NDP Leader demands Trudeau do more to help Nunavut contain COVID-19 outbreak

“Nunavut urgently needs federal help,” Singh says

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh is calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to do more to help Nunavut with containing its COVID-19 outbreak. (Screen shot)

By Mélanie Ritchot

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is calling on the federal government to send more tests and personal protective equipment to Nunavut to help stop the territory’s COVID-19 outbreak.

Singh made the demands in a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and in Parliament Wednesday.

He said he was speaking on behalf of  Nunavut MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq, a New Democrat, who has been on an eight-week health leave since late October.

In the letter to Trudeau, Singh said that while Nunavut is going through one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in Canada — by population — the territory is also experiencing a housing crisis, increasing the risk of infection for Nunavummiut.

Nunavut’s Health Department said Thursday there are 150 active cases throughout the territory, which has a population of approximately 39,000 people. Five people have recovered since the territory’s first case was confirmed Nov. 6. No deaths have been reported in Nunvaut.

“Close proximity, unstable living conditions, and improper infrastructure, will only exacerbate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nunavut,” wrote Singh.

He drew on Arviat as an example of a community at risk, with the highest case rate in Nunavut and a large population of children.

“Many children, and in particular, Inuit children, live in overcrowded homes where the spread of COVID-19 could not be easily contained.”

The housing crisis in Nunavut has been on the NDP’s radar for some time, with Qaqqaq recently finishing a housing tour and promising a report on the “inhumane” housing conditions Oct. 2, before going on leave on Oct. 23.

Singh’s two main requests were that the Government of Canada immediately increase Nunavut’s testing capacity to trace every positive case of COVID-19 and that the government send masks to the Government of Nunavut to be distributed to people across territory who now need to wear them in public spaces.

In the House of Commons, Singh made a similar statement, calling on Trudeau to commit to doing “everything within his power to help protect the people of Nunavut.”

Trudeau, however, said the federal government has ensured northern communities have the resources they need from the beginning of the pandemic, including 3,792 rapid tests, 771,000 items of personal protective equipment and $143 million in federal funding.

Yesterday the federal government announced $19.36 million more in funding to support the GN’s COVID-19 response.

“I’m in regular communication with the Nunavut government, I spoke to the premier last week and we’re continuing to assist the government any way necessary,” said Trudeau.

Jagmeet Singh Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau Support for Nunavut During COVID 19 Outbreak 20201125 En by NunatsiaqNews on Scribd

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(13) Comments:

  1. Posted by Soap Box Hero on

    Not a Liberal voter here (in fact I voted NDP), but it seems unfair to suggest the Trudeau government hasn’t done a good job of supporting us through this.

  2. Posted by Derek on

    Where is Nunavut’s MP? I know she is on medical leave, but we haven’t heard a single peep out of her. To me, that is not representing Nunavut people. We all knew sooner or later Nunavut was gunna get hit hard and hit hard it did. I am putting all elected officials on notice, invest more into social housing and infrastructure in Nunavut.

  3. Posted by Covid 19 nunavut on

    As a resident in the epic center of the pendimic, I feel, left out after almost 2 weeks since this disease arrived.

    We are told to isolate with 5 to 12 people, living in the same household and the cleaning supplies are just being given by the local municipal today.

    Why wasn’t there any planned, organized place like a gymnasium set to house the positive cases so that the other 12 people will have a ease night of sleep..

    • Posted by Pork Pie on

      This is a great question, right here.
      “Why wasn’t there any planned, organized place like a gymnasium set to house the positive cases so that the other 12 people will have a ease night of sleep..”
      I would also add, to slow the spread of the virus, but yes… this

  4. Posted by Tom on

    I don’t think I’m the only one thinking about our MP, we do not hear much of what she is doing, before our MP started her tour of Nunavut it was like we didn’t have a MP, again now it feels like we do not have a MP. Ever since the pandemic started we never heard much from our MP.
    I know our MP does not have much experience but she should get more support to show her how to communicate with her constituents, not all of us have Facebook or Twitter so we really don’t hear anything from our MP.
    Can she get more support to help her to be a politician? We need a MP for Nunavut.

    • Posted by Tweet Tweet on

      You need to be plugged into twitter and tuned into the cosmic struggle for social justice that is waged by earning ‘twitter likes’ to really understand where our MP has been.

      • Posted by Tom on

        I’d like to understand where our MP is but no thank you for Twitter or Facebook, I tried Facebook but it is really antisocial when it is supposed to be social.

        • Posted by Hacked Attention on

          Yes, exactly. There is an emerging discourse that looks at the toxic effects of social media on things like civility and mental health. Some commentators have likened it to a giant social experiment which, as a civilization, we are participating in oblivious to its unintended effects and consequences. At the core of the problem is that social media is designed to hack our attention; if you have a smart phone you will probably know how effective this actually is. In my workplace I see zombies staring into their screens all day; in their offices, in the lunch room, wherever they are their minds are totally hacked.

  5. Posted by okay on

    Nunavut Strong! As usual, the politicians and the bureaucrats have failed Nunavut again. The strongest people in the world are Inuit, and they should start getting the credit. It is so disappointing that the politicians and bureaucrats did not prepare for covid in the communities after all these months. After this, I hope the people of Nunavut will be treated like any other Canadian and not like children.

  6. Posted by Responsibility Please on

    Why are we blaming our MP and other Govt. people about the state of housing and other
    issues in Nunavut ?
    It is not them who are wrecking houses and not paying rent, and having to many children
    who they can’t support.
    Canada sends up houses, and people wreck them in a short time.
    It is non-responsible people doing it to themselves.

    • Posted by Terry on

      I’d suggest you do a bit more research into housing instead of your angry rant.

  7. Posted by Correy on

    TERRY, I work for housing for 5 years.
    I suggest you do Housing research. Sorry if statement of truth is angry to you.

    • Posted by Terry on

      Wow 5 years! At what capacity? I guess that makes you a expert now 😅

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