Canada's NDP


March 13th, 2020

On coronavirus, MP Ashton calls for urgent government action

With the winter road season ending, the time to act is now

OTTAWA – In a press conference today, MP Niki Ashton (Churchill—Keewatinook Aski) called on the government to start taking seriously the health needs of First Nations as it relates to coronavirus.

“The spread of the coronavirus is a disaster waiting to happen for many First Nations. They need urgent action,” said Ashton. “First Nations across my riding need equipment and infrastructure now. The Government isn’t moving quickly enough - the Military should be on call if First Nations call on them to transport what is needed”.

Yesterday, Ashton sent a letter to Minister Miller outlining concerns and highlighting the fact that many communities don’t have proper access to clean water; don’t have the capacity to self isolate as a result of overcrowded and mould infested homes; and will have difficulty getting proper care in regions without hospitals like Island Lake, Cross Lake and others.

“The Government needs to pull out all the stops,” said Ashton. “With the end of the winter road season arriving, isolated communities don’t have time for this government to figure it out. This needs to happen and it needs to happen immediately.”