TORONTO — First Nations leaders are calling on the provincial government to help press Ottawa to relocate the community of Kashechewan as it deals with annual flooding.
Kashechewan First Nation has been evacuated, as its more than 2,500 members have been flown to other locations across the province.
The northern Ontario community first flooded in 1976 and has been evacuated annually for the past several years while its members wait for the federal government to fulfil its promises to move them to a permanent new location.
As other communities in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick are dealing with spring flooding — some with help from military members — the Nishnawbe Aski Nation deputy grand chief says he believes Kashechewan would have seen action much sooner if it were a non-First Nation community.
Ontario Indigenous Affairs Minister Greg Rickford says the province stands with Kashechewan in its call to the federal government for relocation.
A spokesman for federal Indigenous Services Minister Seamus O’Regan did not immediately provide a comment, but O’Regan has said Ottawa remains steadfast in its commitment to relocate Kashechewan.