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November 2, 2020
Re: Request for emergency meeting to address uncontrolled outbreak of COVID-19 at the Keeyask construction project
Dear Premier Pallister,
I am writing to request an immediate meeting with yourself and your Ministers to have a discussion on the emerging, uncontrolled epidemic that is unfolding at the Keeyask Hydropower project. Our understanding is at the time of writing this letter, there are believed to be 31 active COVID-19 cases at Keeyask.
MKO has been working directly with Dr. Michael Isaac, Regional Medical Health Officer for the Northern Health Region along with Dr. Brent Roussin to express our concerns on how Manitoba Hydro is managing the outbreak. Our position is that the situation is not under control and immediate public health measures are required.
Our First Nations leadership have been in direct communication with our workers who are at the Keeyask site. We have first-hand information that Manitoba Hydro is not communicating on the seriousness of the current situation to its workers in a transparent and clear manner.
I am requesting to meet with you and the four First Nation Chiefs who are partners in the Keeyask construction project as soon as possible to discuss our concerns. Please have your office contact my Chief of Staff, Brennan Manoakeesick, by phone at 204-795-0449 or by email at [email protected] to confirm a meeting time and date.
Grand Chief Garrison Settee
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc.
cc: Chief Doreen Spence, Tataskweyak Cree Nation
Chief Leroy Constant, York Factory First Nation
Chief Morris Beardy, Fox Lake First Nation
Chief Betsy Kennedy, War Lake First Nation
Dr. Brent Roussin, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer
Dr. Barry Lavallee, CEO, Keewatinohk Inniniw Minoayawin
Dr. Michael Isaac, Northern Regional Health Authority
The Honourable Eileen Clarke, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Relations, Manitoba
The Honourable Cameron Friesen, Minister of Health, Manitoba
Ms. Jay Grewal, CEO, Manitoba Hydro