Sol Mamakwa, MPP for Kiiwetinoong and the NDP’s critic for Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, issued the following statement calling on the Ford government to take immediate action on the state of emergency declared in Cat Lake First Nation.
"A state of emergency has been declared for the Cat Lake First Nation in my riding, because of the appalling conditions of the housing there. Ninety homes have been declared uninhabitable due to dangerous black mold, structural issues, and electrical wiring not being up to code.
I was just there on Wednesday. I saw these conditions for myself. This state of emergency is necessary. The reason for these dangerous living conditions to be allowed in Ontario is completely unacceptable: the fact that it is in a remote First Nations community is at the heart of this issue. These homes are not fit for people anywhere in the province to live in.
In 2016, there were 28 First Nations states of emergency in Ontario. Many of these are in what is now my riding. In 2014, the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) declared a state of emergency in all the communities they represent, then again in 2016 NAN declared a territory-wide public health emergency. Neither of the states of emergency have been lifted. Help has not come.
Cat Lake needs help right now. Doug Ford, Minister Rickford, Minister Clark and their federal counterparts need to travel to the community right away and act without delay. Housing is a human right. Cat Lake needs action."