There is not much I can say about Attawapiskat, except that if you don’t know that there are children living in Ontario who don’t have proper places to live, who have been going to school in portables because the land their school building is on was contaminated by a fuel spill.
They’re not getting help because the federal and provincial governments are fighting over who should be responsible.
Three weeks ago the community declared a state of emergency – families are living in tents and sheds without electricity or water and temperatures in Northern Ontario are about to go from cold to colder.
Charlie Angus has been fighting for the people of Attawapiskat for years. Read what he wrote, fight for their rights.
Demand to know why politicians in Ottawa and at Queen’s Park are ignoring an emergency situation.
Update: News reports yesterday and today indicate that the federal government is getting ready to help the people in Attawapiskat, but yesterday they denied the reports and today a provincial minister says John Duncan’s office is not returning phone calls. Hopefully there will be proposed solutions by the end of the day.
UPDATE: The Red Cross is taking action for the people of Attawapiskat and this just came over the CP wire:
Red Cross seeking aid for Attawapiskat; generators and winter clothing needed
Source: The Canadian Press
Nov 28, 2011 7:37
TORONTO _ The Canadian Red Cross is mobilizing to help the remote northern Ontario First Nations community of Attawapiskat with its housing crisis.
The Red Cross says it’s working closely with public authorities and the community to identify and address urgent, short-term needs.
At the request of the community, the Red Cross says it is taking on a donation management role to support the community’s needs.
Red Cross spokesman John Saunders says some of the needs currently identified include generators, heaters, insulated sleeping mats, blankets and winter clothing.
Last week, an Ontario nurses’ group called on Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Prime Minister Stephen Harper to intervene in the housing crisis on the James Bay reserve.
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario called some of the living conditions in Attawapiskat deplorable and dangerous.
Saunders said the Red Cross is working closely with Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence to assess her community’s needs.
“Chief Spence has asked that the Red Cross provide support with donation management as the community has been inundated with offers of assistance,” said Saunders.
The Red Cross will “make arrangements to get supplies into the community as soon as possible,” he said.
Last month, Spence had asked that her community be evacuated before winter because lives were at risk.
Area MP Charlie Angus said five families are living in tents, while another 19 families are living in sheds without running water.
The community was in debt because it was forced to pay for an evacuation two years ago when a sewage backup left 100 people homeless, Angus said.
“They had to pay for the cost of looking after their own people because they had no place to put them in the community,” said Angus.
(The Canadian Press, APTN)