September 23rd, 2018
Jagmeet Singh met with Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation
THUNDER BAY - Today, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, along with Charlie Angus, NDP MP for Timmins-James Bay, met with Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation representing 49 First Nations in Northern Ontario.
They spoke of the importance of having a federal government that understands the reality that northern communities face on issues such as housing, access to safe drinking water, youth suicide and education.
"This discussion was very important. It is clear that there is a disconnect between what communities need and what the government thinks they need. More than half of the housing in Indigenous communities in Ontario needs major repairs. They are facing a major Health crisis. The government needs to end its paternalistic approach and transform it to a collaborative approach with Nishnawbe Aski Nation to find and implement solutions to solve problems related to housing, access to safe and clean water, education and suicide prevention in its communities.” said the NDP Leader.
Since coming to power, the Liberals have failed to provide sufficient financial and human resources to address the housing and the drinking water crises in Indigenous communities. In addition, they’ve refused to implement a national strategy to combat suicide, or close the gap between funding available to Indigenous schools on reserves and funding for schools elsewhere in Ontario.
“The NDP is more determined than ever to pressure the government to finally do what’s needed on those issues,” said Singh. “The government would do well to learn from the example set by Charlie Angus, who isn’t just talking, but listening and acting.”
"It’s not enough to just talk without taking action. Inaction and negligence has a human cost, especially for children,” said Charlie Angus, NDP critic for Indigenous youth. “As we mourn another child lost in Bearskin Lake to suicide we need to push on a clear commitment on housing, health, education and the establishment of a national suicide prevention plan that responds to the needs of Treaty 9 communities."