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City to host 300 Kashechewan evacuees

By Adam Riley May 4, 2023 | 1:18 PM

Two First Nations are evacuating residents once again due to flooding on the Albany River near James Bay.

Both Kashechewan and Fort Albany are affected.

The City of Thunder Bay says it will be accepting 300 evacuees from Kashechewan.

Some of the agencies providing support are Emergency Management Ontario, Ontario Health North, Fort William First Nation and the Red Cross.

Those supports are welcome news to Mayor Ken Boshcoff.

““I am grateful to the many people who plan and deliver the supports and services to provide the residents of Kashechewan a home away from home.”

The City says it will be working closely with EMO and will monitor the situation while planning continues.

A full cost recovery agreement is in place between Indigenous Services Canada and the City of Thunder Bay

Meanwhile the Nishnawbe Aski Nation says lack of action by the federal government has forced Fort Albany to evacuate the entire community.

Chief Elizabeth Kataquapit says the dikes which protect the community have failed twice over the years and it would be catastrophic should the community be submerged.

“If flooding occurs, all of our essential services and critical infrastructure including power, telecommunications, and safe drinking water will be disrupted. We will also lose our lifelines to the hospital and airport as roads wash out.”

A State of Emergency was declared on April 28th with evacuees being airlifted to Kapuskasing and Niagara Falls.

Additionally NAN Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum says they are requesting both the provincial and federal governments to step up and assist in ensuring the safety of those residents.

“We are alarmed to learn that some evacuees fled their initial host community over safety concerns, and that necessary supports are not fully in place. Evacuations are traumatic experiences, and we ask these host communities to welcome them with friendship and compassion.”





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