Ref. # 2-3588
Ottawa, Ontario (December 11, 2011) – The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, issued the following statement today regarding the delivery of additional supplies to residents in Attawapiskat:
"Our Government is working to ensure the people of Attawapiskat have access to safe and warm shelter for the coming months.
As a result of the direct and ongoing cooperation between our Government, Emergency Management Ontario, the Canadian Red Cross and the community, I can confirm today that high efficiency wood stoves, composting toilets, plastic sheeting and other supplies have been delivered yesterday to the community by air.
These urgent supplies come as we move towards the delivery of modular homes in the winter months. Our government has purchased a total of 22 modular units for the community, including seven additional units requested by residents.
Chief Spence also accepted our Government's proposed retrofit of the community Healing Lodge. Efforts are underway for the necessary retrofit of the facility to provide temporary, warm shelter for residents until permanent housing arrives.
I am pleased that Chief Spence has acknowledged the necessity of working with our Government, the third party management team, and Emergency Management Ontario to get help to the residents of Attawapiskat.
I urge Chief Spence to recognize that greater cooperation between the band council and the management team is necessary to ensure long-term solutions. The management team's work is expected to make more of the Band's money available for housing, education and health.
Ultimately, everyone's goal is warm, dry housing for residents that need it most.”
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