NDP’s Mamakwa calls for investment in “lifeline” airports for fly-in communities

During question period on Thursday, November 22, 2018, Sol Mamakwa, NDP MPP for Kiiwetinoong, told the Ford government to begin working with First Nations communities and invest in northern airports that fly-in communities depend on.


“These airports are essential lifelines for the communities they serve,” said Mamakwa, the NDPs critic for Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.


“But Ontario’s northern airport investments have not kept up with the need.


“Because of that there are people who are not receiving urgent medical attention because planes and helicopters were unable to land.


“Millions of dollars of groceries and medicines have spoiled because they could not be delivered.


“Has this government begun to engage with fly-in First Nations communities in the Far North to begin discussion on essential improvements to these airports?”


Mamakwa said Northern Ontario airports serving remote populations are among the fastest growing in the province, and serve a critical role for the safety and well-being of the people in far north First Nations communities.


“There have been needless deaths and unnecessary suffering due to a lack of landing approach infrastructure at these remote airports,” said Mamakwa.


Mamakwa asked the Ford government directly to outline any plans to begin working with remote Northwestern First Nations communities so that basics like up-to-date landing instrumentation equipment is available in these airports, but no specific answer was provided.


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