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Crisis in Black Tickle main issue in meeting between NCC and Health Minister Haggie


Representatives from the NunatuKavut Community Council (NCC) met with the provincial health minister on June 15. On the table was health care issues in NCC communities, including Black Tickle.

Black Tickle lost its full-time nurse in the most recent budget, instead moving to a once a week visit from a community nurse. The only fuel provider in the community also recently announced it would be pulling out, leaving the community in a very serious situation.

NCC President Todd Russell said they gave Health Minister Dr. John Haggie background on all their communities, specifically Black Tickle and the crisis it is facing. He said they explained the community’s strong ties to the land and traditional way of life and that Black Tickle has seen a steady erosion of supports and services over the past number of years, which he said is nothing more than forced relocation of an Indigenous community.

“We offered the view that we should, instead, be discussing sustainability and reconciliation,” Russell said. “The loss of a full-time nurse and other health-care cuts announced as a result of the provincial budget exasperates an already desperate situation.”

He said the loss of the nurse is an infringement on the residents’ basic human right of having timely and appropriate access to health care, which is “unacceptable.”

Russell said they also told the minister they were concerned about the lack of communication between the NCC and the provincial government relating to their communities.

“It was made clear that we found it ironic that provincial health representatives recently invited us to participate in consultations on Medical Assistance in Dying legislation when we haven’t been given an opportunity to provide input on a major health-care decision that preserves life in our communities,” he said.

The NCC has been opposed to the Muskrat Falls development since the beginning and Russell said these health-care issues, which come from decisions in the budget, are related to the megaproject.

“We know that it (the budget) is directly related to the escalating cost of the Muskrat Falls project, which has violated the rights of Indigenous peoples in Labrador and continues to threaten our food security and way of life,” he said. “We are already paying a very high and dangerous price for Muskrat Falls and to bring even more suffering to our people as a result is deplorable.”

Russell said coming away from the meeting he felt the NCC provided Haggie with a new perspective on their communities and the situation in Black Tickle. There was also a commitment to quickly facilitate a meeting between NCC and Labrador Grenfell health officials to discuss circumstances surrounding the health care decisions affecting the community.

Evan.careen@tc.tc

 

Black Tickle lost its full-time nurse in the most recent budget, instead moving to a once a week visit from a community nurse. The only fuel provider in the community also recently announced it would be pulling out, leaving the community in a very serious situation.

NCC President Todd Russell said they gave Health Minister Dr. John Haggie background on all their communities, specifically Black Tickle and the crisis it is facing. He said they explained the community’s strong ties to the land and traditional way of life and that Black Tickle has seen a steady erosion of supports and services over the past number of years, which he said is nothing more than forced relocation of an Indigenous community.

“We offered the view that we should, instead, be discussing sustainability and reconciliation,” Russell said. “The loss of a full-time nurse and other health-care cuts announced as a result of the provincial budget exasperates an already desperate situation.”

He said the loss of the nurse is an infringement on the residents’ basic human right of having timely and appropriate access to health care, which is “unacceptable.”

Russell said they also told the minister they were concerned about the lack of communication between the NCC and the provincial government relating to their communities.

“It was made clear that we found it ironic that provincial health representatives recently invited us to participate in consultations on Medical Assistance in Dying legislation when we haven’t been given an opportunity to provide input on a major health-care decision that preserves life in our communities,” he said.

The NCC has been opposed to the Muskrat Falls development since the beginning and Russell said these health-care issues, which come from decisions in the budget, are related to the megaproject.

“We know that it (the budget) is directly related to the escalating cost of the Muskrat Falls project, which has violated the rights of Indigenous peoples in Labrador and continues to threaten our food security and way of life,” he said. “We are already paying a very high and dangerous price for Muskrat Falls and to bring even more suffering to our people as a result is deplorable.”

Russell said coming away from the meeting he felt the NCC provided Haggie with a new perspective on their communities and the situation in Black Tickle. There was also a commitment to quickly facilitate a meeting between NCC and Labrador Grenfell health officials to discuss circumstances surrounding the health care decisions affecting the community.

Evan.careen@tc.tc

 

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