Ashton Calls for Immediate Action on Fire Protection for First Nations
December 19th, 2014 - 10:14am
OTTAWA - Years after the preventable deaths of four people from house fires in St Theresa Point and God’s Lake Narrows, the federal government has yet to correct the funding disparity facing First Nations firefighting services. Niki Ashton MP (Churchill) called on the federal government to take immediate action to improve fire protection on First Nations.
“As the inquest into the two tragic fires wraps up today, it is clear that government underfunding has cost lives. Fire safety is urgently needed. The government already knows that fire services on reserve are inadequate. We need concrete actions now, not months from now.” Ashton said.
First Nations need equipment as well as the resources for maintenance of that equipment. Ashton noted that the few communities that do have fire protection teams need funding to train volunteers and professional fire fighters on how to operate fire trucks and equipment. Funds are also urgently needed to bring houses up to fire code, as many houses in First Nations communities are not built to code and families are being put at risk every day.
“Before more lives are lost, we demand that the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs invest in the safety of First Nations in Northern Manitoba and across the country.” said Ashton.