Cat Lake Update – Minister Seamus O’Regan

Seamus O'Regan - Indigenous Services Minister
Seamus O'Regan - Indigenous Services Minister

THUNDER BAY – Indigenous – Federal Indigenous Services Minister Seamus O’Regan has issued a statement on the continuing efforts toward solving the health and housing crisis in Cat Lake First Nation.

“We continue our work in addressing the housing and health concerns in Cat Lake First Nation – the wellbeing of children and families remains our top priority. On Thursday, a pediatric respirology medical doctor arrived in the community to begin an independent health assessment and treatment of individuals identified by the community. We will address the results of the assessment as soon as they are available, on an urgent basis.‎

“Additionally, another technical meeting took place on Thursday‎ in Cat Lake in order to continue discussions and advance the work required. Among the key priorities requiring attention was the completion of the winter ice road to Cat Lake by the First Nation’s contractor, which is necessary for additional transportation to take place. Our department confirmed continued support in helping to get that work completed.

“We also reiterated and expanded upon our previous commitments to begin repairs immediately and to identify, with the community, units requiring replacement on an urgent basis.

“We will continue to work with leadership and partners, and remain focused on a collaborative relationship. We all share the same goals, which are to ensure that housing and health concerns are addressed for the wellbeing of the people of Cat Lake.”

Additional info on the status of winter roads:

  • Work is required to complete the clearing and construction of the winter ice road to the community
  • Heavy snowfall this season has insulated some water crossings and can prevent freezing to required depths
  • Extensive work underway at water crossings/ice bridges so they will freeze, and removing deep snow
  • Winter roads are maintained by contractors working for the community, and funding is provided by the federal and provincial governments – just over $520,000 this year.