Lise Vaugeois MPP, Thunder Bay–Superior North

Government of Ontario

NDP urge Ford to do more to ensure Indigenous community safety

Published on February 21, 2023

QUEEN’S PARK – Ontario NDP MPP Guy Bourgouin (Mushkegowuk—James Bay) called on the Ford government to provide critical fire safety services to remote Indigenous communities across the province’s north, following a devastating fire in Peawanuck that claimed the life of a 10-year-old girl.

The community does not have access to fire services or even basic firefighting equipment. They purchased a fire truck a number of years ago but it is stuck in Winnipeg as Weenusk requires more resources at their disposal to build a proper fire hall.

“I send my sincerest condolences to the family and the community affected by these events. Words seem inadequate to express the sadness over the passing of this 10-year-old child,” Bourgouin said.

“We all know this could have been prevented,” Bourgouin told the Premier. “For years, the Ford government has done nothing to bring urgently needed fire protection to this community to save lives and provide relief. How is it possible that there are communities that don’t have the basic necessities to ensure fire protection in Ontario?”

Bourgouin said that remote Northern communities are fed up and tired of being ignored.

“I am calling on the Ford government to do more to improve the living conditions of Indigenous people living in remote areas,” he said. “The province has a role and responsibility to ensure our communities thrive and receive fundamental services. Now more than ever, we need a long-term plan for adequate emergency services in this community. The government must listen to the public and meet the demands of all families across this province."