KENORA – On behalf of the Anishinaabe Nation in Treaty#3 I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to the family, community of Pikangikum and the Nishnawbe Aski Nation on the tragic house fire which claimed a family of nine. There is an urgent need to begin to address fire safety and prevention planning, community fire safety infrastructure as well as the need for housing to address overcrowding. Our citizen’s lives are at stake. This is no longer just a community issue; it is an issue which impacts us all in this country of Canada.
The federal budget announced by Finance Minister Bill Morneau contained announcements to address infrastructure and housing crises affecting our communities. There is however a need to address policies and bureaucratic processes which can delay the immediate need for the allocation of these resources. I urge the Finance Minister and the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister to ensure that the funding is prioritized and disbursed quickly without the over bureaucratization processes which will delay the funding through administrative costs and to not engage in competitive processes which does not ensure resources are allocated to the most in need.
The remote and northern location of our communities brings about unique and diverse challenges in responding to house fires and preventing their occurrence. Our leadership needs to share those concerns with Departmental officials and the respective Ministers to ensure the resources are effective and maximized to benefit the priorities and needs based approach for our communities.
Ogichidaa Warren White
Grand Council Treaty#3