March 21st, 2016

Liberal Government Must Act to Fix First Nations Health Crisis: NDP

Today in Question Period, Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath called on the Liberal government to fix the health crisis facing First Nations communities across the north. Last week Horwath travelled to northwestern Ontario with Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell where she met with Grand Chief Fiddler, Deputy Grand Chief Fox and other leaders from NAN communities.

“Sioux Lookout has the highest rate of rheumatic fever in the world—a treatable, preventable yet deadly illness if not acted on. In fact, two four-year-old children have died from this preventable illness in the last two years,” said Horwath.  “We heard from Chief Cutfeet about how few in his community have regular access to doctors, nurses or specialists for diseases such as diabetes, which is rampant throughout the NAN territories.”


Horwath pointed out that the Premier was once the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and that she is well aware these problems exist. The NDP Leader asked why, in 2016, has the Liberal government failed to address this intolerable situation? 

“Three weeks ago, the Nishnawbe Aski Nation declared a health care state of emergency in this province. They’re reeling from endemic suicides; living in poor, crowded housing conditions; and their communities have undrinkable water. None of these problems are new. They have existed for decades,” said Horwath. 

“Will this Premier act today to address the dire health crisis in Sioux Lookout, in the region and across the NAN territories?”