November 2nd, 2020
LETTER: Manitoba Hydro must work with First Nations to keep us safe
Dear Minister Miller,
First Nations in Manitoba need your help. The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is hitting northern Manitoba and of particular concern is the outbreak at the Keeyask Work Camp. The sad reality is that all of this could have been avoided.
Let’s be clear, Manitoba Hydro had ample warning that this could happen, but instead chose to put narrow business interests ahead of the safety of both their workers and neighbouring communities. First Nations were clear with their concerns regarding the work camp and have been calling for action for months.
I urge your department and your government to support First Nations who are grappling with this outbreak to the fullest extent possible. I urge you to hold Manitoba Hydro to account. Manitoba Hydro must work with First Nations to develop a shutdown plan that keeps everyone safe. Manitoba Hydro must cover the costs of self-isolation for the many workers who have nowhere to safely self-isolate as they leave the camp not knowing if they have COVID-19. Workers must be compensated at this time.
There is no time to waste. Lives are at risk.
MP Niki Ashton (Churchill--Keewatinook Aski)