Timmins-James Bay MPP Gilles Bisson is asking the province for help when it comes to Attawapiskat. Bisson says this is not the first time there has been a rash of suicides on the James Bay coast, and he is looking for a long-term commitment from the province for the remote First Nation community.
He says when you have 11 people try to take their life in one day because of the situation in the community, people need to know there is a response from all levels of government. That spike in suicide attempts, which range from ages 11 to 71, prompted a state of emergency in the fly-in community. Bisson says the government is responsible for social services in the communities, for things like child and youth services and the hospital.
Bisson says a multi-faceted response is needed to tackle the very complex issue. But, he says the people of James Bay and Attawapiskat want to know that there is a long-term commitment to what he calls a huge problem.
Premier Kathleen Wynne says the province is sending services up immediately. Both the Health Minister and the Child and Youth Minister are flying to the First Nation community to ensure the help is enough, and is going to the right places. She says it’s about long-term, sustained support, which they are working to put in place across the province. Wynne says they are also working with the federal government to get resources up to the James Bay coast.