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Northern Ontario First Nations declare state of emergency over winter roads

An organization representing First Nations across northern Ontario says it is declaring a state of emergency because warmer weather has left some winter roads that its communities rely on for essential goods unpassable. (The Canadian Press) An organization representing First Nations across northern Ontario says it is declaring a state of emergency because warmer weather has left some winter roads that its communities rely on for essential goods unpassable. (The Canadian Press)
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An organization representing First Nations across northern Ontario says it is declaring a state of emergency because warmer weather has left some winter roads that its communities rely on for essential goods unpassable.

Leaders of the 49-member Nishnawbe Aski Nation, who met this week in Thunder Bay, Ont., are calling on the federal and provincial governments to take action to ensure critical supplies can be delivered.

They say that 30 of the organization's remote communities depend on the winter road season to receive essentials including fuel, equipment, non-perishable goods, as well as construction materials to build housing and infrastructure.

A statement from the organization lays blame for the state of the roads on winter temperatures that are "significantly" warmer than normal.

The organization's "Winter Roads State of Emergency" declaration comes days after chiefs from four northern Manitoba First Nations decried the state of the winter road network they depend on for essential goods.

The Manitoba chiefs, who also declared a statement of emergency over the failing winter road network, have urged the Manitoba and federal governments to expand the all-season road network.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 8, 2024.

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