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Northern Ontario First Nation could face catastrophic flooding : MP

Northern Ontario First Nation could face  catastrophic flooding : MP
Canada
Kashechewan First Nation community on James Bay in northern Ontario, during a flood in May, 2014. (Kashechewan First Nations Communications)

Published Sunday, April 14, 2019 8:27PM EDT

Flooding has once again forced the evacuation of a northern Ontario First Nation that has long demanded the federal government move their town to a new location.

Roughly 1,500 residents of Kashechewan will be flown to Timmins, Kapuskasing, Thunder Bay and Cornwall as part of the evacuation effort, according to NDP MP Charlie Angus.

Angus warned that the First Nation could face catastrophic flooding.

Located on the Albany River, Kashechewan is at least partially evacuated every year. Millions of dollars are spent annually on flights, accommodation and cleanup.

In 2005, the Paul Martins Liberal government committed to moving the community about 30 kilometres up the river at an estimated cost of $500 million.

The Conservative government of Stephen Harper nixed the plan after it was elected in 2006, arguing the new town would still be prone to flooding.

The Conservatives proposed moving the residents to Timmins, Ont., about 450 kilometres to the south, but the communitys leaders did not accept that plan.

In 2017, Justin Trudeaus Liberal government signed an agreement to explore moving the community. Funds have not yet been budgeted.
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