Gilles Bisson is keeping the pressure on the government when it comes to Attawapiskat. The representative for Timmins-James Bay is asking the Wynne Liberals to change the way health services are delivered to First Nation communities along the James Bay coast. He says that way, there will be an Aboriginal organization funded by the Ministry of Health. It will follow regulations, but will be designed in a way to be respectful of the Mushkegowuk-Cree people, giving them more control.
Bisson says the system that is designed by Queen’s Park and the Ministry of Health, and led by the LHIN out of Sudbury, isn’t responding to the needs of the community. So, he says it comes down to changing the way health services are delivered. Not just for Attawapiskat, but for the entire James Bay coast.
Provincial Health Minister Eric Hoskins says this is something the government is looking into. He says they are working on a separate process in partnership with First Nations across the province. They are working on a governance model with an approach that respects the community, meets their needs, and is culturally appropriate. Hoskins also points out there is a strong federal component to helping the James Bay communities. He says all levels of government need to focus on providing better healthcare.
So far, the province is putting $2 million worth of healthcare services into Attawapiskat.