Mr. Speaker, for years the federal Liberal government has failed to respond to the housing shortages and poor housing conditions in first nations communities. The issues include mould, which is creating health problems, poor ventilation, and building houses to a standard not acceptable in white communities.
Now the worst case scenario has come to light. Houses in some communities were insulated with loose asbestos. One family from Poplar River First Nation has lost three members to mesotheliomal cancer, a cancer directly related to asbestos exposure.
INAC and Health Canada failed to notify the first nation that asbestos exposure can cause death. The family is searching for answers. The first nation needs and deserves assistance.
INAC and Health Canada are not likely to criticize each other. An independent study must be done. The first nation has limited resources. Funds for an independent study and the removal of asbestos should not come from the first nation's regular budget.
It is not okay for the Liberal government to stonewall the family and the community. They deserved an immediate response and they got delays and the death of another loved one. How many more members of Poplar River First Nation must die before immediate, thorough action is taken?