May 6th, 2020
Ashton calls on feds to step up for First Nations and northern communities during Virtual Parliament
THOMPSON - In yesterday's virtual sitting of Parliament, NDP MP Niki Ashton (Churchill-?Keewatinook-Aski) called on the federal government to take urgent action to help northern communities cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
"First Nations are doing everything they can to keep their communities safe, but the federal government has failed to address the issues of overcrowded housing and lack of access to healthcare," said Ashton. "People in the Berens River area are calling for a ventilation centre. People in Cross Lake and Island Lake need hospitals in their communities. If the government couldn't act in time for the first wave of COVID-19, they must do so in time for the second wave."
Ashton also echoed the call of First Nations to temporarily shut down work camps following the devastating outbreak in Saskatchewan's community of La Loche.
"To follow through on their commitment to keeping First Nations safe, the government needs to do more," said Ashton. "They should support First Nations' calls for shutdowns of work camps to keep people from spreading the virus."
Commercial fishers across Manitoba are also concerned about the crisis they are facing and are calling for emergency support and a way to help address food insecurity.
"Fishing is an important source of employment in First Nations and communities across our region," said Ashton. "We need to see direct support for fishers across our region. The federal government must work with fishers and the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation to redirect product to domestic markets and local communities as one way to address growing food insecurity in our communities."
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You can find Ashton's questions at the links below: