm alone!

The total legal fees for all law firms that represented adults who attended residential schools as children is not known, but the number is very large. Every such adult was compensated richly – even those who were not harmed in any way, and who received educations that would otherwise have been denied to them. It is not yet known how many people will receive compensation as a result of the MMIW, or what total sums the lawyers and others who managed to get themselves on that boondoggle will be. Don’t expect the amount to be a small one. The taxpayer is on the hook for all of these payouts.

These are but a few examples of the staggering amount of money being gobbled up by what is essentially a new industry – the Victim Industry. I am not blaming anyone for going after the money. Lawyers are in the business of making money – that is what they do. And the money is certainly there for the taking, whether it be by assembling a host of bewildered clients to sign on the bottom line, or getting a job in the army of lawyers, anthropologists, consultants, and other well paid “experts” who appear at the endless succession of Indigenous Victim Inquiries- from the Royal Commission of Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) in 1996 to the residential school show trials, to the MMIW fiasco, and probably to a “60s Scoop” Inquiry, followed by an inquiry into how dismally Indigenous children do as wards in the care of child welfare agencies. The list of taxpayer funded inquiries will only continue to grow.

It is hard to fault people for lining up to claim victimhood when simply signing up can net one a big lump of money. As mentioned, everyone who attended residential schools received a large amount of money just because they attended. This included people who received good educations, and who were not harmed in any way. After all, the vast majority of the students were not molested by teachers and priests. The small percentage of people who were molested by teachers and staff were certainly entitled to compensation. But the great majority who were not harmed should have been thankful for an education, and certainly should not have received that windfall.

It appears that the easy money available to people who claim to be victims has corrupted so thoroughly that even those students who acknowledged their gratitude for being able to attend in years past now claim that everything about the schools was bad.

This applies to the 60 Scoop claimants as well. By and large, these claimants were children rescued from alcoholic homes and placed for adoption with white families. Many of these adoptions broke down for reasons that include the sad fact that many of the children suffered from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FASD). But it is also a fact that a large number of the children grew up successfully in very good homes – instead of the dreadful homes they started in. Even these people will receive about $50,000 each, based on the entirely spurious reasoning that a child from one culture is abused by being placed with parents from another culture.

The huge amount of money that is simply there for the taking invites greed and corruption. It robs otherwise intelligent people of their common sense. A victim mentality sets in. There is no question that people who have actually suffered abuse of one type or another are entitled to compensation. However many people – Indigenous and non-Indigenous- are just blinded by the money. This extravagant compensation by a profligate federal government is simply wrong .

But worse still than the sheer waste of money is the harm that comes from encouraging people to think of themselves as permanent victims instead of as individuals who have control over their own lives. For instilling this victim mentality in impressionable people, the current federal government is the worst on record.

But there is another sinister dimension to this particular federal government’s role in funding the Victim Industry. The extra billions that they have pumped into the so-called “reconciliation” demands of the TRC, the billions that the 60s Scoop and the MMIW will eventually cost the taxpayer, and all of the other extra money that is directed to the CBC, universities and other sympathetic bodies, under the guise of improving Indigenous relations, acts as an informal boost to the already huge Indigenous Affairs budgets, but does so under the radar. This federal government knows that there are limits to how much it can boost a vote-friendly constituency’s budget without political repercussions, so it has opted to lavishly use taxpayers’ money in a much more devious way.

The unholy alliance that exists between this particular federal government and Indigenous leaders – aided and abetted by the legal profession and a compliant judiciary – has created a Victim Industry that shows no sign of slowing down any time soon. This new industry is thoroughly corrupt and out of control. The prime mover driving this new industry is the federal government itself – a government that seems perfectly prepared to squander vast sums of the hard earned money of the people they claim to represent to satisfy its own apparently insatiable virtue signalling compulsion.

The real victim in all of this is the taxpayer.