Cat Lake First Nation has declared a state of emergency after independent companies found mould – or traces of mould – in all 128 homes and deemed 87 homes uninhabitable.
The MP for Timmins-James Bay area, Charlie Angus, visited Cat Lake on Tuesday with the investigators. He says he is “shaken up” by the state of these homes and that no one should be living in those conditions.
A Cat Lake Councillor, Derek Spence says there are regular medical evacuations from the community due to the exposure to mould. Last week, an 11-year-old boy was evacuated to a hospital in London, Ont., due to a severe skin problem, reports CBC.
Last year Indigenous Services Canada provided funding for housing inspections and a seven-unit housing complex in Cat Lake, that still remains unbuilt.
As always, the root of the problems for most indigenous communities is funding.
Indigenous Service Minister, Seamus O’Regan, says the government is accelerating short-term repairs, while working on a long-term plan for housing.
O’Regan says senior department officials are meeting with community leaders today to discuss the crisis.