Neighbouring reserve to Attawapiskat declares fuel, housing emergency

The Canadian Press
Associated Press

OTTAWA - Exactly a year after the Attawapiskat housing crisis shocked the country, the reserve next door has only narrowly averted a similar crisis.

Kashechewan First Nation near James Bay in northern Ontario declared a state of emergency last week because it was running out of fuel and because 21 houses were not fit to face winter.

The federal government stepped in with help, just in the nick of time — freeing up funding and supplies to keep the lights on.

But the regional deputy grand chief, Alvin Fiddler, says fuel shortages are becoming more common among remote communities this winter.

And the area's NDP MP, Charlie Angus, is upset that First Nations have to reach the brink of disaster to catch Ottawa's attention.