Ashton Calls on Minister of Health to Act on Third World diseases on Northern Manitoba First Nations

OTTAWA - Today in Question Period Niki Ashton MP (Churchill) asked the Government to act decisively to put an end to the Third World living conditions that First Nations in Northern Manitoba face - conditions that lead to challenging and tragic health outcomes for many Aboriginal people.

Ashton`s question echoed the messages brought forward by the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak in a press conference today asking for the Ministers of Health and Indian and Northern Affairs to hear them. “The focus must be to listen to the First Nations` call for action such as achieving targets to establish running water in all communities, the need for more doctors and finally an understanding that long-term sustainable infrastructure such as an all-weather road will help tackle the Third World conditions they face,” said Ashton.

The Minister of Health`s answer to Ashton`s question in the House gave little hope that the Federal Government understands what needs to be done to move forward. “The Minister of Health ended her question by stating, “We are getting the job done”- what job? Aboriginal people in Garden Hill have died from the flu, the North sees some of the highest rates of TB and Aboriginal people face chronic diseases at much higher rates than other Canadians. “No job is done until we see the end of the Third World conditions Aboriginal people face,” said Ashton.

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