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Hundreds of evacuations in Northwestern Ontario First Nation over water crisis

Last Updated Oct 21, 2020 at 1:54 pm EST

The chief of a northwestern Ontario First Nation says hundreds of people are being evacuated due to a water crisis.

Chief Christopher Moonias says an oily sheen was discovered in the community’s water reservoir earlier this week.

He says the community has identified 175 vulnerable residents who need to leave, out of an on-reserve population of about 460. 

However, he says many others have requested evacuation or left on their own because of the situation.

Moonias notes that the community has also been under a boil-water advisory for more than 25 years, and accuses the provincial and federal governments of “dragging their feet on our crisis.”

Neither the provincial Ministry of Indigenous Affairs nor Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada immediately provided an official response.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 21, 2020.

The Canadian Press