The City of Thunder Bay has been asked by the Province to serve as a host community as early as Saturday for residents of Kashechewan First Nation, where the Chief has declared a state of emergency due to the potential for flooding.
“We have a long history of stepping up to help our neighbours from the north,” said Mayor Keith Hobbs. “We are looking forward to welcoming our guests and assisting them in their time of need.”
The City’s response is a coordinated effort in partnership with the Canadian Red Cross, Department of Indigenous Services Canada, Local Health Integration Network, and the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management Ontario (OFMEM). The City’s Emergency Operations Control Group met late yesterday afternoon and confirmed support of the request to host and start preparations.
“The evacuation of Kashechewan is scheduled to begin this morning with the first flights going to Kapuskasing,” said Mark Smith, General Manager – Development and Emergency Services. “Once Kapuskasing is full, the plan is to continue the evacuation with people going to Timmins then Thunder Bay will tentatively be receiving our guests on Saturday at the earliest.”
He added that this could change depending on weather and flight availability.
Working closely with OFMEM representatives, the City will continue to monitor the situation and planning is ongoing. A full cost recovery agreement is in place between Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and the City.
Kashechewan is a First Nation community located near James Bay in Northern Ontario.
Source: City of Thunder Bay Media Release