Sol Mamakwa MPP for Kiiwetinoong

Government of Ontario

Ford government must step in to help families in Neskantaga under state of emergency

Published on September 16, 2019

QUEEN’S PARK – Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa, the NDP’s Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation critic, is calling on the Ford government to take action to help the people of Neskantaga First Nation following the federal government’s refusal to evacuate families facing contaminated water flowing through their taps, after the community’s water pump and back up water pumps broke down.

“It is appalling that the federal government would refuse an evacuation of children, babies and elders who are all being exposed to contaminated water flowing through the taps of their homes.

Neskantaga First Nation has issued a state of emergency and I am calling on the Ford government to step in to make sure the community gets the help it needs immediately before anyone gets seriously ill, or a tragedy occurs.

New Democrats have been calling on the Ford government to take action on First Nations emergencies when the federal government fails to do so. I am calling on them to take action now, without delay.

Ford and the federal government should not play jurisdictional games with the health and lives of the people of Neskantaga.

Access to clean drinking water is a human right, but the federal government’s response to the people of Neskantaga shows that this government doesn’t seem to think that this fundamental right applies to First Nations people.

Without water pressure the community is also left without the means to fight fires, putting the community at further risk.

The Ford government must help the 188 people who are being affected by this emergency now, especially the young children, babies and elders whose health is at risk today.”