NDP joins Bearskin Lake in their call for more federal help

As COVID-19 cases rise, Bearskin Lake First Nation has been completely overwhelmed and now immediate help from the Canadian Armed Forces is needed. Community leaders say they are no longer able to keep the community safe as more than half of the population is in isolation. New Democrat MP Charlie Angus has been working with the community and says a military presence is needed before the situation gets worse.

“People in Bearskin Lake are completely overwhelmed in trying to get essentials like wood for heating homes and groceries to people who are isolating,” said Angus. “They are in desperate need of help so that they can get through these next few days and weeks. The Liberal government needs to stop dragging their feet and help this community urgently.”

Angus was joined by Chief Lefty Kamenawatamin, Frank McKay of the Windigo Tribal Council Grand Chief Derek Fox of Nishnawbe-Aski Nation and former Grand Chief Charles Fox. They are frustrated by the government’s refusal to respond to an urgent request for military assistance.

On Wednesday morning, Angus and the party’s Critic for Indigenous Relations, Lori Idlout, sent a letter to the Minister for Emergency Preparedness asking him to grant the community’s urgent request.

“We know how contagious this virus is, especially in communities where many people live in one house. This virus is bound to spread even more, making the situation worse,” added Angus. “There is no time to waste. The Liberals must act now to save lives in Bearskin Lake.”