NDP Leader Visits Neskantaga First Nation

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NDP Leader Singh with MP Charlie Angus and MPP Sol Mamakwa in Neskantaga. Photo by Ben Sakanee

NESKANTAGA – NEWS – It has been 26 years since people living in Neskantaga have had clean and safe drinking and bathing water in their homes.

The First Nation community has one of longest boil-water advisories in Canada.

Today, Jagmeet Singh and Charlie Angus joined NDP MPP Sol Mamakwa saw first hand the situation in this community.On Monday, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and NDP MP Charlie Angus (Timmins—James Bay) visited Neskantaga First Nation to talk with the community about their longstanding water crisis.

In 2015, Justin Trudeau promised an end to boiled water advisories on reserve and made Neskantaga the symbol of the Liberal promise to deliver on clean water.

And yet the community is now 26 years without safe water with no end in sight.

NDP Leader Singh with MP Charlie Angus and MPP Sol Mamakwa in Neskantaga. Photo by Ben Sakanee
NDP Leader Singh and Charlie Angus and Sol Mamakwa were greeted by this sign in Neskantaga. Photo by Ben Sakanee

Singh was in the community to hear first hand what solutions are needed. “How is it possible in a country as rich as Canada with the greatest water resources in the world that First Nation communities can be left without access to clean drinking water?” asked Singh.

“For six years, Justin Trudeau has said a lot of nice things about working towards reconciliation, but those words don’t mean anything when he continues to do nothing to fix the water crisis in Neskantaga and in other communities across the country. People have been living without clean drinking water for decades. Some residents have lived their whole lives without it. How can Justin Trudeau speak about reconciliation while continuing to deny Indigenous people this basic human right?”

There are currently 51 long term boil water advisories in place in Indigenous communities across the country, including in Neskantaga First Nation.

“What I saw in Neskantaga is the brutal indifference of the federal government to basic rights of families to live with safe water. The solution to the water crisis requires more than Liberal talk,” said Angus. “I challenge Justin Trudeau to come here and see the injustice he is upholding first-hand and speak with community members. The answer to the water crisis is not rocket science. It just takes political will.”

In October 2020, in Neskantaga former Chief Chris Moonias reports on the water plant: