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First Nations leaders call on PM to meet with them about health care

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First Nations leaders are urging the Prime Minister to meet with them directly to discuss health care funding.

“Under the treaty that we have with the Crown, both Canada and Ontario, these health transfers need to go directly to the communities as opposed to these transfers going to the provinces," said Chief Gaius Wesley of Kashechewan First Nation.

Wesley and Grand Chief Alison Linklater of Mushkegowuk Council said health services in their communities have been suffering long before the nation's health care system became strained due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s been too long that we’ve just been accepting status quo and no more," said Linklater.

"And we would like to have a nation-to-nation meeting with the federal government to ensure that we First Nations people can have equitable health care.”

"We talk about long wait times in ER -- we have communities where we don’t even have proper health services, we have what they call the Tylenol clinics," said Charlie Angus, MP for Timmins-James Bay.

"So if you have meningitis they give you Tylenol. Elders with cancer, Tylenol. That is the reality and people die."

Linklater and Wesley hope the prime minister hears them and meets with them. If not, they said they'll continue to fight to ensure their people receive quality health care in their home communities. 

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