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2014-05-11 at 17:40

600 evacuees arriving

Evacuees from the Kashechewan First Nation prepare to board a bus after arriving in the city on Sunday. Officials expect to host 600 evacuees by the end of the weekend.
Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com
Evacuees from the Kashechewan First Nation prepare to board a bus after arriving in the city on Sunday. Officials expect to host 600 evacuees by the end of the weekend.
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By Matt Vis, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- Residents from the flood threatened Kashechewan First Nation continue to arrive in the city.

The James Bay area community has been working to temporarily relocate Stage 1 evacuees since a state of emergency was declared on Saturday due to the threat of flooding from the Albany River.

Thunder Bay Fire Rescue chief John Hay says the waters are still posing an imminent risk, leading to 13 flights scheduled throughout Sunday to bring the number of evacuees hosted in the city to 600.

“What we’re hearing from Kashechewan the water is still rising and they still need to come out. The (Ministry of Natural Resources) and the province are settling that right now and getting them on flights to Thunder Bay,” Hay said.

The flights were landing at the Thunder Bay International Airport beginning at 11:30 a.m. until the final scheduled flight at 10:45 p.m.

He added about 140 evacuees arrived in the city on Saturday evening via three flights.

Stage 1 evacuees include the elderly, children and those with medical conditions.

Community leaders contacted the province and asked for the entire community to be evacuated. Along with Thunder Bay, some residents have been evacuated to Greenstone.

Hay said Thunder Bay is equipped for the 600 evacuees coming in this weekend.

“We wouldn’t have said we would take them in unless we had places to put them,” Hay said.

The Canadian Red Cross is providing assistance to those displaced from the community, with volunteers registering evacuees and meeting personal needs.

The community previously declared a state of emergency on Thursday before it was called off the following day due to apparent receding of the Albany River. The state of emergency was reinstated Saturday, when the threat re-escalated.

Thunder Bay hosted evacuees from Kashechewan last year due to similar flooding events.


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Comments

We've improved our comment system.
Theangryone says:
Why live in low lying area? Move to the higher ground a bit away. And who pays for these yearly evacuations?
5/11/2014 7:34:12 PM
Hopper says:
You can sit and post here burnout other to look for the answers on your own? Or just want to remain ignorant of prett we'll known facts?

The reservation communities were forced to move there I. The 50s. In years since the Albany River has started flooding; studies show this correlates with what we know about climate change and the water levels of James Bay rising. For years in the 90s the community has begun having problems with flooding issues and this affecting the water table. They had ecoli in their drinking water and the community started to experience a host of social issues and problems, including a suicide crisis among young people...the community made agreements, after voting to move the community, with the liberal government. They voted to move the community near Timmins...In 2007 after Harper's gov started sitting in Ottawa the conservatives backed out ft he deal the residents made. Pcs chose to stave the $500 mil relocation. Disgusting. Not what he residents wanted.
5/12/2014 6:28:31 AM
westfort resident says:
The federal government rejected a proposal years ago to move the community to higher ground claiming it would cost $300,000 per person to relocate them all. The community voted down a proposal from the feds to move them to Timmins permanently. Each of us who pays taxes foots the bill for these evacuations.

Ottawa nixes relocation for flood-prone Kashechewan:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ottawa-nixes-relocation-for-flood-prone-kashechewan-1.651970

Kashechewan rejects Timmins move
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/kashechewan-rejects-timmins-move-survey-1.679662
5/12/2014 7:10:24 AM
unheard says:
Why live there? Maybe because the government designated that as their home. Who is paying? Assume they pay with all the money the Canadian Government owes them.
Why are you so ignorant ?
5/12/2014 7:36:38 AM
TBDR says:
Why? Because they were pushed off their original land by settlers and forced to move there as part of the treaty... that's why.
5/13/2014 10:32:55 AM
jonthunder says:
If communities like Kashechewan should move from flood prone areas; perhaps, the same would hold true for those living in low lying flood prone areas in and around Thunder Bay - they too cost money to help every flooding incident. What is good for the goose is good for the gander; unless one is biased.
5/12/2014 10:16:45 AM
westfort resident says:
Economics 101 - Thunder Bay home and business owners pay taxes, contribute to economies, provide educational and employment opportunities, health care, social services, etc. There is no comparison between a municipality of +100,000 with an economic tax base to a community of approx 1,700 with 87% unemployment rate. The only logical solution is to relocate the entire community off reserve such as Timmins.
5/12/2014 12:56:05 PM
Duncan Debunker says:
Ok so I don't actually have anything to add in relation to this article (so feel free not to post). I just wanted to applaud the tbnewswatch team and in particular Leith for expanding the forums of communication on this site.

It is possible to allow comments on almost all articles (with exceptions of course) while at the same time maintaining integrity by dismissing the hurtful, racist, or just plain ignorant views some feel compelled to express.

This creates the presentation of an unbiased forum where residents can express themselves in a manner that promotes healthy discussion.
So, thank you...
5/12/2014 11:19:47 AM
Murphy says:
Why weren't all the people effected by the 2012 floods put in hotels rather then church's and halls? Why weren't all the people who had their water frozen this winter for months moved to hotels? Yet we can foot the bill to host 600 people??
5/12/2014 1:00:28 PM
tsb says:
Evacuations from First Nations are paid for by the federal ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, which has a multi-billion dollar budget and seemingly no oversight. It has no problem with spending $300,000 a year on bottled water for Martin Falls, or putting evacuees up in high-end hotels instead of arenas. The city of Thunder Bay, on the other hand, has a more limited budget and a considerable amount of oversight. We simply don't have access to the resources that AANDC does.

It isn't First Nations leadership that decides to put evacuees into hotels, it is the federal government that makes that decision.
5/12/2014 5:39:55 PM
opinions2014 says:
Ignorance is I have to say.
5/12/2014 1:46:57 PM
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