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OTTAWA – During debate on Bill C-7, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying), Timmins James Bay MP Charlie Angus raised the issue of the evacuation of Neskantaga First Nation in Northern Ontario.
Here is what MP Angus said:
I have learned that in Treaty No. 9 tonight families in Neskantaga First Nation are being evacuated because they have no access to water. For an Oji-Cree community in the middle of a pandemic to be willing to be flown out to an urban centre shows how severe the situation in Neskantaga is. I think every member in every party will understand the importance of bringing this forward.
One of the beautiful things we have said during the pandemic in Canada is that we are all in this together, but we are not, not in Canada. We have never all been together, not when it comes to the poverty, the casual degradation that indigenous people suffer and the systemic negligence of the most basic rights to life and dignity that Canadians take for granted as part of how this country is run. We cannot find a community that has suffered more than Neskantaga. For 25-plus years they have lived with unsafe water. That is a second generation growing up with improper water.