Campbell demands Liberals stop delaying and respond to deaths of First Nations people in Thunder Bay


QUEEN’S PARK — Kenora-Rainy River NDP MPP Sarah Campbell asked the Liberal government Thursday to explain why it still has not acted on recommendations the coroner made a year ago following the unexplained deaths of young First Nations people in Thunder Bay.

 Since the inquest, three more people have been found dead along the rivers that run through the city. 

 “Josiah Begg, 14 years old, found dead in the McIntyre River on May 18. Tammy Keeash, 17 years old, found dead in the McIntyre River less than two weeks earlier. Stacy DeBungee, 41, found dead in the river in 2015. Three more deaths to add to the seven unexplained deaths of young indigenous people in the river in the last decade.” said Campbell. “A year ago, a coroner’s inquest made a list of recommendations — including for this Liberal government. What has been done?”

 Campbell said the youth were in Thunder Bay to pursue education and health care not available in their home communities. 

 The jury in the coroner’s inquest recommended that all levels of government, including the Wynne Liberals, acknowledge that: “without improvement of the conditions in First Nations reserve communities, a gap in education outcomes between indigenous and non-indigenous students will remain. And where jurisdictional divisions between governments threaten to delay services, such as a quality of on-reserve education or funding for First Nations children, the government of first contact should provide the services or funding without delay.”

 Campbell pressed the issue in question period: “I ask again; without excuses, without passing the buck, what has this government done to act on the recommendations?"