Canada's NDP


April 4th, 2020

Ashton welcomes announcement that military is ready to help fight COVID-19 in Indigenous communities

THOMPSON — Today, NDP MP Niki Ashton (Churchill—Keewatinook Aski) welcomed the federal government’s announcement that it will be deploying the military to assist Indigenous communities in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am glad that the government heeded our call to make the military ready to help First Nations communities in the face of this pandemic,” said Ashton. “First Nations leaders in northern Manitoba have been calling on the federal government to deploy the military to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now we need to ensure that this help reaches our North. People’s health and wellbeing depend on it.”

The military has been called in to help Northern Manitoba before. They assisted First Nations communities during the H1N1 virus and during floods and forest fires. In this critical time, with the lack of infrastructure, adequate housing, and running water, people in northern Manitoba will need reinforcements to ensure their safety and well being.

“We know that the federal government has already deployed the military in northern Quebec after the premier’s request,” said Ashton. “Our provincial government must support First Nations in their calls for the military but we must ensure that the Federal Government acts on their commitment to Indigenous communities made today. It is about saving lives.”