Canada's NDP


December 29th, 2021

LETTER: Calling for Immediate Federal Health Support for Gillam and Leaf Rapids

Northern hospital and health centre temporarily closed among surging pandemic

Dear Minister Hajdu,

I am calling on Indigenous Services Canada to immediately work with the Province of Manitoba and take whatever measures necessary, including engaging the Canadian Armed Forces to provide emergency medical services in Gillam and Leaf Rapids at this time.

Many here in our region received notice in the last 24 hours the regional hospital in Gillam and the health centre in Leaf Rapids have been shut down into the new year. This is a shocking decision on the part of our province given the sharp rise in covid-19 cases in Manitoba at this time. Gillam and Leaf Rapids provide medical services to people from neighbouring communities, including many First Nations and Métis people. The nearest hospital in Thompson is far away - a drive of over three hours.

These communities need emergency staffing until they reopen, Gillam on January 5th and Leaf Rapids on January 10th. All options must be considered including bringing in medical personnel from the Canadian Armed Forces. Our region has gone above and beyond to stay safe during this pandemic. These closures are putting our communities which are already vulnerable at risk during another wave. Our region needs help now.


Niki Ashton

MP for Churchill-Keewatinook Aski
CC: The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health