February 24th, 2016

Statement on the Health and Public Health Emergency declared by First Nations leaders

“It is simply unacceptable that any community should have to declare a state of emergency in order to get attention for basic and preventative health care in this province.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation communities within my riding – specifically in the Sioux Lookout region – have declared a state of emergency today, left to appeal to both provincial and federal Liberal governments to finally act on the long known crisis of access to acute health care, clean water, housing fit for habitation, and mental health supports to prevent more suicides, especially among young people.

It is simply unacceptable how an entirely preventable but potentially deadly infection such as rheumatic fever – that should be the stuff of Charles Dicken’s novels –  is not only present in communities near Sioux Lookout, but that it exists there at the highest rate in the world. There are MRSA infections because the water is unfit for human consumption, high and preventable rates of diabetes, and an epidemic rate of youth suicides.

Ontario New Democrats support these communities’ calls for the respective Ministers to immediately commit to detailed action plans, intervention and investment.”