Sol Mamakwa MPP, Kiiwetinoong

Government of Ontario

Ford must respect agreement with Kashechewan and take action on relocation now: NDP

Published on April 29, 2019

2019 marks 17th time community has been evacuated due to flooding

QUEEN’S PARK – More than 250 evacuated members of the Kashechewan First Nation were at Queen’s Park on Monday to tell the Ford government to stop ignoring the agreement it signed, and begin the relocation of the community to higher ground now.

NDP MPPs Guy Bourgouin (Mushkegowuk-James Bay) and Sol Mamakwa (Kiiwetinoong), along with NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, brought the need to protect the health and safety of the community into the legislative assembly during question period.

“For the 17th time, people from Kashechewan – including children, elders and people with disabilities – have been evacuated as a result of the yearly floods,” said Bourgouin.

Bourgouin reminded the Legislature that the province is a signatory party of the March 31, 2017 Tripartite Framework Agreement. The agreement stipulates that both provincial and federal governments would engage in short, mid, and long-term solutions for Kashechewan, including relocation.

“People have been waiting for 17 years. Will this government honour the agreement the province signed in 2017 so that the relocation of Kashechewan can begin as quickly as possible, yes or no?” said Bourgouin.

Mamakwa, the NDP’s critic for Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, called on the Ford government to honour the health and public safety commitments of Treaty 9 and the 2017 agreement and move forward with relocating the community.

Mamakwa said that in 2005, more than 800 Kashechewan residents had to be evacuated due to E. coli contamination of the water supply and the Ford government must take action on the urgent health and housing needs of the community now.

“Many of the houses are full of mould due to repeated flooding and trapped moisture,” said Mamakwa. “There is no more time to waste to fix these health issues.

“What specific actions will the government take to protect the health of the community in the face of these floods?”