NDP demands long-term, sustained commitment to support the people of James Bay and Attawapiskat
Today in the legislature, NDP House Leader Gilles Bisson asked the Premier to make an ongoing and long-term commitment to address the crisis in Attawapiskat. Bisson called for a sustained response that doesn’t end when the community is no longer in the media spotlight.
“This is not the first time we’ve seen a rash of suicides on the James Bay. In fact, about five years ago, we had a similar situation going on and myself and others from James Bay, along with then-Grand Chief Stan Louttit, went to your government and asked for money for Payukotayno health services in order to put in place the staff necessary and your government did it; I’ll give you some credit. But two years later, you took that money away,” said Bisson, MPP for Timmins—James Bay.
Bisson plea for support for Attawapiskat follows the declaration of a State of Emergency on Saturday in response to reports of 11 suicide attempts in one day, and further reports of over 100 suicide attempts and at least one death since last September.
“What I want to know, and I think what the people of James Bay and Attawapiskat want to know, is that there is a long-term commitment to what is a huge problem in our communities. When you have 11 people in one day, from ages 11 to 71, try to take their life because of the situation in their community, we need to have an assurance that whatever we do going forward from here is going to be an ongoing and long-term commitment, and we’re not going to pull it away once the cameras have moved away from the story,” said Bisson