OTTAWA – Indigenous Services Minister Seamus O’Regan is facing calls from the federal NDP to visit the northern Ontario community of Attawapiskat First Nation.
Earlier this month, the community declared a state of emergency over concerns about chemical levels in tap water.
NDP MP Charlie Angus, who represents the federal riding encompassing the reserve, is meeting with the community today and says O’Regan needs to see the impacts of the issue first-hand, including that community members are worried about being able to safety bathe their children.
Attawapiskat has drawn national attention for its 2012 housing crisis and it has also faced issues with youth suicide.
Former chief Theresa Spence, who launched a high-profile protest over the housing situation, has also started a hunger strike over water concerns.
O’Regan’s office says that addressing the water issue in full partnership with the First Nation is a top priority, adding it knows recent test results have raised concerns.