Health emergency in Cat Lake First Nation
CTV Northern Ontario
Published Thursday, February 7, 2019 2:40PM EST
Last Updated Friday, February 8, 2019 9:15AM EST
Northern Ontario MP and Indigenous rights advocate, Charlie Angus, says he is shaken after visiting a remote First Nation enveloped by what he calls a health emergency.
The community in question is Cat Lake First Nation, located 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay.
Angus and his staff took photographs showing how toxic black mould has damaged homes there.
87 of the 128 homes in the community have been deemed uninhabitable.
Many children and elders have been diagnosed with skin and respiratory conditions.
“We were given masks to wear to go into homes because they said ‘you’ll start to get sick after about the second or third home you’re in,’ and these were homes with little children playing in them. And certainly, we could feel the mould in our throats. We were coughing by the end of the first home we went into.” said Angus.
The Timmins-James Bay MP challenges Seamus O’Regan, the Minister of Indigenous Services, to visit the community in person to see the devastating circumstances.
“My message to Seamus O’Regan, you know, you’ve got the limo, you’ve got the title ‘honourable,’ you’ve got the staff, you’ve got to fly into Cat Lake and see it for yourself.” said Angus.
He also says two children he met with have been medically-evacuated from Cat Lake in the last week.