NDP Calls On Pm To Provide Support To Attawapiskat

New Democrat Leader Nycole Turmel wrote to Prime Minister Stephen Harper today, asking his government to provide immediate help to the community in Attawapiskat.  

In the letter, Turmel reminded the Prime Minister that “this is a moment when we can come together as Parliamentarians and respond to the tragic situation” and appealed to the government to urgently provide appropriate federal resources, as requested by the community.

In Question Period, Charlie Angus called on the Conservatives to work with the NDP and get relief up the coast quickly. "It is getting cold and we need to get supplies moving. The use of military aircraft would expedite the process since other transportation avenues are limited to non-existant."


December 7, 2011

The Right Honourable Stephen Harper 

Prime Minister of Canada 

House of Commons 

Ottawa, Ontario K1A OA6 

Re: Attawapiskat State of Emergency

Dear Prime Minister Harper,

It has been almost a month since the Attawapiskat First Nation took the extraordinary step of asking the federal government to recognize a state of emergency in their community.

I have seen first-hand how hundreds of families are living in garden sheds and tents, with no running water or electricity. These families are worried about surviving the cold winter that has already come to Attawapiskat.

I have met with the residents of Attawapiskat, and they are asking that appropriate federal resources be dedicated to alleviating this crisis. There is no time to waste.

Last week, the federal government put the community under third-party management, and assumed full responsibility for solving the crisis. As of this week, however, there are still families living in completely inadequate conditions.

Moving supplies into this community to alleviate the housing crisis will require an extraordinary level of co-ordination. Given the extreme weather conditions and the fact that the winter road will not be ready for nearly two months, the community is seeking coordinated logistical help. For this reason, they have asked me to convey that they are asking for military support to help in the response.

Our military has played an incredible role at times of other humanitarian crises in Canada. I am sure that you will agree that the conditions facing people in Attawapiskat are dire and likely to get worse as the winter sets in. Therefore I am asking you today to act immediately and target resources, including military resources as requested by the community, towards building adequate housing in Attawapiskat. You will have the full support of the New Democratic Party in this effort.