July 28, 2020
Honourable Rochelle Squires
Minister of Municipal Relations
Room 317 Legislative Building
Winnipeg, MB R3C 0V8
Re: Lack of health services and the need for a state of emergency for Leaf Rapids
Dear Minister Squires,
I am writing to you today to express the need for a state of emergency for the community of Leaf Rapids. Residents are no longer able to access any health care services due to the closure of the community’s only health clinic until August 10, 2020.
There are hundreds of people living in Leaf Rapids, including elderly people along with others who live with multiple health issues. On top of this, we can see the number of COVID-19 cases are rising in the Province of Manitoba. It is unacceptable that the Northern Health Region has decided to close the health clinic rather than finding staff to keep it running to provide critical health services that may mean the difference between life and death in an emergency.
You may be aware that the road leading into Leaf Rapids is in extremely poor condition. This will impact the ability of residents to travel to Thompson or Lynn Lake for treatment in an emergency. There is only one ambulance available to serve the entire community of around 500 residents.
I am requesting that the Province of Manitoba, on behalf of Leaf Rapids, call for a state of emergency for this Northern Manitoba community.
I look forward to hearing back from you on this urgent matter. Please contact my Assistant Clyde Flett by phone at 204-390-2702 or by email at [email protected].
Grand Chief Garrison Settee
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc.
cc: MKO First Nations
Minister Eileen Clarke, Indigenous and Northern Relations