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Chief says Neskantaga First Nation to fully evacuate amid tainted water results

Click to play video 'Ottawa faces outrage over Neskantaga First Nation’s water crisis' Ottawa faces outrage over Neskantaga First Nation’s water crisis
WATCH ABOVE: Ottawa faces outrage over Neskantaga First Nation's water crisis – Oct 23, 2020

The chief of a First Nation in a remote part of northwestern Ontario says he’s moving to a full evacuation after test results showed high levels of hydrocarbons in the water supply.

Read more: Trudeau won’t commit to ending boil-water advisories on First Nations by 2021

Chief Chris Moonias says in a social media post that he’s asking the provincial and federal governments to support the decision to clear out Neskantaga First Nation.

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Roughly 230 people — most of whom were deemed vulnerable — were evacuated from the community earlier in the week after an “oily sheen” was discovered in the water reservoir, prompting officials to turn off the pipes.

They’re staying in Thunder Bay, Ont., roughly 430 kilometres from home.

Click to play video 'Neskantaga Chief describes emotional toll of water crisis on community members' Neskantaga Chief describes emotional toll of water crisis on community members
Neskantaga Chief describes emotional toll of water crisis on community members – Oct 22, 2020

Indigenous Services Canada has said it would foot the bill for the partial evacuation, but representatives for Minister Marc Miller did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday on the proposal to move more people out of the community.

Read more: Over 200 evacuated from Neskantaga First Nation as chief calls for permanent fix to end water crisis

Neskantaga has Canada’s longest-running boil water advisory, which has been in place for 25 years.

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