CHILDREN LIVING IN TENTS ON JAMES BAY COAST: Action Needed on State of Emergency

A state of emergency has been declared by communities facing a desperate housing crisis on the isolatedJames Bay coast. With a hard winter approaching there are many families living in tents and wooden sheds. The New Democratic Party says the federal and provincial government must respond to the housing crisis in Attawapiskat, Kashechewan andFortAlbany. 

Charlie Angus says the housing crisis is putting children and seniors at risk. “It is unconscionable that little children are being forced to sleep in tents in sub-Arctic conditions. The federal government has turned its back on the growing housing crisis among the northern First Nation territories. What steps will the government take to respond to this state of emergency?” 

MPP Gilles Bisson says the situation must be seen to be believed. “We are witnessing the complete abandonment of these Ontario citizens by both the Harper and McGuinty governments. These conditions are horrific. These citizens are facing Third World conditions with winter approaching.” 

In Attawapiskat, a community with some 3,000 members, there are only 300 houses – many of them substandard. Kashechewan with 1900 members has only 280 houses. Fort Albany with 1,000 members has only 150 houses. Families are living in trailers, tents and sheds. Some two-bedroom houses are home to more than 20 people.  

Angus and Bisson will be traveling to the James Bay region on November 8th to meet families and leaders affected by this housing disaster.