November 14th, 2020
Urgent Federal Action Needed for OCN and our North
The current outbreak at the McGillivary Care Home on Opaskwayak Cree Nation is of major concern to our entire region. My thoughts are with the Elders and staff fighting COVID-19 at this time. The fact that all of the 28 residents of the care home and 14 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 points to the need for immediate federal action.
Many people across Northern Manitoba have been deeply concerned about the potential for an outbreak in our region for months. Many have been clear that First Nations are particularly vulnerable given chronic underfunding, overcrowded housing, and lack of healthcare services. In addition to this devastating outbreak on OCN, cases are rising in First Nations surrounding The Pas. The Federal Government must pull out all the stops including responding to the call for military help. From testing, to contact tracing, to accessing medical care, to ensuring people can stay home - we need federal action now.
We must also recognize that the provincial health system in our northern urban centres including The Pas are not equipped to deal with a surge in cases. We need the Federal Government to step in and ensure that our healthcare system is not overloaded and that people across our region are supported at this time.