February 6th, 2019

NDP Statementon Mould Crisis in Cat Lake

NDP Critic for Indigenous Youth Charlie Angus made the following statement:

“MPP Sol Mamakwa and I were invited to Cat Lake First Nation to learn about the extent of their housing crisis.

What we saw was a full-blown, total breakdown of public health, with families living with toxic levels of mould.

We witnessed the conditions that children are living in, which have caused conditions such as bronchitis, rashes and pneumonia.

We met with elders who were healthy until recently, and are now confined to a walker and on dialysis because they moved into mouldy homes.

A young boy underwent a medical evacuation while we were here.

The federal and provincial governments must act.

  1. Cat Lake needs a full, independent and emergency community health assessment.
  2. Any children with health issues should receive services as soon as possible, through Jordan’s Principle if necessary.
  3. A vague assurance without funding or timeline is not what Cat Lake needs. Minister Seamus O’Regan must come to the community and respond to its immediate, medium and long-term housing and health needs with a concrete plan.

This is a public health emergency and the Ford and Trudeau governments must act now. We have seen what passing the buck on government responsibility gets us. As New Democrats we are committed to taking immediate action in times of crisis in First Nations communities. We challenge Minister O’Regan and Minister Rickford to do the same.”