OTTAWA – New Democrat MP Charlie Angus says the crisis in Attawapiskat First Nation is a stark example of why Ottawa needs to better co-ordinate help efforts by all levels of government.
Angus says he is deeply disappointed that the government claimed last week there was a permanent mental health worker in Attawapiskat when in fact that resource isn’t available to young people under 18.
Health Minister Jane Philpott says Ottawa is working with Ontario and First Nations leaders to ensure the community’s immediate and needs are met in the short and long-term.
Angus cancelled a trip to the United Nations this week in order to return to Attawapiskat, which is part of his remote northern Ontario riding.
The remote James Bay community declared a state of emergency last month amid a rash of suicide attempts by young people — a story that garnered headlines around the world.
Meantime, the federal government is facing a deadline today from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to demonstrate it is taking steps to ensure First Nations children have better access to health and welfare services.