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Feds promise to do all they can for Bearskin Lake in Ontario, but no word on military help

Click to play video: '‘I don’t know if we can last any longer’: COVID-19 hits nearly half of Bearskin Lake First Nation' ‘I don’t know if we can last any longer’: COVID-19 hits nearly half of Bearskin Lake First Nation
WATCH: The remote Bearskin Lake Reserve First Nation in Ontario is pleading for help as COVID-19 rages through the community, infecting nearly half of its residents. David Akin explains how people are coping, how desperation is growing, and what the federal government is promising – Jan 7, 2022

OTTAWA — Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc says the government will do whatever it can to support Indigenous communities, such as Bearskin Lake, facing COVID-19 crises.

At a news conference today, LeBlanc says fellow ministers are in frequent contact with their provincial counterparts to co-ordinate aid.

Bearskin Lake, a First Nation in northern Ontario, has declared an emergency after COVID-19 infected nearly half of its 400 residents.

The scale of the outbreak has meant that a large proportion of the community is isolating and there are not enough people to deliver essential services, including the distribution of food, water and wood to households.

Read more: Bearskin Lake First Nation waiting for military help after COVID outbreak

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says Patty Hajdu, minister for Indigenous services, is in daily contact with leaders of Indigenous communities to make sure they have enough rapid tests, tracing support and vaccines.

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Duclos did not comment on whether military aid would be sent to Bearskin Lake.

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