THUNDER BAY – During Question Period in the House of Commons, Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan remained under fire over conditions in Attawapiskat. Today the Aboriginal Affairs Department is sharing that another shipment of goods co-ordinated by the Red Cross, Emergency Measures Ontario, and the AANDC headed to Attawapiskat First Nation by plane. The shipment will include necessary supplies such as: styrofoam, smoke detectors, rugs and basins. Canadians have donated over $300,000 to the Red Cross in dedicated donations to Attawapiskat.
On Tuesday, Carolyn Bennett MP asked the Minister, about conditions on other First Nations reserves. “Mr. Speaker, there are 99 other Attawapiskats. In Fort Albany, Wasagamack and Natuashish there is severe overcrowding, toxic mould, and no water. This is the unacceptable norm. The Auditor General and the government’s own departmental audits have repeatedly concluded that the funding for first nations housing is not based on real numbers or based on the real need. Would the Prime Minister acknowledge and urgently address the systemic failure of the government to fix the on reserve housing crisis?”
Minister John Duncan responded, “Mr. Speaker, we have invested substantially in housing, water, and other infrastructure on reserves. During the Canadian economic action plan, we provided major stimulus to catch up on some of the backlog that was left because of the inaction of 13 years of Liberal government. We are moving forward”.
The Minister is reported to be meeting with Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence in Thunder Bay today.