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Issue Of First Nation Fires Raised At Queen’s Park

By Tim Davidson Feb 22, 2023 | 11:12 AM

Photos courtesy of Shoal Lake #40, GoFundMe

The provincial government says it wants to help First Nations affected by house fires.

In the past month, a 10 year old lost her life in Weenusk First Nation in the far north, and a blaze destroyed a six unit apartment complex on the Shoal Lake #40 First Nation.

Indigenous Affairs minister Greg Rickford says they are working with the federal government to ensure firefighting capabilities on First Nations.

“I have notified the chief on Shoal Lake #40 of our preparedness to support them and to take a look at options that the province can do to support efforts by the federal government to ensure that fire safety and the equipment necessary to enforce that or bring that to a community is put in place,” Rickford told the Ontario Legislature on Tuesday.

NDP MPP Guy Bourgouin says it doesn’t help if fire fighting equipment is not in the community.

“We have a sitting fire truck in Winnipeg!  And we say we talk to the federal (government), we I think we have a responsibility as a province that we make sure we protect First Nation communities.”

Bourogouin’s comments come after a 10 year old girl was killed in a house fire on the Weenusk First Nation last month.

In the cases of Shoal Lake #40 and Weenusk, fire trucks were unavailable to fight the fires because they were waiting to be repaired or not in the community.



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