Ontario has requested for the army to be despatched to Bearskin Lake First Nation to assist the northern neighborhood with its quickly rising COVID-19 outbreak.
The formal request comes 5 days after Chief Lefty Kamenawatamin publicly requested Ottawa for army help. Stress on the federal authorities has been rising all through the week, as case counts have risen and employees have turn out to be overwhelmed, regardless of help from different close by First Nations.
At the least 200 folks in Bearskin Lake — a neighborhood of roughly 400, some 600 kilometres north from Thunder Bay — have examined optimistic for the virus within the final 10 days. Greater than half of the neighborhood is in quarantine.
“Bearskin Lake First Nation has fewer than 20 employees members attempting to help a whole lot of neighborhood members who’re unable to depart their houses to acquire requirements, together with firewood for heating, meals, and drugs,” mentioned Ontario Solicitor Common Slyvia Jones in a letter to Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino.
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The letter asks for the help to start instantly and proceed 14 days from the date of deployment, with an possibility to increase by as much as two weeks, or till the outbreak is manageable with native sources.
The letter additionally makes observe of the rising variety of COVID-19 instances in First Nations throughout Ontario, together with outbreaks in Ginoogaming, Aroland and Attawapiskat.
“The [provincial emergency operations centre] can be conscious of extra First Nation communities in Ontario which might be experiencing related COVID-19 associated emergencies who might also be in future want of federal help for related duties,” mentioned the letter.
The federal authorities has not but publicly responded.